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Village Oaks Elementary School

Novi, Michigan

Alexander Ofili Principal

Building School Culture by Leading with HEART. One of the most challenging tasks for any new principal is creating school culture, particularly when a strong culture already exists. This podcast walks you through the process Principal Alexander Ofili used at Village Oaks Elementary School in Novi, MI, to do just that. Principal Ofili explains, “it dawned on me that I wanted to respect what had already been established, but at the same time, I wanted to clarify what we see as important values.”

With a mix of veteran and new teaching staff and a collaborative spirit, they harnessed the most important principles that represented the school’s culture using the acronym, HEART. He explains in the podcast, “we believe that leading with HEART…creates an environment where kids are going to do their absolute best.” To listen to the full podcast, scroll down. You can download the transcript here.

To see how students at Village Oaks lead with HEART, check out the school’s video on their website


Contact Information
Village Oaks Elementary School
Dr. Alexander Ofili, Principal at time of Nomination
23333 Willowbrook Drive
Novi, MI, 48375-3654
(248) 449-1302
Student Demographics 2018  
Number of students PreK-6 498
Students eligible for subsidized meals 15%
Students receiving special ed services 6%
ELL 21%
African American students 12%
White students 39%
Hispanic or Latino students 5%
Asian 40%
Two or more races 4%
Student mobility rate 11%


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