Brian Kingsley

Former Chief Academic Officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Brian Kingsley was the Chief Academic Officer for CMS from 2018-2021 and is now the Superintendent of Poudre School District in Colorado. From 1998-2018, Brian held leadership positions in Wake County Public School System and Broward County Public Schools. Brian earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from Pennsylvania State University and a master's degree in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University.

What have you recently learned from a teacher?

I continue to learn the power of teacher advocacy. In many cases, the integrity of our profession is at-risk and I continue to be impressed by how many teachers are stepping up and using their voice to advocate for themselves, the needs of their children and our communities.

What have you recently learned from a student?

Students continue to remind me of their resilience and willingness to trust us if we simply treat them with love, respect and high expectations.

What is the greatest challenge our educators face?

Ignoring the public narrative that sometimes makes them feel insignificant, labeled by a letter grade or test score, or that their choice of work is more like a job than an honorable career choice.

Which skill would you most like to master?

I would like to learn how to play the guitar some day.

What quality do you most admire in a school leader?

The ability to be a warm demander. Kind hearted and gentle, but relentless in their pursuit for all students and teachers to be successful. They are counting on us!

What do you consider your organization's greatest achievement?

Most would say its Broad Prize but I believe its greatest achievement is rooted in its willingness to tell its most vulnerable truths in service of equity, culture building and commitment to solve its most complex problems. Most organizations shy away from that critical step as a means of protecting its image. I’m really proud to work in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

If you could change one thing about public education what would it be?

Most teachers in public education are not provided with a high quality curriculum and significant professional learning opportunities. The impact of that “undiscussable” truth is the amplification of inequities across our schools. I believe it is my role to change that.

What is your current state of mind?

Hopeful. There are incredible things happening in public education every day and there are so many educators that I see as warriors for justice, community, learning and peace. We are relentlessly working to make our world a better place.

Favorite motto or quote?

If not us, then who?

Best advice ever given to you?

Never complain about what you tolerate.

Advice you would give to a young person interested in a profession in education?

It’s one of the most selfless professions in the world. Our future as a society is dependent upon our ability to cultivate young human beings into becoming independent problem solvers, compassionate citizens and great communicators. If you have the heart and mind for that level of commitment, please know we need you!

Learn more about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools