SOLES Alumna Presented with AERA Outstanding Dissertation Award

Kathleen Gallagher, PhD ’13, principal of Baker Elementary School in San Diego and SOLES Leadership Studies alumna, was presented with the Outstanding Dissertation Award at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference. Her dissertation, Performance Assessment for Quality Teaching: Three Critical Variables for Measuring and Improving Teaching and Learning, focuses on the use of multi-level modeling techniques to examine the effects of instructional quality on student growth trajectories in English and math in two California middle schools. Kathleen’s dissertation committee included Fred Galloway, Zachary Green (co-chairs) and Rose Martinez.

Gallagher graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher so she went on to earn her credential from California State University, Long Beach and began teaching K-6 in Oceanside. She earned her master’s degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1990, and earned both her preliminary and professional administrative credentials at USD before beginning her doctoral work in Leadership Studies at USD in 2008. While earning her degree Kathleen conducted extensive research on the relationships between student achievement and instructional quality in the classroom. As a principal she remains focused on working with her teaching and administration teams to ensure that all students leave elementary school with the skills they need for success in middle school, high school, and beyond. Her primary goal is to ensure that teachers love teaching, students love learning, and parents love being an integral part of both processes.

In addition to Gallagher, SOLES participants at AERA included students, faculty, and alumni; serving as participants, paper authors, session chairs, and discussants. Attendees included faculty members Bob Donmoyer, Lea Hubbard, Christopher Newman, and Reyes Quezada, and doctoral students Maureen Guarcello ’10 (MA), Kai Thomas, and Maria Kelly ‘12 (MEd).


Devon Foster
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