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William Sterrett (VA '08)

Professor and Department Chair, Educational Leadership

Baylor University
Waco, TX

At the time of the Award, William Sterrett was:

Woodbrook Elementary School
Charlottesville, VA

Biographical Information

Bill Sterrett serves as Department Chair and Professor at Baylor University in Texas.  Previously, he served for 12 years at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he most recently served as Professor and Associate Dean. Sterrett’s research on school and district leadership has appeared in journals such as Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Leadership, and the Journal of Educational Administration. At UNCW, Sterrett led a US State Department grant called IDEA-STEM which involved providing middle school STEM professional development and related technology to teachers in Lahore, Pakistan. He helped lead a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition.  While at UNCW, Sterrett received a university teaching award for excellence in teaching at the graduate level, mentoring students, and supporting them in the profession.

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

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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.