Virginia Tech - Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement - School Leaders Institute
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The School Leaders Institute is designed specifically for school administrators who seek a professional growth experience which will challenge their thinking and increase their effectiveness as they fulfill roles requiring increased responsibility. Each program offered by the School Leaders Institute provides multiple, hands-on opportunities structured to expand leadership skills and to sharpen decision-making ability. Institute "Fellows" engage in workshops that stress participation and provide opportunities for each participant to discuss, share, question, reflect and implement what they are learning as they engage in their work day-to-day. Institute participants are expected to read and prepare for discussion. The Institute co-directors monitor and evaluate the quality of the interaction and how participants explain application of concepts. Participants will prepare and leave behind a reflective journal synopsis based on their coaching/mentoring experience, cohort meeting discussions and institute workshop activities. They will detail knowledge they gained and how it will be applied in their leadership roles.

The School Leaders Institute is a comprehensive, in-residence, high-quality professional development experience designed to prepare the next generation of educational leaders. The institute offers two different programs: the Recently Appointed Administrators Program and the Aspiring Superintendents Program. Participants in both programs engage in multiple, hands-on activities structured to hone and expand existing skills and to sharpen decision-making ability. Program participants are encouraged and expected to discuss, share, question, reflect and apply what they are learning in their day-to-day work. Session topics and related small group activities challenge each participant to synthesize information and create connections to bridge gaps between theory and practice.

Dr. E. Wayne Harris Dr. E. Wayne Harris is an experienced educator with fifty-two years of successful tenure as a teacher, school-based administrator, school superintendent, executive coach, visiting professor, and educational consultant. Dr. Harris retired as Superintendent of the Roanoke City Schools, Roanoke Virginia in 2004. Prior to Roanoke, he completed 25 years of teaching and leading in the Fairfax County Schools in Fairfax, Virginia. He created E. Wayne Harris LLC in 2004 and has served successfully as an executive search associate, planning facilitator, executive coach, strategic planner and technical advisor.

Following his retirement as Superintendent of Roanoke City Schools, Dr. Harris was appointed a COTA Fellow and Visiting Professor at Virginia Tech. He designed and implemented the School Leaders Institute (SLI), which for the past fifteen years has offered the Recently Appointed Administrators Program and the Aspiring Superintendents Program. The School Leaders Institute’s focus is leadership development, training, and capacity building. A total of seven hundred forty educational leaders from eighty-four different school districts have attended the School Leaders Institute.

Dr. Harris, one of 19 superintendents trained to participate in the VASS Executive Coaching service, has been actively engaged as an executive coach for superintendents who work in rural, suburban, and urban districts in Virginia (Falls Church, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Petersburg, Radford, and Roanoke Cities, and Amelia, Nottoway, Prince Edward, Prince William, Lunenburg, Montgomery, Mecklenburg, Tazewell, and Greensville Counties).

Dr. Harris has been involved as a facilitator of initiatives, throughout North America, including keynote presentations, workshops, strategic planning, technical and administrative support, superintendent searches, and school board orientation.

Dr. Harris is an Associate with Cambridge Strategic Services and has assisted thirteen different superintendents with development of their system’s strategic plan. He is an Associate with BWP & Associates and has facilitated thirty-six searches to identify candidates who were hired in Virginia school systems.

Dr. Harris is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Urban Superintendents Program (USP) and was the first graduate of the program to be appointed superintendent. He received his Doctor of Education degree and M Ed. from Harvard, a master’s degree from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree from Shepherd College.

Photo of Michelle Day Michelle Day has spent a large portion of her 32 years in the field of education finding innovative ways to ensure all students, regardless of their economic status, race, ability, or zip code, are provided with a high-quality education. She has served as a second-grade teacher, assistant principal, principal, and instructional director at the central office level for 20 years. In 2010 she started an education consulting company where she and her team have supported over 3,500 educators and 30,000 students. Michelle graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration. She is a doctoral student at Virginia State University, where she will graduate with her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership in May 2023.

As the Creative Education Organizer of MBD Coaching & Consulting, Michelle supports and works with educators to ensure students are engaged in learning experiences that prepare them for this diverse and globally changing world; and she works side-by-side, training and supporting school and district leaders to ensure they are equipped with the tools, skills, and resources necessary to make that happen. Michelle is a transformational leader who leads with her heart and touches the hearts of others to bring about systemic and impactful change. She is honored and grateful for the God-given opportunities she has been provided along her amazing journey and looks forward to continuing the work of transforming schools, changing lives, and working to make a positive impact in the lives of students, educators, and leaders at home and abroad.

