Dr. Mary A. Hooper has been on the faculty at the University of West Georgia since 2005. While serving in her current role as a tenured Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Dr. Hooper has maintained a commitment to teaching excellence in the area of educational leadership and school improvement while establishing a record of accomplishment in securing external funds to support research. Her teaching has included a focus on school leadership in a diverse and pluralistic society, creating inclusive learning communities to meet the needs of all students, instructional and adaptive leadership practices, and data-informed continuous improvement with an emphasis on the use of equity audits. Dr. Hoopers research agenda, grounded in the field of Human Resource Development, focuses on the development of competency models, assessments, and preparation programs for improving individual and organizational performance in partnership with K-12 school systems. Prior to her career in higher education, Dr. Hooper spent 17 years working in public school systems. As a middle school teacher on the south side of Atlanta, she developed a passion for service to communities that have been traditionally marginalized. This passion is evident in her publications, presentations, consulting services, and teaching. Dr. Hoopers forthcoming book, co-authored with Victoria Bernhardt, and in production with Routledge, is entitled Creating Capacity for Equity and Learning in Schools. The book is based on a model for leadership preparation that emphasizes instructional leadership for equity, adaptive leadership, inclusive communities, and cultural responsiveness. Papers accepted for presentation at AERA (listed in her CV) as well as research projects and professional service activities demonstrate her strength as a scholar who examines leadership and organizational behavior with a strong and explicit emphasis on equity and social justice in K-12 schools. Between 2011 and 2015, Dr. Hooper has been awarded $1,294,981 in sponsored research and professional services contracts to fund the development of a School Leadership Preparation Competency Model, an online 360 Degree Leadership Assessment System that includes both a competency and an interpersonal leadership dispositions assessments, a Performance Mentor Competency Model, a Principal Supervisor Competency Model, as well as multiple resource guides to support effective hiring and development of school and district leaders. All of these projects were developed in partnership with large urban school districts.Other professional service activities prior to 2011 included technical consulting to support leadership development and school improvement initiatives on the Zuni Pueblo and Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, as well as the rural border community of Presidio, Texas. These activities afforded Dr. Hooper the opportunity to work directly with leaders and teachers in the transformation of organizational and instructional systems to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students living in poverty. A commitment to working collaboratively with faculty colleagues is demonstrated through her participation in state and national learning communities. As the founding President of the Georgia Educational Leadership Faculty Association (GELFA), Dr. Hooper was honored to lead and contribute to several statewide research and policy initiatives including the development of Georgias tiered leadership preparation programs. She has also been active in several national learning communities sponsored by the Wallace Foundation that have focused on the preparation of educational leaders. Mary began her career in public education as a middle school teacher in 1988 and has worked as a school level leader, at the state department level in the area of teacher evaluation and professional development and as a district leader in a variety of roles related to School Improvement and Human Resources. Hooper earned her Ph.D. in Human Resource and Organizational Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta in 2004.Mary is married to Duane Hooper and the mother of two children, Randy and Megan Hooper who are both students at UWG.
Education / Degrees
- B.A., Elementary Education, University of Florida, 1987
- M.Ed., Elementary and Middle School Education, University of Florida, 1988
- Ph.D., Human Resource Development, Georgia State University, 2004