May 25, 2015
BE Modern Man: Meet “The Dean” Jon Moorehead
Name: Jon Moorhead
Profession: Dean of Students – Shaker Heights High School, Shaker Heights, Ohio
One Word That Describes You: Passionate
Academic and behavioral issues in high school lead Moorhead to being removed and kicked out of school during his 11th grade year. Soon after, he was enrolled into the Scared Straight program, and had to finish high school a year later than scheduled. Spurred by his own academic and behavioral struggles as a youth, Jon Moorehead is an inspiration to the students that he works with every day in the Shaker Heights suburb of Cleveland.
For Moorehead inspiration to enter into the field of school administration stemmed from his very own behavioral and academic struggles as a youth. “Being that person I needed when I was in school, and the person that many young people don’t have in their lives is what drives me every day,” says Moorehead. Today, more than ever, it is imperative for youth to begin understanding how to navigate the politics and pitfalls of school, life, and adolescence. “For me it is about being someone that can help them channel their frustration, and overcome personal challenges that interfere with academic and life achievement so that they can be successful.”
The ability to relate to students on their level is easier said than done, but when you have experienced the same daily frustrations they face you become one step closer to building trust with students, notes Moorehead. This unique ability to relate is what makes school administrators like Moorehead extraordinary. “My story is a testimony to how far perseverance, grit, and determination can get you in life,” Moorehead tells BE Modern Man exclusively . “The ability to bounce back regardless of how many times you’ve been knocked down resonates and inspires the young people that I work with.” Ready to embrace any and all challenges, Moorehead is very ambitious and creates a culture at Shaker Heights where students feel like they can accomplish whatever they put their mind to.
Putting his mind in a mental space to succeed is what helped Moorehead to continue pursuing his goals despite the many challenges that he faced. “As a young man I was told that I would never amount to anything, that I wouldn’t graduate from high school and I was destined to work at fast food restaurants my whole life,” says Moorehead. Two college degrees (bachelor and master’s degrees) later, and acceptance into Harvard University’s Administrative Fellowship Program, Moorehead proves that you are the master of your fate.
Being a catalyst for change is the ultimate reward for Moorehead. “I do what I do for the love of the movement,” says Moorehead. “The feeling I get from seeing my efforts translate into changing a young person’s life in a positive way is something very hard to describe.” Dedicated to his students, Moorehead is working in his purpose for the greater good of humanity and simply wants to make the world a better place. “I’ll do this for free, just let me finish what I started with these boys,” is what Moorehead emphatically stated to Toledo Public School stakeholders before leaving his position. Regardless of funding and support, Moorehead was not going to give up on the youth. “To me, that is the essence of a BE Modern Man. A man of color in today’s world that is driven by the cause, by the fight, by the desire to make the world a better place by improving the lives and increasing the life trajectory of generations to come.”
We at BlackEnterprise.com salute the BE Modern Man Jon Moorehead in all of his efforts to make a daily impact in the lives of students.
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