Sara Dexter headshot
SD

Sara Dexter

Associate Professor
Unit: Curry School of Education
Department: Curry School of Education
Office location and address
Ruffner Hall 270
405 Emmet St S
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
Ed.D., University of Saint Thomas, 1997
M.Ed., University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 1990
B.S., University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, 1986
Biography

Sara Dexter is an associate professor of education with expertise in technology leadership. Dr. Dexter’s experience in administration at the school district level brings a unique perspective to the Administration and Supervision faculty concerning the systemic implementation and integration of technology at the district, school, and classroom level. Her first-hand experience in designing and implementing professional development on the instructional use of technology for a public school district in Minnesota is reflected in her passion for bringing awareness, understanding, cohesion, and research to the exciting nature of technology leadership.

Dr. Dexter’s primary research interests lie in exploring the relationship between educational leadership, technology leadership, and resource management. She has an extensive background in the development of case-based learning environments for both aspiring teachers and school administrators. A current, federally funded grant supports the development, implementation and research of web-based, interactive cases for the development of pre-service administrators’ decision-making skills. Her research incorporates decision-making skills at multiple levels of leadership regarding technology implementation.

Through her courses, she guides school leaders in strategically designing systems in which students needs might be best served by the leadership structures used for implementation of technology in schools. An integral part of her instruction includes facilitating the process of honing school leaders’ skills to discern how to tackle technology implementation through the collaborative utilization of human resources and the use of available technology within their schools.

Based on her innovative research in technology leadership, she is the 2009 recipient of the University Council for Educational Administration’s Jack A. Culbertson Award, presented annually to outstanding junior professor of educational administration, in recognition of her contributions to the field. In 2019 she received the Hanne Mahwinne Service Award from the University Council for Educational Administration. The award is presented to faculty for their outstanding service to the organization and the field


Strengthening School Leaders' Instructional Leadership
Source: U.S. Department of Education - Educational Res. &
July 01, 2011 – August 31, 2016
EDLF 7811: Leadership for Teaching and Learning
Credits: 3
This course gives students conceptual and philosophical frameworks for leading good instruction and creating conditions for teaching and learning in schools and districts. Students reflect on their own instructional filters and deepen understanding of what we know about effective teaching and learning. Considering various instructional issues, students learn to supervise and evaluate instruction, connecting supervision with professional growth.
EDLF 7813: Leadership for EdTech
Credits: 3
Examines how, as a team, school leaders analyze the relationship of the integration of technologies to teachers' beliefs & practices & to local school culture, structures, & policies. Students will evaluate factors critical for successful implementation of educational technology; identify & deconstruct the distributed leadership of educational technology in a school setting; & plan comprehensively for a system of practice to lead EdTech.
EDLF 8820: Fundamentals of Leadership Theory
Credits: 3
Students will analyze various diverse perspectives, assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses of leadership theories and models. Theories and models will be situated in the American public education context with a special focus on educational leadership at the school and district levels.
EDLF 8823: Designing Learning Environments
Credits: 3
This course examines research on learning and motivation in order to assist educators & educational leaders in thinking about the effectiveness of traditional & innovative designs for learning. A special focus concerns the development of learning environments for students in persistently low-performing schools & schools serving diverse populations. The course culminates in a practicum requiring the design of an innovative learning environment.
EDLF 9000: Advanced Seminar: Administration and Supervision
Credits: 3
Required for all doctoral degree candidates; deals with dissertation proposal development for students in educational administration.
EDLF 9991: Ed.D. Research
Credits: 1–12
Ed.D. Research conducted under the guidance of capstone committee. 12 hours required for graduation. Permission of Instructor required.
EDLF 9993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–12
Under close faculty guidance, students work on an area of interest not covered by the curriculum. A plan of study must be signed by the faculty sponsor and filed in the student's permanent file in the Office of Student Affairs. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
EDIS 9995: Independent Research
Credits: 1–6
Permits students to work jointly with faculty or other students in cooperatively designing and executing research projects. The nature and scope of such projects are advanced beyond the master's level, and a plan of research should be signed and filed in the student's permanent file. Prerequisite: Advisor permission.
EDLF 9998: Doctoral Research Apprenticeship
Credits: 3–12
Designed to give doctoral students experience conducting research in professional settings appropriate to their disciplines. Prerequisites: Advisor Permission Required.
EDLF 9999: Doctoral Dissertation
Credits: 3–12
Doctoral Dissertation Research completed under the guidance of dissertation committee. 12 hours is required for graduation. Permission of instructor required.
EDIS 9999: Doctoral Dissertation
Credits: 3–12
Doctoral Dissertation Research completed under the guidance of dissertation committee. 12 hours is required for graduation. Permission of instructor required.

Administration & Supervision

Program Coordinator
August 2018-present

School of Education Faculty Council

Chairperson
2015

University Council of Educational Administration

Senior Associate Director
2016-2020

Hanne Mahwinne Service Award, 2019, from the University Council for Educational Administration. The award is presented to faculty for their outstanding service to the organization and the field.

Jack A. Culbertson Award, 2009, from the University Council for Educational Administration. The award is presented annually to an outstanding junior professor of educational administration in recognition of his/her contributions to the field.