Inspiring Courageous Leaders with Dr. Candace Singh

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Dustin Odham

Thought Leader for FranklinCovey Education
When I was a kid, my favorite Crayola color was sky blue, and my mission in life was to become a professional basketball player. I pursued that dream right up until I learned I was “not fast or quick, but determined and a great team player.” Yes, that was a real evaluation I was given during my AAU days. I decided to play to my strengths instead and retired from the prep basketball scene with what I feel was a tasteful lack of fanfare. Since then, my mission statement has been to make a positive and lasting impact in the life of every person I meet. Every single day. I have spent my career trying to help unleash greatness in everyone I am privileged to work with and for. My commitment to that mission statement became more nuanced when I began teaching high school math at a school with a significant achievement gap. I was learning just as much as my students were, and there were certainly rough patches at the beginning. But in the end, our students outpaced the entire district in academic growth. Repurposing that childhood dream, I also coached girls basketball and regularly demonstrated that I had not, in fact, grown faster or quicker with age. It was during this period that I won St. Louis Region Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for a National Teacher of the Year award. As I continued to look for ways to make a positive and lasting impact on my community, I took a job as executive director of a teacher training program. My team increased our teacher pool from 75 to 200, impacting hundreds of schools and thousands of students. Then, as a turnaround specialist with St. Louis Public Schools, I helped create our Office of Innovation, enabling our lowest-performing schools to get accredited. In the private sector, as a turnaround performance consultant, I led projects with district superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and teachers to help turn their student academic performance around and transform their school communities. It was also during this time that I really perfected my karaoke version of “Friends in Low Places.” I continued this work at FranklinCovey Education as a Client Partner, where our team partnered with educators to unleash the potential of thousands of administrators, teachers, and parents – impacting tens of thousands of students in hundreds of cities across three states. As a Managing Director for the Southeast United States and Canada regions, I now support our client partners as they work to do the same all across North America. This is a far cry from a career as an NBA superstar. But I’ve loved my life, and all the people in it – most especially my amazing wife Ashley and my three boys Luke, Noah, and our baby, James, who was born in the middle of the pandemic. Every twist and turn has led me here, and I am grateful for each of them. My favorite Crayola color is still sky blue, and I’ve finally found a sport (golf) that does not depend on speed or quickness. I hope this podcast is a force for lasting, positive change for the guests, and for anyone who tunes in. I’m honored that you’ve taken the time to tune in.

Dr. Candace Singh

Speaker, Consultant, Leadership Coach
Dr. Candy Singh is the Superintendent of the award-winning Fallbrook Union Elementary School District in Southern California, nationally recognized for its work in creating an innovative and forward-thinking leadership culture that encourages and teaches children to be the leader of their own lives and to use their leadership skills to make a difference in the lives of others. As an educator in San Diego County for over 30 years, Candy is well-known and respected for her work as a turnaround principal and superintendent, blending courage, action, and exceptionally high expectations with grace, respect, and kindness to create schools and working environments that inspire greatness in students and adults. Her proven track record of transforming public schools has contributed to her reputation as a highly valued leadership coach, speaker, and consultant. As the first college graduate in her family, Candy holds a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from San Diego State University and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She earned her doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership at the University of La Verne, where she studied leadership practices that contribute to employee effectiveness and job satisfaction.
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