Rebecca Thessin

Rebecca Thessin
Assistant Professor, Educational Administration
(202) 994-1342

Dr. Thessin was most recently the Chief School Improvement Officer for the Montgomery County, Maryland, Public Schools, prior to which she served as the Associate Superintendent for Professional Development and School Support for this same district. In these roles, she coached principals and designed professional learning to facilitate school improvement and close achievement gaps.

Previously, she served as an Assistant Professor of Educational Administration at the George Washington University. In this role, she prepared aspiring educational leaders and served as a founding member of the DC-EdCORE consortium.

She has also served as the Director of School Improvement and Professional Development in Stamford, Connecticut, where she led the district's implementation of an improvement process for professional learning communities and formed a professional development council to author a system wide professional learning plan.

Dr. Thessin has worked as the Aide to the Deputy Superintendent in the Boston Public Schools, as an administrative intern at a Boston high school, and as a high school teacher in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and West Virginia.

Dr. Thessin holds a doctorate in the urban superintendency from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

At the George Washington University, she conducts research in the areas of instructional leadership, professional learning, school and district improvement, urban school reform and leadership preparation.

Publications

Thessin, R. A., Scully-Russ, E., Hildreth, J., & Lieberman, D. (2018, Accepted for publication). Key features to inform student outcomes: Learning from a high school healthcare education program. International Journal of Educational Reform.

Clayton, J., & Thessin, R. A. (2017). Voices of educational administration internship mentors. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partners in Learning, 25(3), 291-308. doi:10.1080/13611267.2017.1364836

Allen, J. G., & Thessin, R. A. (2017). The extent to which the school leader makes efforts to close black male achievement gaps that promote reconciliation of value differences within the school organization. Journal of Ethical Educational Leadership, 4(7), 1-37. Retrieved from: http://www.cojeel.org

Thessin, R. A., Scully-Russ, E., & Lieberman, D. (2017). Critical success factors in a high school healthcare education program. Journal of Career and Technical Education, 32(1), 51-72. Retrieved from: https://ejournals.lib.vt.edu/JCTE/article/view/1590.

Thessin, R. A., & Clayton, J. (2017, January). Metro Nashville Public Schools transition team report. Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Jones, C. M., & Thessin, R. A. (2017). Sustaining continuous improvement through professional learning communities in a secondary school. Journal of School Leadership, 27(2), 214-241.

Clayton, J., & Thessin, R. A. (2016). Learning from graduates and interns: Examining graduate and student experiences in the education administration internship. Education Leadership Review, 17(1), 17-42.

Thessin, R. A. (2015). Learning from one urban district: Planning to provide essential supports for teachers’ work in professional learning communities. Educational Planning, 22(1), 15-27.

Thessin, R. A. (2015). The need to use evidence in school-based K-12 improvement efforts. Kappan Magazine.

Jones, C. M., & Thessin, R. A. (2015). A review of the literature related to the change process schools undergo to sustain PLCs. Planning and Changing, 46(1/2), 193-211.

Jones, C. M., Thessin, R. A., & Clayton, J. (2014) The culture of one school sustaining the work of continuous improvement through professional learning communities. Journal of Ethical Educational Leadership, 1(10). Retrieved from http://www.cojeel.org

Baxter, V., Thessin, R. A., & Clayton, J. (2014). Communitarian leadership practice acquisition in educational leadership preparation. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 9(2). 10-27. Retrieved from http://www.ncpeapublications.org/index.php/volume-9-number-2-fall-2014

Thessin, R. A., & Clayton, J. (2013). Perspectives of school leaders on the administrative internship. Journal of Educational Administration, 51 (6), 790-811.

Thessin, R. A., & Starr, J. P. (2013). The district’s role in leading improvement: Professional learning communities as the starting point. In K. Hewitt, C. Childers-McKee, E. Hodge, & R. Schuhler (Eds.), Postcards from the schoolhouse: Practitioner scholars examine contemporary issues in instructional leadership. Ypsilanti, Michigan: NCPEA Publications.

Thessin, R. A. (2012, March). Next Steps in DC education evaluation and research (Working paper no. 2.1). Washington, D. C.: The George Washington University.

Thessin, R. A. (2011). Teaching notes and appendices. In L. Boozer, L. Kelley, R. Peterkin, & D. Jewell-Sherman (Eds.), Every child, every classroom, every day: Notable superintendents and researchers tackle the critical issues facing our schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Thessin, R. A., Ed. (2011, Sept.). Transition team report. Rockville, MD: The Montgomery County Public Schools.

Thessin, R. A., & Starr, J. P. (2011, March). Supporting the growth of effective professional learning communities districtwide. Kappan Magazine.

Thessin, R. A. (2007). Building assessment literacy: Newton North High School gets smart about data. In K. P. Boudett, & J. L. Steele (Eds.), Data wise in action: Stories of schools using data to improve teaching and learning (pp. 29-50). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

In the News

Dr. Rebecca Thessin, Dr. Jennifer Clayton, and doctoral student Tamilah Richardson (Educational Administration) attended and presented at the University Council for Educational Administration conference in Houston, Texas. Dr. Thessin led a Critical Conversation on the topic of instructional and leadership coaching with Shelby Cosner (UIC) and Sarah Woulfin (UCONN). She also organized a symposium entitled, “System Support for School-Based Instructional Leadership: An Interactive Symposium” in which she presented a paper. Dr. Clayton presented a paper entitled, "Equity-Minded Leadership: How School Leaders Make Meaning of Building Mindsets and Practices." Tamilah Richardson gave a presentation entitled, “Exploring How to Mitigate the Early Career Minority Teacher Shortage Through Teacher Leadership.” They also collectively attended and facilitated the Leadership for School Improvement Business Meeting while they were in Houston.

Dr. Rebecca Thessin, Dr. Jennifer Clayton, and GSEHD alumna Dr. Kim Jamison (Ed.D., Educational Administration) recently published an article in the Journal of Research on Leadership Education entitled, “Profiles of the Administrative Internship: The Mentor/Intern Partnership in Facilitating Leadership Experiences.”

Dr. Rebecca Thessin, Dr. Ellen Scully-Russ, and GSEHD alumna Dr. Daina Lieberman (Ed.D., Educational Administration) recently published an article in the Journal of Career and Technical Education entitled Critical Success Factors in a High School Healthcare Education Program. The research reported in the article was supported by funds from the Claude Moore Foundation.

GSEHD alumna Dr. Julia Allen (Ed.D., Educational Administration) and Dr. Rebecca Thessin published an article in the Journal of Ethical Educational Leadership entitled The extent to which the school leader makes efforts to close black male achievement gaps that promote reconciliation of value differences within the school organization.

Dr. Rebecca Thessin and Dr. Jennifer Clayton presented a paper entitled “A Exploration of a New Superintendent’s Transition Team as a Facilitator of Organizational Socialization of Senior District Administrators” at the University Council of Educational Administration conference in Denver, Colorado on November 16, 2017. Dr. Thessin also organized and participated in a Critical Conversation with researchers and practitioners in a session entitled, “Supporting Principals’ Instructional Leadership Development from Central Office: The Current and Future Role of the Principal Supervisor” at this conference.