Principal, Academy of Business and Community Development, Brooklyn, N.Y., Age: 39
In 2005, Clyde A. Cole founded the Academy of Business and Community Development, the first all-boys public school in the United States serving students in grades 6 through 12. By then, he had co-founded an all-boys middle school in Harlem, a charter middle school in Connecticut and a small youth center in Crown Heights, a Brooklyn, N.Y., community. He has also written and published research and curriculum papers.
As principal of ABCD, Cole is at the forefront of efforts to mold young men into urban leaders through quality education and community service. At the same time, he is enrolled full-time in the Mid-Career Doctoral Program for Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania and is involved in such civic and community activities as voter registration drives, mentoring programs and charity donations.
Cole’s success stems from surrounding himself with smart, talented people and getting to know them “on a personal level so it becomes our project and our achievement.” Active membership in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. also helped enormously. “It has been a source of support. It is inspiring to be able to associate with other successful Black men,” he says. His mother, Dolores Peterkin, always “a supporter and role model,” championed his own education.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and economics from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in educational administration from New York University.
Quote: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” – John Bradford
What actor should play you in a movie: Idris Elba
Facebook or LinkedIn: Both
Favorite sports team: New York Yankees
Jeans and T-shirt or suit: Both
First job: Mailroom
Number of countries visited: More than 10
Favorite charity: AMICUS- Association of Men Involved in Causes of Uplift and Service