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Ph.D in Education Leadership Program

In the Department of Organization and Leadership

Tom Haferd

With training and experience in operational systems and organizational dynamics, Tom Haferd turned his attention to teaching and learning more than 25 years ago toapply his skills toward developing more effective education programs. More recently he has focused his attention on school improvement, leadership development, implementation science and systems level change by providing technical assistance and consulting for urban public school districts, institutes of higher education, and state departments of education. In his research, he employs quantitative methodologies to study the organizational psychology of teachers and principals toward understanding the development of trust among school professionals.

Haferd is a development specialist for EDC’s team for the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools, a project funded by the Institute for Education Sciences in partnership with Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, and Florida State Universities. As lead facilitator in one of the large school districts in the Center’s partnership, he coordinates the design and implementation of transferring effective practices from high valued added schools to other school in order to bring effective practices to scale.

In previous engagements at EDC he worked with the New York Comprehensive Center’s educator effectiveness team to provide policy guidance and research to the NY state department of education. He is the co-author of a report on new teacher evaluation implementation: Changing Cultures and Building Capacity . Haferd was also Deputy Director of the School Leadership Project, a large-scale initiative of The Wallace Foundation to provide technical assistance to state, district, and university efforts aimed at improving principal development and support. He focused his efforts on helping improve school leadership development programs using a suite of EDC’s Quality Measures tools and protocols for self-assessment and redesign.

Before joining EDC, he was associate director of the Teachers College Principals Academy. For more than a decade he taught high school math and science in the Boston and New York City Public Schools, and taught aspiring early childhood and elementary teachers at Wheelock College, where he is an adjunct member of the faculty. Senator John Kerry recognized Haferd for excellence, innovation and teamwork in teaching with the GTE Growth Initiative for Teachers Award (1999).

Haferd received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA from Columbia Business School, an EdM from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a PhD in education leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

Jessica Blum-DeStefano

Jessica Blum-DeStefano earned her PhD in Education Leadership in May 2014 from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Her doctoral studies were inspired by her rewarding work as a teacher and school administrator in alternative education settings—and by the remarkable students who fueled her enthusiasm, excitement, and commitment during the nearly ten years she spent in schools.  Jessica’s doctoral dissertation extended and built upon her experiences as a practitioner, and explored how 19 students in two alternative high schools described, understood, and experienced good teachers.  More specifically, her work highlights the promise of mutual recognition and authenticity (for both students and teachers), and helps bring these important but often under-recognized dimensions of effective teaching and learning into greater focus.  Her research was supported by a Teachers College Doctoral Dissertation Grant and by an award from the Teachers College Office of Policy and Research.

During her time as a doctoral student, Jessica welcomed diverse opportunities to learn through teaching fellowships (in the Summer Principals Academy, the Urban Education Leaders Program, research methods seminars, and other courses), as well as research and writing collaborations with faculty.  In particular, Jessica remains extremely grateful for the support and mentorship of her advisor, Professor Ellie Drago-Severson, and the life-changing experience of learning from and teaching with her about the powerful role adult development can and needs to play in school improvement. 

Jessica’s current work and teaching bridge these parallel, complementary lines of inquiry, and focus on the inextricable interconnection of students, teachers, and leaders in socio-historical context.  Drawing from developmental psychology, history, philosophy, and organizational studies, her research explores how individuals can conceptualize, inhabit, and transform these roles (and themselves) in order to build capacity and affect change collectively.

Jessica has published work in both peer-reviewed and practitioner-oriented journals, and has presented at national conferences, including AERA, UCEA, and Learning Forward.  She is co-author of Learning for Leadership (Corwin/Sage, 2013).

Jared Boyce

Jared Boyce is a graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Education Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research interests include instructional leadership, adult-level conflict in schools, principal preparation programs, and combining organizational theory with education research. While at Teachers College, Jared worked worked with all of the other Education Leadership programs: Summer Principals Academy, Klingenstein Center, and Urban Education Leaders Program. Before coming to Teachers College he worked for Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies as a school administrator for the Stanford Online High School and has seven years of experience with online education. Jared holds a B.S. in Symbolic Systems, M.A. in Philosophy, and M.A. in Education from Stanford University.

Jared completed multiple research projects as a part of his dissertation work, including a project that won a Dean's Grant for Student Research award. One of these projects was a latent class analysis of principals who move from or leave their schools, examining the principals themselves instead of looking for individual predictive factors. Another project was performing a multilevel factor analysis to investigate whether or not there are differences in how individual teachers, teachers collectively, and principals view education leadership factors in schools. Both projects use data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Schools and Staffing Survey.

When not working on research, Jared involved himself in several service opportunities. At the national level, Jared was a member of the AERA (American Educational Research Association) Division A Graduate Student Committee and served as Chair for their Foster-Polite Scholarship. At the university level, last year Jared served as the Student Representative for an Education Leadership Faculty Search Committee. At the department level, Jared served as the Chair for the Education Leadership Research Journal Club, a student-led organization supporting a community of research among the doctoral students and faculty within the Education Leadership program.


Justin Barbaro

Dr. Justin Barbaro is a former PhD student in Education Leadership and Graduate Research Assistant at the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership at Teachers College. His research foci include international school leadership and management, role transition theory, and school choice. His dissertation investigated how international school heads experience the surprise, orientation, and socialization phases when transitioning to new schools. The practical application of this research will help inform how both international school heads and the boards tasked with their hire plan strategically for successful headship transitions.

Prior to TC, Justin was a 3rd grade teacher at I.G. Conchos Elementary School as a Teach for America corps member in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also the recipient of a Fulbright grant awarded to study the Korean education system while teaching English as a second language at Bullo Elementary School in Gwangju, South Korea. Justin holds and M.Ed in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and B.A.s in History and Archaeology from the University of Virginia.

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