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W & D Authors

Our Amazing Authors

Aaron J. Griffen

Aaron J. Griffen, Ph.D. is the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at DSST Public Schools in Denver, Colorado. He is a K-12 Practitioner with over 20 years experience as a middle school English teacher and assistant principal in Houston, Texas and as a high school principal in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Throughout his career, he has worked exclusively and purposefully in Urban defined schools and districts, serving a culturally, linguistically, economically, educationally, emotionally and diverse population of learners. His experiences include working to provide equitable supports and outcomes for culturally different learners in Special Education, Gifted and/or Talented, and Second Language Learning. 

Dr. Griffen is the 2013 recipient of the Urban Teaching Award from Texas A&M University. As a researcher and scholar, he serves on the programming committees for the Educating Children of Color Summit and the African American Youth Leadership Conference of Colorado Springs, Colorado and is Chair of School/University Partnerships for the American Educational Research Association – SIG – A Critical Examination of Race Ethnicity Class and Gender. He is an author, speaker, guest lecturer, panelist, and professional development consultant with active research interests and a publishing agenda in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Culturally Responsive Instructional Leadership, Multicultural Curriculum and Instruction Design &Implementation, Social Justice & Advocacy, and Urban Policy & Analysis. Follow Dr. Griffen on Twitter: @DrAaronJGriffen and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-j-griffen-ph-d-5856497b/



Amy Burns

Dr. Amy Burns is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs in Education with the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.  Amy’s current research focuses on the development of systemic thinking and leadership competencies in preservice and early career teachers as well as the impact of school leader collective wellbeing and resilience on teachers and school vision.  Amy is co-creator and Academic Coordinator of the Leading with Heart graduate program with the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.



Anthony Normore

Anthony H. Normore, Ph.D is professor of educational leadership, and department chair of Graduate Education at California State University Dominguez Hills, located in metropolitan Los Angeles. Dr. Normore obtained his Ph.D from the Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. His multi-pronged research focuses on (a) the (mis)-interpretation and (mis)-use of leadership and management in higher education, and (b) leadership development of urban school leaders in the context of ethics and social justice.

He is the author of 20+ books including:Leading against the grain: Lessons from visionaries for creating just and equitable schools (2018, Teachers College Press),Foundations of educational leadership: The key to developing excellent and equitable schools (2017,Routledge), Restorative practice meets social justice: Un-silencing the voices of at-promise students (2017, IAP), and; Handbook of research on communication, leadership, and conflict resolution (2016, IGI Global publishers). He worked as a teacher, school and district administrator in Canadian schools for 20+ years and then moved to Higher Education where he spent 15+ years. As a professor, he has published 200+ book chapters, research reviews, monographs, and peer-reviewed articles in professional educational leadership journals (e.g., Journal of Educational Administration, Journal of School Leadership, Alberta Journal of Educational Leadership, Educational Administration Quarterly, etc.), law enforcement journals (e.g., Police Chief, FBI law Enforcement Bulletin, International Policing Journal, Law Enforcement Today, etc.), and 300+ regional, national and international professional conference presentations, symposia, and invited keynote addresses.

Dr. Normore serves on various editorial review board. He is the recipient of the AERA 2013 Bridge People Award for Leadership for Social Justice SIG, and the 2015 Willower Award of Excellence in Research awarded by UCEA Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education.

Books authored or co-authored by Anthony Normore:

Voices Leading from the Ecotone



Antonia Issa Lahera

Dr. Antonia Issa Lahera currently works as an Associate Professor at CSU Dominguez Hills in the School Leadership Program. During her nearly 30 years in the field she has worked in urban settings as a teacher, staff developer and site principal. She has worked in highly innovative settings as the leader of a reconstituted school and also a school ending the social promotion of students to high school. Dr. Issa Lahera received her doctorate from the University of Southern California in 2003 in urban leadership. She has worked as a mentor for the National Urban Alliance and done extensive work around the country.

Books authored or co-authored by Antonia Issa Lahera:

Voices Leading from the Ecotone



Benjamin Kutsyuruba

Benjamin Kutsyuruba (Ph.D., University of Saskatchewan) is an Associate Professor in Educational Policy, Leadership, and School Law and an Associate Director of Social Program Evaluation Group (SPEG) in the Faculty of Education at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Throughout his career, Benjamin has worked as a teacher, researcher, manager, and professor in the field of education in Ukraine and Canada. His research interests include educational policymaking; educational leadership; mentorship and development of teachers; trust, moral agency, and ethical decision-making in education; international education; school climate, safety, well-being, and flourishing; and, educational change, reform, and restructuring. His areas of teaching are educational leadership, school law and policy, educational policy studies, and policymaking in education.

