For the past two decades, Dr. Danny Brassell has served as an educational advisor to students ranging from preschoolers to rocket scientists. While he has held a variety of titles and worked with leaders from a variety of fields and disciplines, Danny has always considered himself first and foremost a teacher.
A recognized authority on leadership development, reading, motivation and communication skills, Danny has been honored consistently for his strategic intellect and practical solutions. Audiences rave about Danny’s ability to deliver meaningful and memorable messages that are applicable for individuals within all levels of organizations. A gregarious, sought-after author, speaker and business consultant, Danny is characterized by friends, colleagues and clients as one of the most insightful, powerful and compassionate individuals in business and education today. Thousands, from small business owners to corporate executives to kindergarten teachers, have enjoyed his energetic, interactive and informative presentations.
Danny shares the knowledge he has acquired through his own diverse experiences, as he wears a number of hats…
The Teacher - Since 1996, Danny has taught at California State University. As a tenured professor, he taught courses for beginning teachers and administrators in educational theory, reading, second language acquisition and multiculturalism, and his popular live televised courses consistently earned raves from students and casual viewers alike for content presented in a “fun, meaningful and memorable” way. Danny helped coordinate alternative teaching credential programs that served over 4,000 teachers in 150 schools throughout 14 school districts serving over 400,000 students in the Los Angeles area. In addition, Danny taught international students English as a Second Language at the American Language Institute at the University of Southern California for a number of years, and he served as the founding director of Loyola Marymount University’s MA program partnership with Teach for America. He has been a distinguished visiting professor at the American University in Cairo and currently works as a faculty advisor in the CalStateTEACH program. Before teaching at the university level, Danny was a teacher and tutor to pre-K – grade 12 students.
The Author - Danny has authored over 50 articles for newspapers, magazines and journals, and his work has been featured in publications ranging from USA Today to The Los Angeles Times. He has published 16 books, including A Baker’s Dozen of Lessons Learned from the Teaching Trenches (Shell, 2009) and Read, Lead & Succeed (Success Press, 2014). Danny has also served as a lead consultant, reviewer and editor for a number of other publications and products.
The Trainer - Last year Danny traveled over 100 days to over 35 states and three continents while speaking to over 50,000 people. He has shared the stage with elite authors, musicians, speakers, policymakers and business leaders. Hailed as “Jim Carrey with a Ph.D.” for his ability to deliver inspiring messages while providing concrete strategies to improve his audiences’ bottom lines, Danny believes that people are not looking for a speaker; they are looking for a solution to their problems. He strives to give his clients superior value and deliver more than what is expected. To that end, Danny has consulted with a number of leaders in business, medicine, education, government, athletics and the arts, and he has provided clients and colleagues with ongoing support and training. Additionally, he has developed products based specifically on the needs and interests of his clients and colleagues.
The Student - Born to middle-class parents in upstate New York who always emphasized their children’s education, Danny was ingrained with a work ethic that has served him well throughout his life. He has constantly challenged himself. At age 11 he began his first newspaper route in Waterloo, Iowa. As a teenager he supported himself as a sandwich board man in Durango, Colorado. He has also worked as a babysitter, a busboy, a landscape artist (a.k.a. gardener), a health club attendant, a paralegal, a salesman, a stand-up comedian, an assistant to a U.S. Congressman, an archivist at the largest homeless shelter in America and a freelance journalist. Danny has traveled to 62 countries, studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, and earned degrees from three universities, including his doctorate from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. When he discovered that Theodore Roosevelt had read over 20,000 books by the age of 30, Danny resolved to start reading 5-10 books/day (a lot of those books are pop-up and scratch-n-sniffs, but he does manage to read quite a few diverse titles).
The Mass Media Veteran - In 2003 Danny founded The Lazy Readers’ Book Club, www.lazyreaders.com, Google’s #1-ranked site for cool, “short book recommendations,” boasting over 10,000 subscribers. He has hosted his own radio program and appeared in various television and film projects. For five seasons he hosted the TV show People Make a Difference, which could be viewed in over 4 million homes throughout Southern California and featured a variety of guests, including heart surgeon Kathy Magliato, chocolatiers Ed Engoron and Joan Vieweger, artist Synthia Saint James and literacy experts Kelly Gallagher and Stephen Krashen. Finally, his 2012 TEDx talk “The Reading Makeover” has been singled-out as one of their funniest and most inspirational education speeches.
The Servant - Danny has been blessed to have a variety of wonderful mentors in his lifetime, and he takes his greatest pleasure giving back to others. When he was still an inner-city school teacher in Compton, California, he founded the non-profit organization Assignment: Books, which created school libraries in under-resourced schools. For eight years Danny served on the Board of Directors (twice as Chairman) of BookEnds, a non-profit organization created by an 8-year-old kid that created classroom libraries in under-resourced areas, responsible for nearly 3 million book donations to schools, juvenile detention facilities and group homes. One of Danny’s most gratifying positions was as literacy volunteer trainer for The Wonder of Reading, which enabled him to train thousands of volunteers at over 100 Los Angeles-area schools to work one-on-one with struggling and reluctant readers. Since Danny hated reading as a child, he loves being the driving force to help disenchanted students find their own passions for learning.
Besides being a son and a brother, he is a devoted husband and proud father of three. They are active in their church’s activities, particularly its work with orphans in Haiti. Danny is grateful for all of the people who have helped him and strives to help others as often as he can. He heeds the words of a tiny hymn taped on a post-it to his computer:
Others, Lord, yes others Let this my motto be. Help me to live for others, That I may live like thee.