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Summer Principals Academy
The Education Leadership Program in the Department of Organization and Leadership
New York Faculty
Craig Adamson, Ph.D., Provost and Associate Professor, is a veteran restorative practitioner with more than 20 years of experience delivering counseling and educational services to delinquent, dependent and at-risk youth. As President of the IIRP model programs, Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy, where he has worked since 1995, Dr. Adamson has developed and implements innovative approaches that utilize restorative practices. These approaches include community-based alternative-to-placement programs for delinquent youth, restorative practices academic environments that reconnect and re-engage learners and drug and alcohol programs that support successful futures.
John W. Bailie, Ph.D., is President of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP). Dr. Bailie is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences on education reform and civil society development. He has initiated major research projects on restorative practices in schools and frequently publishes on the application of restorative practices in leadership, social innovation, adult learning and education reform.
A dynamic educational leader focused on equity and principal leadership development, Nikole Booker is a doctoral candidate in Educational and Organizational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania, and a New Principal Support Leadership Coach within the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Leadership. As an accomplished school leader with extensive coaching and supervisory experience ranging from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, Ms. Booker has held the posts of teacher, assistant principal, principal, and currently, principal coach, positively impacting student achievement and educational leadership paradigms across eight New York City Department of Education districts. With a range of experiences, spanning large comprehensive high schools to small community elementary schools within the New York City area, Ms. Booker has provided continuous adult learning through data-driven instructional support, and leadership development for teachers, assistant principals, and principals aligned to key indicators of student achievement outcomes.
Ms. Booker is an alumna of Harvard University’s prestigious National Institute for Urban School Leaders (2012). She graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University with a Master of Education degree in Educational and Organizational Leadership (2009) and a Master of Arts degree in English Education (2004). She earned a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Studies in Educational Administration from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College (2009), and is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.A. in English Literature (2003). Ms. Booker was also inducted into the New York Academy of Public Education (2013) and the International Honor Society of Education, Kappa Delta Pi, Columbia University - Kappa Chapter (2004). Ms. Booker holds New York State licensure in secondary English education (2004), Students with Disabilities secondary English education (2011), School Building Leader (2009), and School District Leader (2009).
Alex J. Bowers
Alex J. Bowers is an Associate Professor of Education Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he works to help school leaders use the data that they already collect in schools in more effective ways to help direct the limited resources of schools and districts to specific student needs. His research focuses on the intersection of effective school and district leadership, organization and HR, data driven decision making, student grades and test scores, student persistence and dropouts. His work also considers the influence of school finance, facilities, and technology on student achievement. Dr. Bowers studies these domains through the application of Intensive Longitudinal Data analysis (ILD), data science, and “Big Data” analytics, such as data visualization analytics, multilevel and growth mixture modeling, and cluster analysis heatmap data dashboards. He earned his Ph.D. in K12 Educational Administration from Michigan State University, and previous to teaching and education research, spent a decade as a cancer researcher in the biotechnology industry, with a M.S. in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, and a B.S. in Biochemistry. Dr. Bowers is the recipient of multiple awards, including being the first person to win both the AERA Emerging Scholar Award for Division A (Administration, Organization and Leadership), and the UCEA Jack A. Culbertson Award for outstanding early faculty research, both in 2012. He was named an Outstanding Reviewer of the Year for the journals American Educational Research Journal(2009) and Educational Administration Quarterly (2012 & 2016). Dr. Bowers is a faculty advisor to the Harvard Strategic Data Project and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Educational Administration Quarterly and theJournal of Education Finance and is co-editor of volume 4 (2013) volume 5 (2014) and volume 6 (2015) of the Information Age Publishing book series International Research on School Leadership. He has served as Principal or co-Principal Investigator on over $1.5 million in externally funded research grant projects. In 2012-2013, he served as the 2013 AERA Division A annual meeting program chair and is currently the 2015-2017 co-chair of the AERA Districts in Research and Reform Special Interest Group.
Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist in the Department of Psychology at Yale University. He also is the Deputy Director of Yale's Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory and Head of the Emotional Intelligence Unit in the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Dr. Brackett is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 60 scholarly publications, including six social and emotional learning program for students, teachers, and school leaders. He is the co-developer of the RULER model of emotional literacy (the framework for the programs), which posits that teaching children and adults the skills associated with Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotions contributes to positive development. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Joseph E. Zins Award for Early Career Contributions to Research on Social and Emotional Learning.
Kevin P. Brady is currently an associate professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previously, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Educational and Community Programs at the City University of New York–Queens College. His current research interests include student and teacher free speech and expression, legal issues involving student discipline, special education law, school finance, blended learning distance education course development, and educational technology issues involving today’s school leaders. Brady’s peer-reviewed scholarship appears in a wide array of leading educational law, policy, and technology journals, including the Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Children’s Legal Rights Journal, Distance Education, Education and the Law, Education and Urban Society, Journal of Education Finance, Journal of Interactive Online Learning, Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, Journal of School Leadership, International Journal of Educational Reform, NASSP Bulletin, Review of Research in Education, and West’s Education Law Reporter.
