Dennis McKesey has had a lot of experience working with school principals, administrators, and staff in helping them improve their schools and develop their leadership skills. He has done all of this through his work as the president and senior lead consultant of In Our Best Interest LLC.
First and foremost, Dennis has always been an educator by profession. He has over 25 years of experience in the private and public educational system and has dedicated his life to improving the way schools serve their students in better ways. Dennis McKesey himself graduated from Mercy College and held accreditations in School Administration and Supervision.
He finished a Business Leadership Development Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School and has served as a principal in one of the premier charter schools in the United States. He is a tenured educator, and he’s been looking for new ways to innovate how school leaders could improve their systems.
Nowadays, Dennis McKesey offers his consultations to teachers, principals, and school administrators by speaking at national conferences. He also serves as a graduate professor at Mercy College under the Educational Leadership Department. After noticing the large educational gap that the global COVID-19 pandemic has thrust upon the educational system, Dennis knew he had to do something fast.
In March 2020, he launched Off School Grounds, which is a virtual platform that fosters the development of innovative leadership practices. The platform allows school leaders to have a safe space where they could exchange ideas and improve the educational opportunities for students of color and other marginalized students.
The platform encourages African-American principals and school leaders to engage with each other in order to benefit their school districts. Dennis McKesey has made sure to build an engaging community where conversations can become vulnerable enough for the school leaders to share their actual opinions.
However, despite the seriousness of the issues that are being tackled, there is also a light mood that manages to complement the whole experience. Participants can easily unwind with the presence of a live DJ, which is an important part of the process as well. Experienced entertainers in the industry are welcomed so they can reflect on the discussions and give their honest input.
Off School Grounds has had well-known celebrity guests such as Ralph McDaniels, DJ Red Alert, Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D. from Public Enemy, Doug E. Fresh, and Dame Dash. Dennis McKesey has been looking to introduce the platform to an international audience. They have made international efforts by sponsoring a basketball court in Tanzania, built behind a daycare so children can have a safe space to enjoy activities in the community.
Dennis McKesey is packed with fresh and innovative ideas to make learning conducive for every student in the world. Off School Grounds has been very committed to combating the education inequity among marginalized students in urban communities. Dennis hopes to eradicate that issue once and for all, and he’s been making great strides through his consistent effort.