District Life Changer

October 2018 District Life Changer: Brian Stanley

When it comes to special services in Hopkins, you might say Brian Stanley is a master in the art of balance. As the special services supervisor, he juggles the needs of students, parents, teachers, and administrators to develop the best solutions possible.

During his 15 year tenure at Hopkins Public Schools, Stanley has been involved in all facets of the District, working with early childhood programs, elementary schools, and secondary schools.

As an outside-the-box thinker, he is always focused on meeting the individual needs of students and their families. Most recently, Stanley was an integral part of implementing the new wellness centers at both junior highs and the high school.

Colleagues describe him as a dedicated, hardworking, and respected leader who wants the best for all stakeholders. Aaron Osland, school social worker at West Junior High, said Stanley has a quiet, steady, driven leadership style, and he has a passion for supporting student and staff wellness.

“He literally ‘changes lives’ with his thoughtful decisions and leadership,” said Osland. “Oh, did I mention he’s also a snappy dresser?”

Background: Prior to Hopkins, I worked in the juvenile criminal justice system in multiple roles. I have worked in the Hopkins School District for 15 years, where I have had the opportunity to work in the early childhood programs, as well as both the elementary and secondary schools. The last five years, I have been the special services supervisor, which includes both junior highs, the high school, and Transition Plus.

What do you love most about working at Hopkins? The highly committed and professional multidisciplinary teams I get to interface with daily to make sure all of our students are provided an education that prepares them for the future.

Proudest moment? There are those events that occur in schools that require individuals to rise to the occasion to ensure our students' emotional and mental well-being needs are supported. I say it often: I work with champions! When I see these champions, I am in awe of the work they are doing both with individual students, as well as the focus they are bringing to promoting student wellness.

Teaching or work philosophy? Two of the more influential foundational components for me in the social work profession are the commitment to social justice and the service of addressing individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society.

Stats: • Studied criminal justice and political science, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota • Master’s in social work, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University, New York • Currently pursuing doctorate of education and director of special education licensure at Bethel University in St. Paul.