DPLA Project Team
Bonnie C. Fusarelli, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Leadership at North Carolina State University and a NC State University Faculty Scholar.
She earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s in School Leadership from UT San Antonio and her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from The Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Fusarelli’s research focuses on educational leadership and policy, the politics of school improvement, educational equity, and organizational change, with a particular focus on state-level education reform and leadership development for rural schools (Nearly half of students in North Carolina and one-third of students nationally attend rural schools).
To support her work, Dr. Fusarelli has received over $16 million in grant funding from a number of organizations including the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
She has authored or co-authored over 50 manuscripts which are published in various research journals including: Educational Policy, Journal of School Leadership, Leadership and Policy in Schools, Journal of School Public Relations, The International Journal of Educational Research, Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, Public Administration and Management, Planning and Changing and the Peabody Journal of Education.
Dr. Fusarelli is the recipient of numerous teaching awards both at the K-12 and university level, including being an inductee into NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers.
Her current work is primarily focused on her role as Principal Investigator and Director of the Northeast Leadership Academy, an initiative to prepare innovative school leaders for rural schools (go.ncsu.edu/nela2.0 and go.ncsu.edu/nela-dst).
Dr. Fusarelli can be reached at email@example.com
Lance D. Fusarelli, Ph.D. has been at NC State since 2003. He conducts research in the politics of education, federal education policy (NCLB), poverty and demographic change, and on superintendents/school board relations. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1998, M.A. in Government (UT-Austin, 1994), and B.A. in History and American Studies (Case Western Reserve University). In 2012, he was ranked 79th in the nation among scholars whose research contributes most substantially to public debates about schools and schooling. He serves as co-editor of the Series in Education Policy (Palgrave Macmillan) and serves on the Editorial Board of Educational Researcher, the Journal of School Public Relations, and the National Advisory Board, UCEA Center for Research on the Superintendency and School Governance. He serves on the advisory board of the Hill Center in Durham.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesley G. Wirt, Ed.D. serves as the Associate Director of the Northeast Leadership Academy at North Carolina State University. She earned her undergraduate degrees in psychology and early childhood education from James Madison University in VA. She taught elementary school for two years in VA. She then decided to work in higher education and received both her master and doctoral degrees in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. She has worked at NC State University and Edgecombe Community College recruiting prospective students, advising new and current students, tracking student achievement, planning programs, and enhancing student retention and success. She greatly enjoys working with the NELA students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Brenda Champion, Ed.D. serves as Executive Director of NC State’s Leadership Academies. She assists Dr. Bonnie Fusarelli and oversees all four leadership academies – The Northeast Leadership Academy 2.0 (NELA 2.0), The Northeast Leadership Academy – District and School Transformation (NELA-DST), The Durham Principal Leadership Academy (DPLA), and the North Carolina Leadership Academy (NCLA). She earned her undergraduate degree in government from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. With two elementary education courses taken in the summer of 1986, her teaching career in NYC began that fall. After three years of teaching, feeling a desire to be a student again, she took a leave of absence for one year and received a Master’s Degree in Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. Her love of learning compelled her to obtain a second Master’s Degree of Science in Elementary School Science and Environmental Education from Brooklyn College. After which she held various positions at both the school and district level in NYC. Finally in 2004, she decided that she wanted to make an impact as an instructional leader and applied to the NYC Leadership Academy and was accepted as an Aspiring Principal. Upon completion of the program, she became the principal of a middle school with a large student body (1400) in Brooklyn where she remained for 8 years. During her tenure as principal the urge to study came once more. She earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Understanding that change is inevitable and can present new challenges as well as opportunities, she joined NCDPI as a School Transformation Coach and has supported principals and their school communities in Halifax County.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Ashley, Ed.D. serves as the director of North Carolina State University’s Educational Leadership Academy for Durham (Durham Principal Leadership Academy). Dr. Ashley has a passion for student success and is committed to ensuring high student achievement by building high-performing schools and districts. Her recent prior experience leading District and School Transformation for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction focused on data-documented school and district turnaround. She oversaw the successful implementation of the NC Turnaround Initiative as well as NC’s ambitious Turnaround effort for 12 districts and 123 schools as part of a Race to the Top grant. In 2013, she received the NC Public School Forum Jay Robinson Leadership Award for exemplary leadership with a statewide impact. Before returning to her home state of NC in 2006, she was Assistant Superintendent for Instruction of Kentucky’s Owensboro Public Schools— identified by Standard and Poor’s as an “outperforming” Title I district where student achievement far exceeded predictive variables. She began her career as a teacher before becoming a counselor and school psychologist. These experiences solidified her knowledge of how students learn. She was a middle school principal in an inner-city magnet school in Charlotte, NC; principal of a large comprehensive high school in State College, PA; and, after a family relocation to KY, she became the principal of an elementary school identified as low performing. Following a short period of great collaboration, this school became the highest achieving school in KY for multiple years based on statewide assessment data. Among multiple honors, the school was featured on the Today Show for educational innovation and selected as a National Blue Ribbon School. Considerable years as a principal in diverse settings developed Pat’s deep understanding of the critical role a principal plays in a school success. Her undergraduate degree in history is from Duke University and her master’s degree and doctorate are from NC State University. She studied in India on a Fulbright and is currently Teaching Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University.
She can be reached at email@example.com