Dr. Bill Sterrett serves as Department Chair and Professor of Educational Leadership at Baylor University. Before joining Baylor in 2022, Sterrett served as Associate Dean and Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Prior to Sterrett’s 12-year tenure at UNCW, he was a principal and teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sterrett earned his undergraduate degree at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he studied middle grades education and was a member of the men's basketball team. He then pursued his M.Ed. and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, studying educational administration. He received the Milken National Educator award as a Title I school principal in Charlottesville, and has since helped present the award to educators in Virginia, North Carolina, and in schools throughout Texas.

Sterrett’s research focuses on school improvement, including sustainable green schools and districts; digital principals and technology-savvy superintendents; and collaborative school leadership. Sterrett has written ASCD books on school leadership and articles in journals such as the Journal of Educational Administration, the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, and Educational Administration Quarterly. Sterrett collaboratively led an effort involving three schools that received the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School designation. As Lead Principal Investigator of the U.S. State Department grant IDEA-STEM, Sterrett traveled with an interdisciplinary team of faculty and doctoral students to Lahore, Pakistan, to engage in STEM-focused professional development. He served on an NSF-sponsored grant effort connecting first-year university STEM students with a K-8 partner school to foster STEM learning and engagement. Dr. Sterrett has co-authored publications with numerous students at the undergraduate, Master’s, and doctoral levels on topics including principal instructional leadership, sustainability leadership, PDS partnership efforts, student-athlete perspectives, and school improvement.

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Degrees (2)

B.S. in Middle School Ed (Grades 5-9)
Asbury University
Wilmore, Kentucky

Ph.D. in Education: Administration & Supervision
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia

Certifications (1)

Superintendent, Principal, Science 6-9, Social Studies 6-9
NC 2020-2025

Research Interests (5)

Time management for school leaders

Time is a valuable resource, yet often a challenge for busy school leaders. In this ASCD Arias book titled Short on TimeI overview how principals can maximize instructional time by making smart use of transitions and recruiting teachers to build the school scheduled lead efficient meetings that cultivate professional growth and promote collegial learning. And as a supplement to the book, I have provided professional development with emerging and current school leaders with these 100 Action Steps. This research article examines the role of principals valuing teachers’ time and implications for school leadership.

Synergy of Supervision

Principals and teachers working together to improve instruction can transform the school into an engaging student-centered learning environment. Principals are uniquely positioned to ignite teacher leadership. When this work happens in principal-preparation and teacher-preparation programs, it can be a transformative process. I have engaged in studies looking at principals and teachers’ time, principal perspectives of instructional delivery, and collaboration between teachers, principals, university faculty, and district leaders that promotes collaborative transformation of interdisciplinary learning. Read more about bringing principal preparation and teacher preparation programs together in the Journal of Educational Supervision.

Green Schools and Sustainability in Educational Leadership

As a researcher and university collaborator, I have worked with schools and districts who have been recognized as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School (ED-GRS) awardees. This ED-GRS study provides insights on perceived benefits of sustainability work in schools, and this research article overviews health & wellness, STEM/ outdoors education, and stewardship of resources. Read about how university faculty, staff, and school partners collaborated together to pursue ED-GRS designation in this PDS Partners article. And another article focuses on students as change agents in green/ sustainability learning and leadership.

Tech-Savvy Principal and Superintendent Leadership

Digital principals and tech-savvy superintendents lead through innovation, encouraging teacher leadership, maximizing social presence, and fostering professional learning networks to bolster the expertise of their schools and districts. I have co-authored research publications in the Journal of Organizational and Educational Leadership, the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, the Journal of Educational Administration and Educational Administration Quarterly.

School Improvement and Innovation

Principals and teachers work together to foster school improvement in areas ranging from targeted, short-cycle focus areas to long-term strategic planning. The principal should seek to understand, and involve multiple perspectives in this work and protect teachers’ time through scheduling, minimizing interruptions, and providing coverage to maximize their involvement and leadership in this work. Principals play an important role in empowering a shared leadership approach to school improvement. My ASCD book Insights into Action emphasizes the importance of innovation and improvement through the lens of school leadership.