The Danforth Educational Leadership Program features top-flight UW faculty along with credentialed instructors who work in the field.
Ann O’Doherty – Director
Ann O'Doherty is the director of the Danforth Educational Leadership Program and a senior lecturer in the UW College of Education. Before assuming this role, she served as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin. There she directed the Collaborative Urban Leadership Project, which prepares effective secondary school leaders for schools in the Dallas, Houston, Harlandale and Austin areas. She also codeveloped the racial awareness curriculum module for the Preparing Leaders to Support Diverse Learners program of the University Council for Educational Administration. Prior to her work in higher education, O'Doherty spent 18 years contributing to public schools at the pre-K–12 level, including 12 years as a school administrator. Her research interests include program evaluation, coaching, leadership development and district-level influence on school success. She regularly contributes to research and scholarship efforts and currently serves as a member of the editorial board for Educational Administration Quarterly. She holds a doctorate in education from the University of Texas at Austin.
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Jennifer Indo – Interim Assistant Director
With over a decade of successful experience in student affairs, social justice education, student mentoring and program management, Jennifer Indo is a strong believer in the power of community leadership. She regularly challenges the misconceptions of siloed, top-down leadership and encourages her students to understand their leadership from a community and social justice-based perspective. Prior to her work at the University of Washington, as a university-level liaison, Jennifer served as a common core curriculum, field trip and camp developer and director for students in grades K-12 at Jackson Elementary School. She chaired and convened a council of outreach programs, offices, schools and non-profits that provided support to multiple school districts in Utah for 5 years. She also served as the program manager to the senior vice-president of the Health Sciences at the University of Utah, where she focused on increasing the hiring and retention of students, staff and faculty of color throughout the Health Sciences while promoting racial awareness and the importance of cultural understanding when treating patients. Jennifer earned her master’s in education, leadership and policy from the University of Utah and currently co-teaches the culturally responsive leadership module.
Catherine Brown is an assistant principal at Cleveland High School in Seattle Public Schools. She began teaching in New York City Public Schools in 1993 and has worked throughout her career in innovative school settings serving historically marginalized students and families in the Bronx, Queens, and central and south Seattle. She has been at Cleveland High School since 2004, where profound changes in the last 10 years have increased enrollment from 500-600 students to nearly 900 students while graduation rates have soared from near 50% to last year’s 92%. In 2017, Cleveland sent the highest percentage of African-American students to directly enroll in college of any high school in south King county. Catherine’s scholarly interests include: how leaders facilitate transformation in schools while maintaining their continuous improvement, supporting curriculum design that draws out student motivation and builds on students’ funds of knowledge, engagement of student and family voice to directly impact instruction, and sustaining school climates that can effectively address conflict, particularly identity-based microaggressions. Catherine co-teaches the Effective Communication & Productive Conflict with Dedy Fauntleroy as a part of the Committing to Ethical Practices learning strand.
Adra Davy is the director of special education in the north region of the Northshore School District. She has worked in Northshore since 1998 as a teacher in many capacities and in administration. She was previously assistant director of elementary special education in the north region. Besides Northshore, she has also worked in the Edmonds, Lynden and Granite Falls school districts. Adra earned her B.A.in education at Western Washington University, an M.A.in education at the University of Portland and her program administrator certification from the Danforth program.
Dedy Fauntleroy is principal of Northgate Elementary in the Seattle Public Schools. She previously served in leadership positions at John Stanford International School and Loyal Heights Elementary. Before becoming a building leader, Fauntleroy served as teacher leader in roles that included an English language learner instructional coach, consultant for the Council of Great City Schools, and collaborator with the Center for Teacher Quality. She has also worked as a classroom teacher in grades 2–8. Fauntleroy earned her master’s in education from the University of La Verne and a principal certificate from the Danforth program.
David Knight joins us this year, his first with the Danforth program and at the University of Washington. He has recently come from the University of Texas, El Paso where he was the director of the Center for Education Research and Policy Studies (CERPS) and assistant professor in the Educational Leadership and Foundations Department. His research focuses on economics of education and school finance. Specific areas of research include equity in educational resource allocation, educator labor markets, and the use of cost-effectiveness analysis. David earned his doctorate in urban education policy from the University of Southern California in 2016.
Will Leitch is a founding principal of the firm Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch and teaches school law for the Danforth program. His civil litigation practice emphasizes complex public sector tort defense, school law, employment law, abuse litigation and civil rights. His experience includes over 15 years of work for school districts, counties, cities and towns, law enforcement, fire and emergency medical service entities, and corporate clients. Leitch serves on a variety of regional harassment, intimidation, bullying and cyberbullying committees and workgroups. In addition, he’s a member of the Washington State Attorney General’s Youth Internet Safety Taskforce and of the advisory board for the Internet Keep Safe Coalition in Washington, D.C. Leitch earned his J.D. from the Willamette University School of Law.
Kelly Niccolls has been an educator since 2006. She began her career teaching in Southern California and has helped schools and systems reimagine teaching and learning as both a teacher and a school administrator. Kelly is currently a learning design manager at Getting Smart. She earned her program administrator certification from the Danforth program in 2016 and will receive her Ed.D. from the UW Leadership for Learning program. Kelly is a Deeper Learning Equity Fellow, driven by the relentless belief in the possibility of social justice within education systems. She focuses her education leadership on reimagining structures for teaching and learning in order to empower all students for the future. Her current work is centered on leadership development, capacity building, shifting schools for 21st-century learning needs and inspiring new and veteran leaders. Primarily motivated by work that keeps equity at its core, Kelly is always working to better liberate and empower learners.
Jen Rose has been an educator for more than two decades. She is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning in the Lake Washington School District. Previously, she served as principal at the International School in Bellevue, principal at Medina Elementary, and as an assistant principal at Sammamish High School. She is deeply interested in developing, supporting, and empowering leadership capacity and instructional strengths in all stakeholders in public education. Dr. Rose has served in additional leadership roles in the region, including multiple roles for the Association of Washington State Principals, as an Instructional Criteria Framework Specialist for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, and as a consultant for professional learning for multiple school districts through work with OSPI. Dr. Rose earned her doctorate from the UW Leadership for Learning program in 2012. In 2014, she received the UCEA Excellence in Educational Leadership Award. Dr. Rose received her administrative credentials from the Danforth program in 2003 and has stayed engaged in the program since that time.
David Wellington joined the Danforth teaching team in 2015 with more than 25 years of experience working in public education. David has served as an elementary, middle and high school principal and is currently an assistant superintendent in the Northshore School District. For the past three years he has worked closely with administrators and teachers to develop more effective practices, policies, programs and procedures to better meet the needs of his district’s 23,000 students. This has included priority efforts to develop and shape more equitable systems for every student, especially those furthest from justice. This work takes place through individual direct coaching and conversations with school leaders, teachers, parents and students; through committee work; and through monthly meetings with building and district leadership. Together, his team challenges conventional thinking to increase all students’ access to rigorous college preparatory programming; develop more equitable qualification processes for highly capable students; provide general education programming to students in special education programs; and furnish instrumental music for elementary students — among other efforts. David teaches a moral and political dimensions module as a part of the Committing to Ethical Leadership learning strand. He holds a master’s from the University of Puget Sound.