Dr. Michael Cormack, Jr. is the CEO of the Barksdale Reading Institute. In this role, he sets the vision and direction for the Institute and also oversees the Mississippi Building Blocks. Before joining BRI, he served as the elementary principal at Quitman County Elementary School, a BRI partner school. Michael has also served as a teacher and a program director and manager for Teach For America. He received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College, and holds a master’s degree in elementary education from Delta State University, a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and earned his doctor of education degree in education leadership and policy studies at Vanderbilt University.
Sling De La Cruz
Sling C. De La Cruz has worked with Special Education and Bilingual students and trained her colleagues through professional development sessions in differentiated instruction, the Common Core Standards, and using the Special Education Student Information System as well as SMART Board Technology. Sling received special recognition for fostering a developmentally responsive classroom and aligning curriculum to the Common Core Standards. She also serves on her school’s Quality Review Panel. Ultimately, Sling hopes to lead a school where each child is given an equal opportunity to attain a diverse, adaptive, creative, rigorous, and multi-faceted education regardless of their background, abilities or socioeconomic status
Sonya Douglas Horsford
Sonya Douglass Horsford is an Associate Professor of Education Leadership and Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education (IUME) at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she examines the history and politics of race, inequality, and leadership in U.S. education.
Horsford's research on Black school superintendents and school desegregation remain foundational to her scholarship, which is concerned primarily with how school and community leaders fulfill the promise of equality of educational opportunity for neglected and oppressed peoples. These themes are central to Horsford's book, Learning in a Burning House: Educational Inequality, Ideology, and (Dis)Integration, and current projects examining the paradox of race and social justice leadership discourses in education research, practice, and policy.
Horsford is an active member of Divisions A and L of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).
Dr. Ellie Drago-Severson is an Associate Professor of Education leadership and Adult Learning & Leadership. Her Ed.M. and Ed.D. are from Harvard, where she taught from 1997 - 2005. As a teacher and qualitative researcher, she is passionate about school leadership for adult development, supporting principals, teachers and other school leaders in their professional and personal growth and learning, and transformational learning across the life span. Drago-Severson's work centers on bridging research and practice. Her research and teaching passions include school leadership, qualitative research methods, and supporting adult development in K-12 schools, ABE/ESOL programs and higher education contexts. Ellie is the author of three recent books: Leading Adult Learning: Supporting Adult Development in Our Schools (Corwin/Sage pub, 2009), Becoming Adult Learners: Principles and Practices for Effective Development (Teachers College Press, 2004) and Helping Teachers Learn: Principal Leadership For Adult Growth And Development (Corwin Press, 2004). Helping Teachers Learn was awarded the Outstanding Book of the Year for 2004 by the National Staff Development Council. And, NSDC selected Leading Adult Learning as their book for the Fall 2009. Ellie is currently writing, Creating Spaces that Nurture Leadership Development, which will be published by the Harvard Education Press in 2011, and Leading and Learning Together (Corwin/Sage Press, 2011). Her recent books, teaching and research explore the value of practices that support the process of adult development. A developmental psychologist, Dr. Drago-Severson's work is inspired by the idea that schools must be places where adults as well as children can grow. She served as lead researcher on the Adult Development Team of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) with Robert Kegan at Harvard University and consults to schools and educational leaders on matters of principal and teachers' professional development, and leadership that supports adult development and learning. Ellie has and does serve as teacher, program designer, program director, consultant, and professional developer in a variety of educational contexts including higher education, Adult Education Community Centers, and K-12 schools domestically and internationally.
Jennifer Dubey started in education eleven years ago as a 5th-grade teacher and Teach For America corps member in Baltimore. She received a B.A. from Cornell University in 1996 and an M.A.T. from Johns Hopkins University in 2003. As a member of SPA, Jennifer looks forward to building the critical school leadership skills needed to lead transformation in one of Miami-Dade’s turnaround schools.
Visiting Professor of Practice
Eric Nadelstern is a Professor of Practice in Educational Leadership at Teachers College/Columbia University. Prior to accepting this position, he was the Deputy Chancellor for the Division of School Support and Instruction for the New York City Department of Education from 2009-11, overseeing instructional and operational support to the city's 1700 schools. Mr. Nadelstern has also served the New York City Public Schools as Chief Schools Officer for the Division of School Support; Chief Executive Officer for Empowerment Schools, a citywide district reform initiative serving 500 schools that accepted performance contracting in return for major decision-making authority; Supervising Superintendent for the Autonomy Zone; Chief Academic Officer for New Schools; Senior Instructional Superintendent for School Improvement and Restructuring; Deputy Regional Superintendent for Region 2 in the East Bronx; and Deputy Superintendent for New and Small Bronx High Schools. As the founding Principal of the International High School at LaGuardia Community College, he created an innovative public secondary school for English Language Learners that has been widely replicated throughout the city and around the country. During his tenure with the New York City Schools, Mr. Nadelstern served in institute leadership roles at New Visions for Public Schools, Stanford University, Teachers College at Columbia University and Bank Street College of Education. Mr. Nadelstern has been recognized for his contributions in the classroom by the New York City Schools, Angelo Patri School Award for School-Based Management, the Anti-Defamation League, and the International Partnership Award. Mr. Nadelstern has been the author and the subject of numerous articles and interviews on his recent work creating a critical mass of new small schools to increase student performance, establishing school-based autonomy as a school district reform strategy to foster greater accountability for student achievement results, and reforming central office operations in the largest school district in the nation.
