Video / Teleconference: Hilderbrand Pelzer III

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 4:00pm
Zoom Video Teleconference
Teleconference: Hilderbrand Pelzer III

Important Note: This teleconference is a benefit for COSEBOC members. If you are not a COSEBOC Member, please click here to join or renew your COSEBOC membership.

On Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 4pm EST, COSEBOC is proud to announce Hilderbrand Pelzer III as our 1st speaker in our 2019-20 educational teleconference series, Conversations with Deep Thinkers. The goal of this series is to create, deepen and strengthen the capacity of educators and advocates dedicated to the affirmative development of boys and young men of color.

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Conversations with Deep Thinkers is a powerful forum for learning and inquiry. In these one-hour teleconference calls, Ron Walker engages prominent leaders in an inquiry that is focused on COSEBOC's 2020 theme: Young Kings of Color: Learning from the Footprints of the Past, Taking Footsteps to the Future. These conversations are followed by a Q&A inviting audience participation. 

Bio: Keenan Hudson

Keenan HudsonAfter being certified as an adult at age fifteen and incarcerated for nearly fifteen years, Keenan Hudson has since positively transformed his life. He took full advantage of educational services and self-development opportunities while incarcerated and persevered using lessons learned through education, religion, and music. As a productive citizen, Keenan aims to share how his incarceration and the people who helped him could motivate and inspire those who he encounters daily. This is particularly true for youth who may be struggling to overcome issues with which he is familiar and for which he can offer positive solutions.

Bio: Hilderbrand Pelzer III

Teleconference: Hilderbrand Pelzer IIILauded by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, for his ability to inspire students, Hilderbrand Pelzer III is preeminent among today’s educational leaders. He specializes in managing diverse urban schools, reorganizing and reforming their instruction, and strengthening their academic performance. Hilderbrand has achieved something few others in education have: he has led five urban schools with difficult learning environments toward significant improvement trajectories.

In more than twenty-five years of experience, Hilderbrand has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant regional superintendent. He has also taught graduate-level courses in School Resources Management and Current Issues in Education at Gwynedd Mercy College. Media outlets, legislative committees, government agencies, civic groups, and national and international educational organizations regularly seek Hilderbrand’s educational perspective, counsel, and leadership.

Hilderbrand's most notable accomplishment was the creation of a successful correctional education model inside Philadelphia’s prison system. From 2004 - 2008, he was the leader and director of the School District of Philadelphia’s educational programs in the city’s six major prisons. He challenged the existing assumptions about the capacity and capability of the schools and designed a successful solution-focused model. Hilderbrand was credited with effective leadership of change in a large, complex public-sector organization.

Unlocking Potential: Organizing a School Inside a PrisonPhiladelphia’s prison system is the backdrop of Hilderbrand’s book Unlocking Potential: Organizing a School Inside a Prison. In it, he examines public education from a perspective that is highly underrepresented in national debates—that of incarcerated students. Hilderbrand believes that all children deserve a quality education, even those in prison. Heralded by the Midwest Book Review, the book relates Hilderbrand’s invaluable insights into urban education and underscores how education can and should play a prominent role at all institutions that are responsible for children.

Hilderbrand began working in education as a physical education teacher with the Bensalem Youth Development Center (a state juvenile correctional institution), the Chester Upland School District in Pennsylvania, and the School District of Philadelphia. In 1997, he became the assistant principal of Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, where, in 2000, he became the youngest high school principal in the district at the time. In a visit to the school, Prince Andrew lauded Hilderbrand’s leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate students, saying, "It’s people like Mr. Pelzer who inspire you to want to learn."

Hilderbrand has successfully led large-scale strategic and operational efforts at both the school and district levels that have improved instructional approaches and educational outcomes for students in a challenging district. For example, he implemented comprehensive, research-based school improvements and innovations, created a results-based performance accountability process, and developed a citywide system to effectively support learning and increase achievement for numerous underperforming students.

Learn more about Hilderbrand Pelzer III