Matt Candler: Education Enthusiast!

Matt Candler: Education Enthusiast!

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by Smart Coos Editorial Staff

Matt Candler: Education Enthusiast!


FEATURE PHOTO-Matt Candler     Matt Candler is a father of three children and the Founder and CEO of 4.0 Schools, a platform for teachers, technologists and entrepreneurs to create bold solutions for the real problems in America’s schools. Matt’s passion for education has lead him to form a career as a teacher, coach and principal in private and public schools. This multitasking dad also finds the time to build electric motorcycles after his kids go to bed at

We admire education enthusiasts like Matt! And we definitely loved learning more about him as we sat down with him for a brief interview.

What was the inspiration behind establishing your organization? Why have you continued?

The first version wasn’t very inspirational. It was an attempt to bring new schools to the Southeastern US. Over the first two years, I realized there was a deeper need for aspiring entrepreneurs to have a place to test new startup and school models, many of which might not be politically viable in the communities I had on that first target list. The idea of testing these more unproven schools and startup ideas – in a safe and low risk way – became the core strategic goal.

How many kids do you have? What is the age of your youngest and oldest?

3 kids: 9,7,5.

What is your fondest memory as a father? Your not so fondest memory? Why?

With oldest: her hugs when I come home from a trip. They last more than a minute most times.

With middle kid: when we go on dates by ourselves and we break through that barrier between where its just us two, not her fighting for airtime. Ice cream is usually in these memories

With youngest: playing legos and I’m not thinking about anything else.

Not so: the hundreds of little moments where I’ve been checking my phone or thinking about some stupid task on my own list and missed a chance to be present in a special moment.

You write a great deal about the future of education. How does fatherhood influence the topics that you discuss? Your business decisions?

A ton. Becoming a parent fundamentally changed (aka, made more complicated) the storyline of my life as a reformer. After 15 years of telling families  – many of whom had darker skin than I do and who live in different neighborhoods than the one I live in – that I had the perfect school for them, I faced a moral dilemma when I realized I wanted a different school for my own kids. The last few years have been about me trying to own more of that disconnect, about me realizing that trafficking in solutions for – in Lisa Delpit’s words – Other People’s Children, might require a little more humility and listening than I had in the past.

If you could tell a new father ONE thing and only one thing what would it be?

Being present is the hardest thing to be honest about; There are a million excuses for not putting my damn phone away, flushing out the to dos in my head and putting in real minutes with my kids where their agenda is the one I’m following. These moments are so rare, but the reality is that I have way more control over how many I could be getting than I want to admit when many of them come my way.

What does the future look like for you, your family and your business?

Not sure. More moments where I’m present, truly present, with my family, my colleagues and the members of the 4.0 community = win.


You can find Matt online at:

Twitter: @mcandler   Link  Blog:

Also, you can find him at

Let us know, have you missed moments with your kid because you’re not completely present? I know I have.

Matt Candler: Education Enthusiast!
Matt Candler: Education Enthusiast!
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