Department of Educational Leadership

The Educational Leadership Department primarily serves to prepare for K-12 education in Texas and beyond. The department houses both a Doctor of Education program and Masters of Education program. Principal and Superintendent preparation programs are also a major part of the department’s responsibility.

The department is dedicated to addressing the needs of its diverse student population through the offering of courses in modes that are mindful of time, geographic, and economic constraints placed on these students.  In response to this obligation, most of the coursework in both the doctoral and masters programs are now fully online. Some certification courses do incorporate onsite learning to satisfy state requirements for Principal and Superintendent preparation programs.

The Department of Educational Leadership graduates more than 200 students each year and is one of the largest administrator preparation programs in the state. Faculty utilizes a variety of innovative teaching processes to reach a diversified student population across the state.

Texas A&M University-Commerce has one of the highest graduation rates among Texas public institutions for doctoral programs. The Department of Educational Leadership ranks near the top in Texas in the preparation of K-12 Principals and Superintendents. Our programs are designed for the working practitioner while holding to the highest standards of scholarship and professionalism.

Meet Our Faculty                                                 


  • Melissa   Arrambide

    Melissa Arrambide has over 18 years experience in public education. Experiences include teacher, assistant principal, principal, Director of Special Services, as well as Independent Consultant for districts throughout the metroplex.

    Areas of Research:

    Second language acquisition and leadership.

  • Julia Ballenger

    Faculty member of the Masters in Ed. Administration and Principal Cert. Program. She has served in administrative and teaching roles in public schools, at the state level, and in education for the past 40 years.

    Areas of Research:

    STEM, mentoring, principal program evaluation, social justice leadership, and cultural and global competency.

  • Arthur J Borgemenke

    Arthur Borgemenke is an Assistant Professor of EdD. In addition to his Higher Education service at three universities, he has many years of public education classroom teaching, campus and central office administrative experience.

    Areas of Research:

    Developing efficacious methods of delivering terminal degrees to under-served populations.

  • Deborah  Goodwin

    Dr. Goodwin has served as a secondary teacher, an elementary principal, an assistant superintendent, a consultant to school districts in academic distress, and an assistant professor of educational leadership.

    Areas of Research:

    Effective Organizational Operations and Differentiated Instruction.

  • Kriss Kemp Graham

  • Chuck Holt

    Dr. Holt serves as the coordinator for the EDAD Doctoral Program and Executive Director of the School Leadership Alliance. He served as a public school Principal and Superintendent for 25 years.

    Areas of Research:

    School Finance, Teacher Efficacy and Leadership.

  • Jackie Jones

    Jackie Jones has served in administrative and teaching roles in Texas at the pre-kindergarten through university graduate level. She serves as a Lead Evaluator volunteer for SACS/AdvancED.

    Areas of Research:

    School accreditation and improvement

  • Ava Munoz

    She has taught Educational Leadership, at the university level, for the past 7 years. She previously worked in Texas P-12 schools, as a teacher and school administrator.

    Areas of Research:

    Superintendency, gender equity, social justice and mentoring.

  • Ortloff  Warren

    Ortloff has served as school administrator and teacher elementary through high school. School administrative experience includes international assignments in Colombia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.

    Areas of Research:

    Comparative education, program development, educator value systems and motivation.

  • Paul M Sullivan

    Paul M. Sullivan is an interim professor in the Educational Leadership Department. He received his EdD from the University of Georgia and has recently served on two NEASC accreditation teams (Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi)

    Areas of Research:

    Program improvement and global educational awareness, as it relates to refugee education.

  • Nathan R Templeton

    Nathan R. Templeton is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. Dr. Templeton has served Texas P-12 schools in various administrative roles, including fine arts coordinator and campus principal.

    Areas of Research:

    Academic achievement and the achievement gaps, mentoring of educators, and improving the professional practice of principals.

  • Ray Thompson

    Ray Thompson has served in administrative/teaching roles at the university level for the past seven years. Previously, he worked in Texas P-12 schools as teacher and superintendent and for TEA.

    Areas of Research:

    Educational leadership, instruction, and online education.

  • James Vornberg

    Jim Vornberg has been a faculty member at A&M commerce for the past 40 years, serving as professor, department head, and interim dean. He is editor of the Texas Public School Organization and Administration text now in its 14th edition.

    Areas of Research:

    Principalship and school facilities

  • Mary Webb

    Mary Webb is an Assistant Professor and a Superintendent in Arkansas. She has served in public schools as a teacher and an administrator for 38 years.

    Areas of Research:

    Gender studies, TESS and safety in public schools