Episode 35 – Brian Kulak – Video Game Leadership

Adam DeWittPrincipal Leadership Lab Podcast

Join Adam and Jeff as we chat with Brian Kulak, K-5 Principal out of South Jersey, Author, and Baseball Fanatic!

For Brian, there was only one path to education. By the age of fourteen, when he wrote an essay about Detroit Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas, he had made up his mind that he would never leave school. Since then, he has prided himself on his relationships with students and colleagues, his love of literature, and his passion for writing. As a leader, Brian focuses his attention on supporting teachers’ growth on their terms.

Brian is entering his 21st year in education. For the first fifteen, he taught English and journalism at his alma mater in New Jersey. Most recently, he served as Chief Academic Officer for four years before becoming a K-5 principal in 2018. His blog, leveluplead.com, combines shared educational experience with his analogous style to challenge readers to see themselves and their leadership differently. His work has been featured on Edutopia, in Educational Viewpoints, and in Stories in EDU. Brian has also presented on teaching, learning, and leadership at local and national conferences.

Brian is a baseball fanatic, a Pearl Jam aficionado, and a devoted family man. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

Level Up Leadership: Advance Your EduGame is his first book.

Education Journey

Knew he would be an educator since 14 years old

Taught HS English

Went from the classroom to the district office

Had never done elementary before, moved there by his supt.

“Teacher Leader”

Why are these tweets only about kids?

Get rid of your Principal Parking Spot, Adam

Somebody has to tell you… lots of honoring

“Very little chance I say no”

Blog & Book – writer

One thing to win a championship, but another to repeat

Flash Lessons – Edutopia article

“Tell me something I should know about this topic, and I’ll try and make it relevant”

The 10%

You don’t need a title to be a leader.

Just be a human and know the names of 5th grade teacher’s kids.

Level Up Leadership – Advance Your EduGame

EduMatch – Sarah Thomas

Tongue and Cheek Syllabus Designed Brian

Good evening! Welcome to Nothing As It Seems, an educational leadership class designed to provide a practical dance partner to the theoretical. Here’s a brief outline of what to expect this semester.

Course Description: This graduate level class is designed to address edu-leadership issues about which we rarely speak. From the taboo to the absurd, future leaders will experience edu-leadership through anecdotes and empathy.

Course Objectives:

  • To pull back the curtain on educational leadership theory
    To develop useful communication skills for use with crazy people
    To challenge candidates to accept the human side of leadership
    To engage in discussion about what once was considered taboo

Tell us about your Alternate Timeline

Leadership Struggle

We have an innate desire to be perfect

“Accepting that which I can control”

Video game analogy: You die a lot until you figure it out


Kindness – #HopeAndGrace

Choose to not get into the negativity

Stronger partnership between teachers and admin and parents

Contact Brian


Brian’s Website


Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt



Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt



Principal Leadership Lab

Dr. Jeff Prickett

Adam DeWitt



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