February 20, 2020

TWO MINUTES WITH T2: Dan Caesar, Regional Superintendent, KIPP Texas-Houston

Our special column, Two Minutes with T2, introduces you to the members of the KIPP Texas leadership team – also called Team Texas and T2. In this installment, you’ll meet Dan Caesar, regional superintendent of the KIPP Texas-Houston region.

As Houston’s regional superintendent, Dan Caesar, has seen a lot of change in more than two decades with KIPP. He started as a fifth-grade math teacher in 1997 at the original KIPP Academy in Houston and four years later founded KIPP Houston’s second school, KIPP 3D Academy, leading it to become a top-rated middle school in the Bayou City. A Philadelphia native, Dan graduated with a bachelor of arts from Tufts University and a master’s in business administration from Rice University.

Along the way, Dan got married to his beautiful and brilliant wife, Brenda, and they have two sons, 15-year-old Vincent and 13-year-old Nick. Diagnosed with a developmental disability at age 4, Nick spent six years at KIPP, which Dan says were his best – academically and socially. “Nick had teachers with the same expectations of him as typically developing KIPPsters. It’s no secret: Great learning happens when you have great teachers.”

What gets you out of bed every morning?

My alarm clock or my dogs needing to go to the restroom! And, seriously, it has been an honor to wake up every day for the past 23 years knowing I get to work with the best people in the world – our KIPPSters, Big and Little!

How would you describe your job to a person you meet in the community?

I love our work leading a team of passionate and experienced leaders who have the pleasure of working to inspire, motivate, and learn alongside our KIPPsters and our families.

Which of the KIPP Texas Core Values resonates most with you?

As a Team & Family, we… (because Team & Family represents the core of our work at KIPP)

What are your biggest achievements — personally and professionally?

Having a beautiful family of two boys, my wife, and two dogs! I am proud that I served as founder and school leader of KIPP 3D Academy for 10 years! I love my work leading 17,000 KIPPsters in Houston to successful and fulfilling lives!

It’s just you and your favorite streaming service. What are you binging on?

Netflix’s Black Mirror

What’s your favorite food?

Greasy pizza – East Coast style

What book are you reading?

Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators, by Elena Aguilar

What is one movie you can watch over and over again?

Rocky, of course!

What do you like most about your job?

I love working with like-minded people who believe in our mission. I’ve been doing it for over 20 years and looking forward to doing it for 20 more!

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Coffee!! Lots of it…

What advice do you have for Big KIPPsters?

Lean into and learn from missteps and failure. The greatest gems for growth and development are found in it, not avoiding it. I subscribe to the concept that “the obstacle is the way.”

What advice do you have for Little KIPPsters?

As a team and family, we will build a better tomorrow.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I am a terrible guitar player.

What is one fact about you we would never guess?

I was once a coach of the coaches for the Philadelphia Eagles. Though I don’t have a ring, I like to believe my coaching ultimately led to their Super Bowl 52 Championship.

If you are interested in joining the KIPP Texas Public Schools Team & Family, please view our openings here.

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