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  • Educational Leadership
    Educational Leadership

    Educational Leadership

  • Department of Educational Leadership
    Department of Educational Leadership

    Educational Leadership

  • Department of Educational Leadership
    Department of Educational Leadership

    Educational Leadership

  • Educational Leadership
    Educational Leadership

    Educational Leadership

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 25 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, leadership, restorative discipline practices, dual credit and higher education

  • Julia Ballenger

    Dr.Julia Ballenger,Professor,teaches in both Doctoral and Master’s Program in the Dept of EDL.She teaches Qualitative Research Methodology,Research Design,Administration of Instructional Practices,Doctoral Professional Writing& Dissertation Writing.

    Areas of Research:

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

  • Danna  Beaty

    Danna Beaty is an associate professor in the Department of EdL. Danna is an active member of AERA and many of the SIGs focused on her research interests: the Superintendency, gender & equity issues, school improvement and leadership preparation.

    Areas of Research:

    Gender and equity issues; Superintendency; Organizational change & improvement; Critical and Interpretive Policy Analysis

  • Teresa (TJ)  Farler

    Teresa (TJ) Farler has over 40 years of experience in public education.She has served as a superintendent, Asst superintendent, principal, teacher, and coordinator at the Texas Education Agency.She has also served as an adjunct instructor for TAMUC.

    Areas of Research:

    Leadership development, mentoring leaders, professional learning communities, and curriculum, instruction, and assessment

  • Kriss Kemp - Graham

    Dr. Kemp-Graham worked in the public school system for over twenty years in Brooklyn, NY and Newark, NJ. Dr. Kemp-Graham has worked as a teacher, supervisor, Vice Principal, Summer School Principal and Principal.

    Areas of Research:

    Urban Schools, Urban School Leadership, School Leader Cultural Competence, School to Prison Pipeline.

  • 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.

  • Mei   Jiang

    Dr. Jiang has more than 10 years experiences teaching in higher education. She currently teaches doctoral statistics and research courses in the Department of Educational Leadership.

    Areas of Research:

    Online learning, Competency-based Education.

  • Ava  Muñoz

    Dr. Ava Muñoz has taught Educational Leadership for the past 13 years. She previously worked in Texas P-12 schools, for 19 years, as a special education teacher, teacher of the visually impaired, and school administrator.

    Areas of Research:

    Gender Equity in School Leadership, Culturally Responsive School Leadership, and Mentoring

  • Sharonda  Pruitt

    Sharonda Pruitt has over 20 years in public school education.She has served as a teacher,dean of instruction,associate principal,principal,and legislative coordinator.Currently,she is a clinical instructor and the director of the ASPIRE Program

    Areas of Research:

    urban and rural education; Race, culture and Equity in education

  • Nathan   R Templeton

    Dr.Templeton is Associate Professor & Director of Meadows Principal Leadership Center in Dept of EdL.Dr. Templeton has served Texas P-12 schools in various administrative roles,including fine arts coordinator,campus principal & leadership consultant.

    Areas of Research:

    Academic achievement and the achievement gaps, mentoring of educators, leadership in rural schools and improving the professional practice of principals.

  • Ray Thompson

    Ray Thompson has served in administrative/teaching roles at the university level for the past thirteen 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

  • Peter  Williams

    Dr.Williams has taught English as a second language in Honduras,adult literacy in correctional education & research in doctoral leadership.He has experience mentoring doctoral students,leading in higher education,& consulting in online training devlo

    Areas of Research:

    Adult learning, online learning, doctoral education, social support, and the intersection of spirituality and leadership.

  • Pam Winn

    Dr. Pam Winn has over 32 years of experience in education including teaching, coaching, campus administration, service center consultant, and private consulting. She has been in higher education for over 17 years and has served in leadership roles.

    Areas of Research:

    instructional leadership, instructional coaching, curriculum development and alignment, campus leadership.