Image of William Sterrett

Dr. William Sterrett

Associate Professor, Interim Associate Dean of Teacher Education & Outreach

Department of Educational Leadership

University of North Carolina Wilmington
Watson College of Education, Room 160
601 South College Road
Wilmington, North Carolina 28403-5991
phone: (910) 962-4174
fax: (910) 962-3609

For more information on the MSA program > 
Updated MSA Handbook >

Courses Taught

EDL 530, Curriculum
EDL 567, Learning Centered Supervision
EDL 569, Pre-Leadership Internship
EDL 570, Administrative Internship: Leadership I
EDL 571, Administrative Internship: Leadership II
EDL 578, Practicum for Learning Centered Supervision
EDL 621, Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
EDL 661, Educational/ Government Internship
LED 211, Principles of Leadership


Ph.D., Education Administration and Supervision, University of Virginia
M.Ed., Administration and Supervision, University of Virginia
B.S., Middle School Education, Asbury College


Research Interests


William Sterrett is an associate professor and interim Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Outreach.  He previously served as Graduate Program Coordinator for the Master’s in School Administration (MSA) and add-on licensure programs. Sterrett has researched and written extensively about the collaborative role of school leadership, including the role of the principal, teacher leadership, and school improvement & innovation. His articles have appeared in journals such as Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Leadership, the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, and the Kappa Delta Pi Record.  He has also authored three ASCD books, including Insights into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works, a 2011 ASCD Member Book. Sterrett’s teaching centers on instructional leadership, managerial leadership, leadership theory, and field-based leadership applications. Sterrett recently led the US State Department funded grant “Innovating and Designing Engaged Applications in STEM Education” (IDEA-STEM), a collaborative effort with the University of Education Lahore in Pakistan.

Prior to coming to UNCW in 2010, Sterrett served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Charlottesville, Virginia. He received the Milken National Educator award as a principal with Albemarle County Schools in 2008, and was recognized by the VA General Assembly in 2009. 

Sterrett received his B.S. in Middle Grades Education from Asbury College (KY) and his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration & Supervision from the University of Virginia. Sterrett and his wife and their three school-aged sons reside in Wilmington, NC, where his family enjoys basketball and the beach. 

Selected Recent Publications

Sterrett W., Parker, M.A., & Mitzner, K. (2018).  Maximizing teacher time: The collaborative leadership role of the principal. Journal of Organizational and Educational Leadership, 3(2), 1-26. Link.

Richardson, J. W. & Sterrett, W. (2018).  District technology leadership then and now: A comparative study of district technology leadership from 2001-2014.  Educational Administration Quarterly, 1-28, First published April 5, 2018, Link.

Sterrett, W. (2017). How to make the most of your time as principal. Education Week, 37 (13), 23.  Link.

Sterrett, W. & Richardson, J. W. (2017). Cultivating innovation in an age of accountability: Tech-savvy leadership.  Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 20 (4), 27-41.

Sterrett, W. (2016). From Cortez to Crozet: Voices from two green schools.  Kappa Delta Pi Record, 52 (3), 137-142. Link to journal.

Sterrett, W. & Imig, S. (2015).  Learning green: Perspectives from US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools educators.  The Journal of Sustainability Education, 10 (3), 1-15. Link to article.

Sterrett, W. & Irizarry, E. (2015).  Beyond “autopsy data”: Bolstering teacher leadership, morale, and school improvement.  Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 18 (1), 3-13. Link to journal.

Selected Recent Presentations

Sterrett, W. (March 25, 2018). ASCD Annual Conference, “Igniting Teacher Leadership: Empowering innovation and collaboration in your school,” ASCD, Boston, MA.

Sterrett, W. (January 10, 2018). North Carolina Principal Fellows, “Leading and learning as a collaborative, innovative leader,” UNC Center for School Leadership Development, Chapel Hill, NC.

Richardson, J.W., Sterrett, W.; McLeod, S., & Sauers, N. (November 17, 2017). University Council for Educational Administration, “From innovation to integration: Lessons learned from 15 years of district technology leadership research,” UCEA, Denver, CO.

Sterrett, W., Parker, M. A, & Mitzner, K. (November 19, 2016). University Council for Educational Administration, "Valuing teacher's time: Data, challenges, and principal insights," UCEA, Detroit, MI.

Richardson, J. & Sterrett, W. (November 19, 2016). University Council for Educational Administration, "Learning from tech-savvy superintendents: Redefining leadership roles and re-imagining student and staff success," UCEA, Detroit, MI.

Reid-Griffin, A. R., Sterrett, W., & Stanback, A., American Educational Research Association, "Creating Communities of Engagement: Project Based Learning Initiative through a Professional Development System," AERA Annual Meeting, Washington, DC. (April 9, 2016).

Sterrett, W., ASCD Pre-conference Institute session: "Short on Time: Making time to learn and lead collaboratively," ASCD Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA. (April 1, 2016).

Recently Funded Projects

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Sterrett and a collaborative team received a US State Department Grant to collaborate with educators in Pakistan on middle school STEM teaching and learning.  Sterrett serves as lead Principal Investigator (PI) for the one-year sponsored effort.  Read more here.

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Sterrett serves as Lead PI on a three-year competitive UNCW Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning (ETEAL) grant called Innovation in Teaching and Learning Leadership (iTALL) which has brought together faculty and students in two departments: Educational Leadership and Instructional Technology, Foundations, and Secondary Education to help foster collaboration and reflection between pre-service administrators and teachers in regards to STEM teaching and learning.  Read more here.

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Sterrett serves on a collaborative multi-university grant effort awarded by the Colonial Academic Alliance as a part of the Innovate/Collaborate (IN/CO) Grant Program.  This two-year effort is called “Innovative Strategies for High-Impact Practices: Access. Success, and the CAA Student-Athlete” – Sterrett serves as a Institutional Lead/ Investigator on the grant effort, in which UNCW’s James DeVita serves as a PI on the grant and Sue Combs also serves as an institutional lead.  Read more here.

Additional Information


Igniting Teacher Leadership: How do I empower my teachers to lead and learn? (ASCD, 2015) by William Sterrett

Short on Time: How do I make time to lead and learn as a principal? by William Sterrett

Short on Time

Insights into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works (ASCD, 2011)  by William Sterrett

Insights into Action

The School Improvement Planning Handbook by Daniel Duke, Marsha Carr, and William Sterrett

School Improvement Planning Handbook

ASCD presents author Bill Sterrett

The Power of Teacher Leaders

Chapter “The Principal as Facilitator of Teacher Leadership” in The Power of Teacher Leaders: Their Roles, Influence, and Impact (Nathan Bond, ed., Routledge, 2014).

Recent Appearances


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