Alexander McNeece is director of instruction and state and federal grants for Garden City School District in Michigan. He is also a children’s book author and award-winning former principal of Douglas Elementary School. He and his staff used the concepts and vocabulary from Anthony Muhammad’s book Transforming School Culture to move from being labeled a failing school in 2006 to making adequate yearly progress every year since and receiving an A grade on the Michigan EdYes assessment in 2010. Dr. McNeece strives to eliminate the achievement gap by using motivational reading material, developing a school culture of writing, and integrating 21st-century technology into every facet of his teachers’ teaching and his students’ learning.
Video production and media literacy are also focal points of Dr. McNeece’s career. As a teacher, he integrated video production with the Michigan English Language Arts Curriculum, culminating with his students writing, acting, directing, and editing their own feature-length film, which was released at a local movie theater. His school pioneered a video-production intervention program for struggling students called The Douglas Show. That program and the hard work of his teaching staff led to the elimination of student retention at their school; 100 percent of the school’s students were academically successful from 2008 to 2010.
Dr. McNeece is the author of Sam Iver: Imminent Threat and Read to Me, Daddy: My First Football Book and coauthor of Ryan and Ruby Go to Kindergarten. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a doctorate from Eastern Michigan University.