An education preparing Deerfield’s children to be productive members of a work force requiring tasks not yet envisioned let alone taught is the mission Michael Lubelfeld has given himself as the incoming superintendent of Deerfield Public Schools District 109.
An eight-year Deerfield resident while he worked as a superintendent in Norridge and an administrator in other suburbs including Highland Park, Lubelfeld is no stranger to the community or the expectations it has for its youth.
“We have to prepare our children for their future, not our past, at all levels of the (educational) spectrum,” Lubelfeld told Patch Tuesday. He is referring to all students from the smartest to those in great need of help and everyone in between.
Combining community expectations with his approach to education fits right into Lubelfeld’s vision for the District. That vision is one of excellence.
“My vision is for excellence, community excellence and educational excellence” Lubelfeld said. He believes it is important for the schools to be part of the greater community. He wants interaction with the Village, parks and library. “The school district is part of the community.”
Educational excellence goes back to the needs of educating children for a future that guarantees progress more than anything else. “We want to find ways to include all aspects of education,” he said. “We want to keep social skills as high as academic excellence.”
As a college student Lubelfeld majored in political science with a minor in criminal justice. When he began teaching it was as an eighth grade social studies teacher. His background in the social sciences leaves him in a unique position in today’s technical world.
When he learned the District 109 Board of Education was taking a look at expanding at Monday’s meeting, he was pleased, adding his own twist.
“STEM or STEAM education—I believe the arts plays a role—puts a different level of focus on the students because it is schooling for a lifetime,” Lubelfeld said. He also understands the necessary sensitivity for students, parents and staff. “Anything can be perplexing because it is new.”
Lubelfeld also sees himself as an educator first and foremost. He went from teaching at Elm Place School in Highland Park to serving as its assistant principal and principal. He considers administration an extension of teaching.
“I had a mentor who told me what I was doing in the classroom could be replicated helping a large number of teachers teach,” Lubelfeld said. “I do this to transfer what I love so much in the classroom.”