Books authored or co-authored by Benjamin Kutsyuruba:

The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching



Chad Reay

Chad Reay is an administrator with the Upper Grand District School Board in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. His career in education began 15 years ago with teaching qualifications from Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. Chad started as a Child and Youth Worker in a custody facility working with at-risk students. Since then he has worked as a classroom teacher with students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Chad has been an elementary Curriculum Leader supporting educators as an instructional coach in the areas of Equity and Inclusion, FNMI, Student Success, Science and Technology, and English as a Second Language. He also had the opportunity to work with the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, to write and design cross-curricular math and science units for grades 5 to 8.  Working with the Ministry of Education as a Student Work–Study Teacher, Chad has done grassroots research in numeracy and literacy by working alongside students to help them identify gaps and suggesting strategies to close those gaps. From all these experiences, he has developed his philosophy that failure is just another form of fertilizer that helps us grow and learn.



Danielle Cassell

Danielle Cassell has been involved in primary education (4-11 years) for 40 years and has worked in England and Guernsey in the Channel Islands. She has taught in a variety of city and semi-rural schools over a period of 20 years and has been headteacher for two primary schools. Danielle is passionate about the quality of children's learning and has built the schools' culture and capacity through the development of staff. She has worked in advisory capacities to support school leadership and classroom pedagogy and has contributed to a number of educational authority policy groups. Currently she is working as a primary phase inspector/advisor for a local education authority. Danielle graduated as a Doctor of Education from the Institute of Public Policy and Professional Practice at Keele University, Chesire. Her thesis was concerned with the impact of assessment policies on teachers' professional practice in three jurisdictions. Danielle has a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership and Management and a Bachelor of Education degree in History and Education.

Books authored or co-authored by Danielle Cassell:

Save Our Teachers' Souls:



Darrin Griffiths

Darrin Griffiths has worked as an educator in urban elementary schools for more than twenty-five in the roles of teacher, vice-principal and currently, principal. He is a critical pragmatist with a solid understanding of the complex nature of schooling and a commitment to equity for all students.

Griffiths continues to write about social justice, equity and inclusion in education, and is partnering with experts in the field to author more books geared at instructional leaders. He is also a senior lecturer at Niagara University and an in-demand conference speaker and session facilitator. Griffiths also teaches part-time with OISE/University of Toronto.

Books authored or co-authored by Darrin Griffiths:

Principals of Inclusion
Key Questions for Educational Leaders
The Principal Reader:
Case Studies for Inclusive Educators and Leaders
The Leader Reader:



Debbie Donsky

Dr. Debbie Donsky is currently a Student Achievement Officer at the Ministry of Education in Ontario supporting professional learning for leaders. She has been an elementary principal and teacher for 25 years, is a mother of two amazing teenagers and loves to read, blog and draw in her free time, as well as spend time with her very patient husband of almost 20 years. She has been sketchnoting for about two years and uses it as a way to document, reflect and share her thinking with others.

Debbie completed her EdD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto in 2006 where she focused on the dynamic created when Critical Pedagogy is infused into Knowledge Building. She investigates the role of power in pedagogy and how can we find spaces of possibility in the curriculum to honour student voice and social justice in a responsive and dynamic way. By examining patterns of participation and dialogue, whose knowledge is valued and whose is silenced and the various forms of resistance in the classroom and school that either promote or inhibit critical knowledge building, Debbie questions the role of the educator in creating these spaces. The application of this thinking through adult learning and social media is something that Debbie continues to play with in terms of power in learning spaces, dialogue and social constructions of self through storytelling and professional learning.  

Debbie recently did a TEDx talk called Reclaiming Space at TEDxEDKitchener which focuses on the experiences of marginalization and discrimination faced by fat people. She has illustrated and co-authored Milo’s Adventures, a story about love through the lived experiences of a child (her godson) born to two daddies with the support of a surrogate and has published in other professional journals and books.

Books authored or co-authored by Debbie Donsky:

Women and Educational Leadership:



Denver J. Fowler

Dr. Denver J. Fowler is currently an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). Before arriving at CSUS, he served as an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at The University of Mississippi for two years. In addition, during this same time frame, he has served as the elected President of The Mississippi Association of Professors of Educational Leadership. Dr. Fowler has over a decade of experience in the PreK-12 educational setting where he has served as a coach, teacher, athletic director, technology coordinator, and school administrator in the State of Ohio.

During this time, he was named the Assistant Principal of the Year in the State of Ohio and was nominated for the Assistant Principal of the Year in the United States by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators. He received this recognition for leading a school turnaround effort in which his building received all A’s on their state report card. He has received Congressional Recognition for his service in the PreK-12 educational setting and has advocated on Capitol Hill for educators and school leaders. In addition to this experience, he has previously served as an adjunct instructor and lecturer at The Ohio State University, University of West Florida, and Bowling Green State University.

