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PJ Caposey
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PJ Caposey

PJ Caposey is a dynamic speaker and a transformational leader and educator. PJ began his career as an award-winning teacher in the inner-city of Chicago and has subsequently led significant change in every administrative post he has held. He became a principal at the age of 28 and within three years was able to lead a small-town / rural school with a history of achieving near the bottom of its county to multiple national recognitions. After four years, PJ moved to his current district, Meridian CUSD 223, as superintendent, and has since led a similar turnaround leading to several national recognitions for numerous efforts.

PJ is a best-selling author and has written eight books for various publishers. His work and commentary has been featured on sites such as The Washington Post, NPR, CBS This Morning, ASCD, Edutopia, The Huffington Post (HuffPost), and was featured in a Global Leaders Forum thinkpiece alongside the likes of General Petraeus and General McChrystal. He works in the Education Department of three universities, including one within the Ivy League, and in a myriad of capacities with the Illinois Principals Association, including as a principal coach and author of the first complete stack of MicroCredentials offered in Illinois.

PJ has been fortunate to be honored with many personal awards and accolades in addition to the various district recognitions which have been earned under his leadership. Additionally, he has been asked to serve in an advisory or consulting capacity for many education-related companies and organizations.


Illinois State Superintendent of the Year, 2022
ISTE Making IT Happen, 2019
Regional Superintendent of the Year, 2017
Tech and Learning Leader of the Year – Runner Up, 2017
INSPRA Distinguished Service Award, 2016
40 Under 40, 2016
NSPRA 25 Superintendents to Watch, 2016
EIU Distinguished Alumnus, 2016
Those Who Excel – Award of Merit, 2015
Regional Principal of the Year, 2014
ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Honoree, 2013
ASCD Emerging Leader, 2013
Horace Mann Partners in Education, 2012


US News and World Report recognition, 2017-22
IASB Governance Award, 2016-22
EduJedi award from the Learning Counsel, 2019
Illinois Performance Excellence Bronze Award, 2018
National School of Opportunity, 2017
District Administration Magazine District of Distinction, 2016

ADVISORY/EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER or CONSULTANT (all current unless otherwise stated; individual school districts excluded from list)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Institute for Education Innovation
Total School Solutions
Resonance Education
Sarah Williamson PR Group
MB Simple Solutions
Performance Learning
ThoughtExchange, 2019-21
Illinois ASCD, 2012-18

PJ is a sought after keynote presenter, consultant, and provider of professional development. He has recently keynoted several national conferences with expertise in time management, the tyranny of the status quo, school culture, continuous improvement, social media, and teacher evaluation. PJ lives in Northwest Illinois with his wife, who is also an educator, and their four children.

Past AASA Illinois Superintendent of the Year Winners:

2022 Illinois Superintendent of the Year: Steve Webb

2021 Illinois Superintendent of the Year: Donna Leak

2020 Illinois Superintendent of the Year: Kevin Blankenship

About the Award:

The Superintendent of the Year program, sponsored by First Student and AASA, pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools.

State-level winners are selected on the following criteria:

    • Leadership for Learning
    • Communication
    • Professionalism
    • Community Involvement

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