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William Sterrett

William Sterrett (VA '08)

Associate Dean of Teacher Education and Outreach

University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, NC

At the time of the Award, William Sterrett was:

Woodbrook Elementary School
Charlottesville, VA

Biographical Information

Bill Sterrett serves as Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Outreach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, in the Watson College of Education.  This work involves school and district partnerships, engagement with the learning community, assessment and accreditation work, support of the university K-8 lab school, research and scholarship support, and coordination with other university departments. Sterrett’s research centers on the collaborative role of school leadership, including the principal, teacher leadership, and school improvement & innovation. His work has appeared in journals such as Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Leadership, and the Journal of Educational Administration. Sterrett has involved UNCW students—ranging from undergraduate to doctoral-level—in grant work, research projects, publications, and presentations. Sterrett has been a faculty member at UNCW since 2010, and has served as a graduate program coordinator, working with teacher leaders and principals.   At UNCW, Sterrett received a university teaching award for excellence in teaching at the graduate level, mentoring students, and supporting them in the profession.  He led a US State Department grant called IDEA-STEM which involved providing middle school STEM teaching professional development and related technology to teachers in Lahore, Pakistan.

As principal, Sterrett fostered a community of collaboration, motivation and high expectations at Woodbrook Elementary School, a highly diverse Distinguished Title I School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sterrett was noted for sharing with colleagues a deep knowledge of instructional best practices and implemented innovative strategies to enrich learning for all students. An advocate of assessment and effective data analysis, Sterrett worked with the district math specialist to design and implement math exit slips, which students completed several times a week to assess their level of learning. He and his staff used the data from these slips to determine next steps. Dr. Sterrett also introduced the Second Step character education program, visiting every homeroom with the guidance counselor to teach character lessons on a regular basis. While having an increasing population of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, Sterrett's strategies helped drive significant increases in test scores at Woodbrook, with students consistently achieving 90+ percent pass rates on the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments. Sterrett served on division committees including the Calendar Committee, the Math Specialist Committee and Leadership Preparation and Transition. Dr. Sterrett was published in numerous educational journals and presented with his colleagues at educational conferences. His innovative leadership helped Woodbrook earn a 2008 Governor's Board of Education VIP Excellence Award for meeting state and federal accountability benchmarks for two consecutive years. Sterrett earned his B.S. from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. 

Related Connections

Article: A Lifelong Student Teacher

Article: Virginia Milken Educators React to the Violence in Charlottesville

Article: Twitter for Teachers

Article: Looking Inward

Milestone: Bill Sterrett (VA '08) Publishes Book on Successful School Leaders

Additional Information


2005 Ph.D. in Education Administration at University of Virginia

1999 Asbury College, B.S.