james brauer virtual school principal photo

A Message from James Brauer

Hello and welcome to my website! I'm thrilled you took the time to visit. Perhaps you are looking for more information about online schools or interested in connecting about leadership and management topics. Whatever your goal for visiting this site is, I'm thankful.

Professional Background

I'm an Iowa transplant, by way of Kansas City and the Chicago area. I grew up on the northwest of Chicago (near O'Hare airport) and left for Lawrence, KS after my high school graduation. While at the University of Kansas, I completed an education program that ultimately resulted in a bachelor's degree in social studies education, masters of curriculum and instruction, and a masters of adaptive special education.

My teaching career launched in the USD 500 Kansas City, KS school district as a middle school special education teacher. I have outstanding memories from my time at USD 500 and believe my professional foundation was definitely formulated and strengthened because of my colleagues.

After several years at USD 500, I completed an education administration program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City which led to a new position as an assistant principal at the North Kansas City Schools. My assignment was at an alternative school for students with special needs. 

In 2012, I secured a position as principal of Iowa Connections Academy (IACA). IACA is a public, virtual school serving students in grades K-12 from throughout the state of Iowa. 

Academic Background

I was always eager to learn as much information as possible so that I could be as versed as possible within the field of education. Once I entered the field of administration, I was hungry to learn the "language of business". I believed a background in education and business administration would only bode me well for whatever position I assumed.

The following degrees have been earned:

Personal Interests

Outside of my work life, I have found hobbies in: smoking meats and cooking; gardening; learning foreign languages; and blogging/YouTubing

My Theoretical Framework

I believe this is important to share because it explains more about my philosophy and explains why I think the way I do.

  1. Connectivism - This is a learning theory that suggests individuals gain knowledge by connecting with various nodes of information, making meaning from that information, publishing/sharing their newfound information with others so ultimately others can learn. This creates a network of learning that builds and expounds from groups of people.
  2. Personal Learning Networks (PLN) - Individuals create their own networks, or systems, of information that they use for learning or collaborating. In a professional sense, one's PLN is likely where they gather new information from colleagues or experts. A PLN can include: blogs; YouTube channels; Twitter handles and hashtags; etc.
  3. Empathetic Leadership - This is a leadership style gaining more traction, as of late. This management style suggests that employers, organizational leaders, and managers exercise a style that prioritizes the emotional needs of its team members. Having the ability to understand the needs and emotions of employees helps a leader make responsive decision-making. An organization's climate and culture is also more likely to be positive with empathetic leadership traits practiced by its leaders and managers. 
  4. 8 Dimensions of Wellness - This framework was developed to consider all the various components that derive one's overall wellness. Within the framework include the following types of wellness: a.) emotional; b.) environmental; c.) financial; d.) intellectual; e.) occupational; f.) physical; g.) social; and h.) spiritual. Through self-care, personal development, effective practices through leadership and management, and an empathetic leadership style, organizations with which I am associated can achieve highly effective results.