Jacqueline A. Stefkovich
Jacqueline A. Stefkovich is Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Education Policy Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, where she previously worked as Head of the Department of Education Policy Studies and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Research, and Faculty Development. She has taught courses related to personnel, teachers and the law, ethical decision making, and law and ethics. Before coming to Penn State, Dr. Stefkovich was a professor at Temple University where she taught law and education, qualitative research, and research design. She holds a doctoral degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a certificate in school psychology from Temple University, and a master’s degree in counseling from The University of Connecticut. Dr. Stefkovich began her career as a teacher and public school guidance counselor and has nine years of state department-level experience. She has consulted for three federally-funded regional educational laboratories and one national science laboratory. She is licensed to practice law in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Dr. Stefkovich is active in, and frequently presents papers at, conferences of national and international professional associations. She has over 75 publications. Her primary research interests focus on students' rights and school official’s responsibilities under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and ethical issues related to school leadership. She has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals as well as in law reviews and has authored/co-authored five books. Her most recent research focuses on comparative international law on school discipline complemented by field research in Sydney, Australia and Colombia, South America.
Sharon Stephens began her education career in the NYC Department of Education at Benjamin Banneker Academy where she served as the Coordinator of Special Education and founding member of the school-wide professional development team. At Banneker, she taught English and managed the Resource Room for five years. Sharon also taught Literacy, English, and ESL at the Young Adult Borough Center (YABC) in Brooklyn, NY, an alternative program for students ages 17 to 21, during the past four years. Additionally, at YABC she served as the Regents Testing Coordinator, data inquiry team member and provided professional development training for teachers. Sharon was a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows. Recently, Sharon was asked to join the Children First Network 4 in New York. Serving as an Early Intervention Services Coordinator, she assists and supports 13 schools, elementary through high, achieve academic excellence for their students.
Robin Stern, Ph.D., is a licensed psychoanalyst, educator, and author, with over twenty-five years of experience treating individuals, couples, and groups. She has developed and implemented training programs focusing on personal and professional growth, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness, emotional competencies, and ethical leadership. Dr. Stern holds a doctorate in Applied Psychology, as well as a post-doctoral certificate in Psychoanalytic Group Psychotherapy. She is on the faculty of Teachers College, Columbia University, The Training Institute for Mental Health in New York City, and is a consultant to the Health, Emotion, & Behavior Laboratory at Yale University. Robin is a founding board member of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, where she co-created the curriculum for the Woodhull retreat experience. Robin is also one of the lead facilitators of the Inner Resilience Program created post 9/11 to teach resilience and bring renewal to educators. Additionally, she is a member of the Grief and Loss Project, a cross-national consortium exploring the topic of grief, trauma and recovery. Additionally, Robin has over a decade of experience in leadership training for corporate and educational institutions with a focus on self-awareness and emotional intelligence skill and competency development. She is the co-creator, with Janet Patti, of the Star Factor Coaching model, anchored in the competencies of emotional intelligence. The Star Factor Coaching model, designed to catalyze intentional change and self-directed learning, is currently being used for educational leadership development in New York City public schools. The Star Factor model was also successfully used at The School at Columbia University, where Robin was a member of the founding faculty and a leadership coach for 5 years. Robin is the co-author of two books on emotional intelligence for educators: Understanding Emotions in the Classroom and Emotionally Intelligent School Counseling. Robin's book on psychological manipulation, The Gaslight Effect: how to spot and survive the hidden manipulation that others use to control your life, was published by Random House in 2007. Her current book Project Rebirth: Survival and the Strength of the Human Spirit from 9/11 Survivors (Dutton, 2011), follows the lives of eight brave people post 9/11 and is an inspiring book about grief, trauma and resilience.
Terri N. Watson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership and Special Education at The City College of New York. A Harlem native, her research examines the practices of urban school leaders and the impact of school reform initiatives on children and communities of color. Dr. Watson is currently engaged in a grant-funded longitudinal study of the leadership practices in a large predominately Black and Latino high school. Through this research-practice partnership, she works closely with the school’s leadership team to strengthen parent engagement and school-community relations in ways that support student success. Her scholarship may be found in the following journals and books: The Journal of Negro Education, the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, The School Community Journal, Leadership and Policy in Schools, the Journal of Ethical Educational Leadership, and in the books, Confronting Racism in Higher Education: Problems and Possibilities for Fighting Ignorance, Bigotry and Isolation (Information Age Publishing), Bridging the Theory-Practice Divide: Pedagogical Enactment for Socially Just Education (Backalong Books), and Racially and Ethnically Diverse Women Leading Education: A World View (Emerald Publishing).