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Shawn Joseph


Dr Shawn JosephVisiting Associate Professor
Division of Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy

Dr. Shawn Joseph's passion for equity and social justice has led him to serve in a number of positions in the world of education. He has been an English teacher, school administrator, central office administrator, and superintendent in Maryland, Delaware, and Tennessee. His work as the superintendent of Metro Nashville Public Schools resulted in schools that are more equitable and accelerated growth for all student groups in both reading and mathematics.

In 2009, Dr. Joseph was honored by his peers as the National Association of Secondary School Administrators' Met-Life Middle School Principal of the Year for the State of Maryland. In 2010, Dr. Joseph was the recipient of the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Dissertation Award in the area of Educational Leadership. In 2019, Dr. Joseph was selected as the Person of the Year by the Tribune Newspaper in Nashville. His first book, The Principal’s Guide to the First 100 Days of the School Year: Creating Instructional Momentum, offers insight into the complexity of the principalship and suggests strategies for focusing on increasing student achievement. In 2019, he plans on publishing the book Finding the Joseph Within, an autobiography which tells the account of his professional journey and how faith and perseverance unleashed favor upon his life. His research focus centers on leading for equity, governance, and the superintendency.

Dr. Joseph earned a doctoral degree in educational administration and policy studies from George Washington University and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. His bachelor’s degree is from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, America’s oldest historically black college.


B.A., Lincoln University

MS Ed, Johns Hopkins University

Ed.D., George Washington University

Selected Publications

Joseph, S. & Davis, M. (2016). Becoming a data champion in 6 steps: How a suburban Maryland district uses its data to motivate staff and improve instruction. School Administrator. Alexandria, VA: American Association of School Administrators.
Joseph, S. (2012). The principal’s guide to the first 100 days of the school year: Creating instructional momentum. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Joseph, S. (April, 2010). School district grow your own principal preparation programs: Effective elements and implications for graduate schools of education. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 2(1).
Joseph, S. (2009). Planning grow your own principal preparation programs: Cultivating excellence in tough economic times. International Journal of Educational Planning.


Fundamentals of Educational Administration and Management (ASGE 5112)

School Finance (ASGE 6322)

Leadership in Educational Policy and Reform (ASGE 7430)