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New CELS Director Named

Dr. Jason LaFrance, assistant professor and program coordinator for the M.Ed. Program in Educational Leadership, has been named the new director of the Center for Educational Leadership and Service (CELS). As the incoming director of CELS, he brings a rich professional background to the position. LaFrance has taught at the elementary and middle school levels, and has held leadership roles in public and private schools. His research interests include leadership, technology and global learning opportunities. He looks forward to building upon the strong foundation that has been laid at the CELS. LaFrance is developing a website that will provide more information about the Center and how COE faculty and staff can get involved.

The Center’s mission is to support the development of leadership capacity in P-12 partner schools through sponsored research and professional development activities.

Since 2009, Dr. James Green has served as the Center’s director. Green’s contributions to the development of the CELS are immeasurable. During his tenure, he emphasized the areas of applied research and educational leadership which resulted in research and writing collaborations that have served the CELS and the COE well. Green is retiring at the end of the spring 2013 semester.

Given the interests and expertise of faculty at present, and perceived needs of potential partner organizations, the following Center initiatives are likely:

• Continue the development of an instrument for assessment of leadership dispositions that is grounded in theory and validated through research. Such an instrument has potential for wide dissemination to institutions that prepare leaders of educational organizations, as well as in-service professional development programs.

• Serve school-university partnerships in preparation, certification, and support of “performance coaches” in educational leadership preparation programs.

• Seek external funding for sponsored research on leading technology innovation in P-12 schools.

• Provide professional development workshops, seminars, roundtables, etc., for P-12 administrators and/or teacher leaders on topics of current or emerging interest, e.g., leadership for STEM innovation and developing teacher leadership capacity

• Coordinate action research projects for P-12 partner schools with coordinators of Ed.S. and Ed.D. programs.

LaFrance intends to seek external funding to further the work of all Center-led initiatives as well as ones in which Center-affiliated faculty partner with other entities.


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