Jon Eckert

Jon Eckert, EdD, is Professor of Educational Leadership and the Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair in Christian School Leadership. Dr. Eckert came to Baylor in 2019 with more than two decades of experience in education. He taught and coached intermediate and middle school students outside of Chicago and Nashville for 12 years. After completing his doctorate at Vanderbilt University in 2008, he was selected as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education, where he worked in both the Bush and Obama administrations on teaching quality issues. For the past 10 years, he has prepared teachers at Wheaton College.

His research interests include collective leadership, teaching effectiveness, evaluation and strategic compensation to enhance that effectiveness, and science education. Over the past decade, he has written and worked on grants of more than $300 million with schools and districts across the U.S. Dr. Eckert has conducted research for the U.S. Department of Education, the Carnegie Foundation, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, and the Center for Teaching Quality.

He is the author of The Novice Advantage: Fearless Practice for Every Teacher (Corwin, 2016) and Leading Together: Teachers and Principals Improving Student Outcomes (Corwin, 2018), book chapters, numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Educational Administration QuarterlyProfessional Development in Education, and Education Policy Analysis Archives, and practitioner publications such as Education Week and Phi Delta Kappan. He has written and presented white papers on Capitol Hill and the National Press Club and has been invited to present all over the U.S. and as far away as Muscat, Oman, at a G8-Broader Middle East Summit for education ministers.

Contact Dr. Eckert: Jon_Eckert@baylor.edu

Brad Carpenter

Bradley W. Carpenter, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership. Dr. Carpenter teaches graduate courses in the Department of Educational Leadership’s K-12 Ed.D. program. As a former public-school teacher, assistant principal, and principal Dr. Carpenter has a passion for working with public school administrators. Specifically, he enjoys his role in helping aspiring principals and superintendents realize their identity as transformational leaders of school communities.

Dr. Carpenter’s research is focused on three primary areas of scholarship: (a) Development of Social Justice- and Anti-Racist-oriented School Leaders; (b) Leadership Wellbeing; and, (c) How Discourses and Policymaking Shape Federal, State, and Local Policy.

Dr. Carpenter’s research has been published in journals such as the Journal of School LeadershipNASSP BulletinEducation Policy, Urban EducationEducation and Urban Society, and many others. Bradley is a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration (TCPEA), and actively participates in the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and American Educational Research Association (AERA) Divisions A & L. Dr. Carpenter is a current associate editor for the Journal of Research on Leadership Education (JRLE), a past associate editor for the Journal of School Leadership (JSL), and an editorial board member of the Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership (JCEL).

Contact Dr. Carpenter: Bradley_W_Carpenter@baylor.edu

Dr. Herb CoxDr. Herb Cox is Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, teaching School Leadership. In 2021, Dr. Cox retired from 29 years of service in public education as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and most recently as a principal. His first 12 years of service were as a teacher and a coach. His last 17 years were spent as an administrator, with the past 9 years as Principal of Midway Middle School in Midway ISD in Hewitt, Texas.

Dr. Cox graduated from Baylor with a B.S. in Secondary Education in 1979 and then graduated again in 2008 with his Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Cox earned his Master’s degree from the University of North Texas in 2005. Dr. Cox served as a Board member for the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, as well as an Executive Officer for TASSP. He was President of TASSP in 2018-2019. He has co-authored and published articles concerning the impact of Professional Development Schools as partners with Baylor University.

His interest is in growing aspiring administrators who will lead in both the public and private school systems with a Christian emphasis and a focus on serving all of God’s children. Teaching at Baylor was a long-time dream of Dr. Cox, and his appointment in 2021 was his first opportunity to serve in higher education.

Contact Dr. Cox: Herb_Cox@baylor.edu

Matt ThomasMatt Thomas, EdD, is the Executive Director of The Center for Christian Education. Dr. Thomas joined the Baylor School of Education in 2018. He has served in Christian schools, Christian higher education, seminaries, and pastoral ministry for more than 25 years. Most recently, Dr. Thomas served as the Executive Director of a national radio ministry broadcasting on more than 600 stations.

His experience and expertise include mentoring, the development of leaders within Christian organizations, and organizational culture and health. Motivated by the joy a person experiences when they invest in the life of another, Dr. Thomas aims to equip Christian leaders to lead from a posture of humility and Christ-like influence that catalyzes the leader to effectively help that institution fulfill its mission. Dr. Thomas is deeply committed to training leaders to purposefully engage the seismic shifts facing Christian institutions today and firmly believes that the effectiveness of an institution is most closely related to the quality, character, and training of its leaders.

Matt and his wife, Beth, have three daughters.

Contact Dr. Thomas: Matt_M_Thomas@baylor.edu

Angela UrickAngela Urick, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in the School of Education at Baylor University. Prior to coming to Baylor, she was a tenured Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Educational Development and Research (CEDaR) at the University of Oklahoma. In her academic program, she trains aspiring K-12 leaders as well as education administrators in other government, non-profit or religious organizations. She specializes in leadership for school improvement for more equitable student opportunities. Through her work on academic climate and the relationship between principals and teachers, she uses innovative applications of theory and advanced quantitative techniques to understand the broader complexities of how leadership and policy decisions may influence school progress.

Dr. Urick has won awards for her research and teaching. Most notable, she won the 2018 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division A (Administration, Organization, & Leadership) Early Career Award. In 2016, she received the Patricia L. Hardré Excellence in Graduate Mentoring from the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma.

Contact Dr. Urick: Angela_Urick@baylor.edu

Baylor University MA in School Leadership

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