B.S.- Early Childhood Education, Virginia Tech
M.A.- Educational Administration, Virginia Tech
Ed.D- Educational Leadership, Virginia State University (expected, May 2023)

Photo of Lois Berlin Lois Berlin has been an educator for more than 40 years in the United States and the United Kingdom. She taught middle school special needs students for five years in a residential school near Aberdeen, Scotland and, following her return to the United States in 1980, became a teacher in the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). During her 24 years in ACPS, she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. In 2004 she was appointed Superintendent of the Falls Church City Public Schools in Falls Church, Virginia where she served until her retirement in 2011. In 2017, Lois came out of retirement to serve as Interim Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools for one year. She is once again happily semi-retired and spends time consulting and coaching school administrators.

Lois received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Virginia Tech, her master’s degree in early childhood/special education from George Washington University and her doctorate in educational leadership from Virginia Tech and she is an IPEC certified executive coach.

Lois lives with her husband Larry Stuebing, also a VA Tech graduate in mechanical and architectural engineering, in Washington, DC. They have no children but serve as a home for many wayward nieces and nephews!

Dr. E. Wayne Harris Dr. N. Wayne Tripp
is a Fellow in the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement (COTA) at Virginia Tech and an Educational Leadership Consultant. He is a member of the faculty of the Virginia Tech School Leaders Institute, which includes both the Recently Appointed Administrators Program and the Aspiring Superintendents Program. He serves as the Institute’s liaison to the School of Education’s Educational Leadership Program.

Dr. Tripp served as Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Area Leader in the Educational Leadership Program from 2006-2012. In addition to teaching doctoral and master’s degree courses in the Educational Leadership Program, Dr. Tripp chaired research studies for 16 students who successfully completed their doctorates. He also supervised internships for dozens of students enrolled in the Virginia Tech Program for the Preparation of Supervisors and School Principals. Dr. Tripp was a member of the Virginia Tech Principal Leadership Program, which provided coaching and support to principals of 30 challenged schools across Virginia.

Prior to joining the staff at Tech, Dr. Tripp served seventeen and one-half years as Division Superintendent in Salem, Virginia. He also served three terms as Superintendent of the Roanoke Valley Regional Program for Low Incidence Special Education Populations. In March 2003, the fifteen member superintendents of Region VI named Dr. Tripp Superintendent of the Year for the region. In May of that same year, Dr. Tripp was selected by the Virginia Association of School Superintendents as the 2004 Virginia Superintendent of the Year.

Dr. Tripp worked as Director of Instruction in Salem before being named superintendent. In that capacity, he had the unique opportunity to be a member of the team that founded the City of Salem School Division. He also served as Interim Principal of West Salem Elementary School, Principal of Covington High School, Principal of Lancaster High School, Assistant Principal of New Castle High School, Federal Programs Director for Craig County Public Schools, and as a Teacher of English and History. He also coached football, basketball, and baseball.

Dr. Tripp currently works as a coach in the Virginia Association of School Superintendents (VASS) Executive Coaching Service, having coached 12 superintendents, several of whom he continues to mentor. He has also coached nine principals and one assistant principal for the Roanoke County school division. He is also a consultant for school boards in Virginia, conducting leadership training for administrators and school board development activities.  

B.A., Virginia Tech, History
M.S., Radford University, Educational Administration
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, Virginia Tech, Educational Administration
Ed.D., Virginia Tech. Educational Administration

Photo of Michelle Day Dr. Lois T. Graham is an educator with 39 years of experience in public schools. Her work has been in Virginia and primarily in Bedford and Montgomery County. She began her career as a special education teacher in Montgomery County and later served as an inclusion specialist. She moved to Bedford County in 1991 where she first served as a teacher at Otter River Elementary school. She then became an assistant principal and helped open the newly constructed Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. In 2003, she was appointed as principal of Montvale Elementary. In 2005, Dr. Graham returned to Montgomery County to serve as the principal of Margaret Beeks Elementary. She became the Director of Elementary Education in 2007. Following this, she was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. She served as the Deputy Superintendent through 2019. After retiring, she continued to work part-time as the Internal Coordinator for Strategic Planning for Montgomery County Public Schools.

Dr. Graham attended Radford University where she earned degrees in Elementary Education and Mental Retardation. She also earned her Master’s degree in Emotional Disturbance from Radford University. She received her Doctorate of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Virginia. Dr. Graham has enjoyed a variety educational opportunities including serving as adjunct faculty for Radford University, working as a University Student Teaching Supervisor for James Madison University, and presenting at several professional development events related to reading instruction, assessments, and inclusive practices. She joined the School Leaders Institute for the Recently Administrators Program (RAA) in 2019 and began work with the Aspiring Superintendents Program in 2021. She currently resides in Christiansburg Virginia with her husband Milton.

B.S.- Elementary Education and Mental Retardation, Radford University
M.S.- Emotional Disturbance, Radford University
Ed.D- Educational Leadership, University of Virginia

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