Dr. Fowler has presented his research both nationally and internationally, including presentations in China, Italy, and Greece. He is the author of numerous publications on educational leadership that have appeared in both national and international educational leadership journals, magazines, and books. Dr. Fowler received his Doctor of Education from Ohio University, Master of Arts in Education from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and Bachelor of Science in Education from The Ohio State University. In addition to his degrees, Dr. Fowler has completed a School Leadership Institute at Harvard University and he is currently a licensed Superintendent, Principal, and Teacher.

Books authored or co-authored by Denver J. Fowler:

The 21st Century School Leader:



James Ryan

Jim Ryan is a professor in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. He has been a teacher and administrator in schools in Northern Canada. His interests are reflected in recent publications and current research activities. They include, among others: the administration of schools with diverse school poplations; leadership; inclusion, social justice and equity; micropolitics and leadership; philosophy and theory in educational administration; research methods; social, critical and postmodern theory; and various organizational approaches to schooling. His books include Race and Ethnicity in Multiethnic Schools, Leading Diverse Schools, Inclusive Leadership, and Struggling for Inclusion: Educational Leadership in a Neo-Liberal World. Jim's latest book is an edited volume with Denise Armstrong entitled Working With/out the System: Leadership, Micropolitics and Social Justice.

Books authored or co-authored by James Ryan:

Case Studies for Inclusive Educators and Leaders



Jeanne Surface

Jeanne L. Surface, Ed.D., is an associate professor of educational leadership, in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Nebraska Omaha in Omaha Nebraska, USA. She received her doctorate from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming, USA and is an experienced superintendent, principal, and classroom teacher­. Jeanne was honored to be a member of cohort three of John Goodlad’s Institute for Educational Inquiry. She has chaired numerous dissertation committees, published a book Rural Superintendents based on her dissertation; eight book chapters; over twenty articles and has done over 57 presentations in the areas of leadership, public school law, and rural education. Jeanne has also written over five hundred law briefs for the Education Law Association. Her teaching areas are leadership, public school law, special education law, and qualitative research methods.

Books authored or co-authored by Jeanne Surface:

Women and Educational Leadership:



John P. Portelli

John P. Portelli was born in Malta where after completing a B.A. (Philosophy & Maltese, 1975) he taught history and modern languages at a secondary school and philosophy at a junior college. In 1977 he was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship and commenced his studies at McGill University from where he obtained an M.A. (1979) and a Ph.D. (1984).

Currently he is a professor in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE, University of Toronto. He is Co-director of the Centre for Leadership and Diversity and a fellow of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.

Before joining OISE in 1999 he taught in several universities: The University of Malta (1980), McGill University (1982-1985), Dalhousie University (Killam Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1985-1986), Mount Saint Vincent University (1986 – 1999). He was a visiting professor at the University of Malta (1992), Acadia University (1997), the University of British Columbia (1998), and the University of Verona (2010, 2011). He has published 9 books including two books of poetry.

Two of his books won the American Educational Studies Association Critic Award, and another of his books won the Canadian Association for the Foundations of Education Book Award. In 2005 he received the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Mentorship Award. In March 2013 he was awarded the David E. Hunt Graduate Teaching Award at the University of Toronto.

Since 1982 he has worked closely with teachers and school administrators in Canada and internationally. He has led several national education studies in Canada. He has given keynote addresses and lectures in Canada, U.S.A., Austria, Italy, England, Malta, Bahrain, Morocco, Ireland and Turkey. He was a commissioner of the National Commission for Higher Education of Malta (2006-2013), and a Lead Expert for the European Mediterranean University, Slovenia (on issues of quality assurance).

He is frequently invited to give keynote addresses and workshops in his areas of research and teaching which include: student engagement; students ‘at risk’; democratic theory and education; teaching controversial issues; leadership, equity and diversity; intercultural education and dialogue; educational policy and equity; neolberalism and education; social justice education; reflective practice; and ethical issues in educational leadership. His most recent book is Student Engagement in Urban Schools: Beyond Neoliberal Discourses (with Brenda McMahon), North Carolina: Information Age Publishers, 2012.

Books authored or co-authored by John P. Portelli:

Key Questions for Educational Leaders
Everyday Encounters



John Strazzabosco

John Strazzabosco is an educator, lecturer, and writer. A retired math teacher with thirty-three years in the Pittsford Central Schools, Strazzabosco has recently written a book, Ninety Feet Under (What Poverty Does to People). He has written essays and features for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and several books for students, the latest How Spending and Saving Affect You, 2012, Rosen Publishing Group, on Economics for seventh grade students.

He has presented sixty workshops on understanding poverty to teachers, administrators and staff, most recently including the Pittsford Schools, Webster Schools, Rochester Area Literacy Conference, Hillside Crestwood Center, Villa of Hope, and the Mary Cariola Center.

His active involvement in the poverty community spans the past twelve years, and has included tutoring, mentoring, training mentors for a self-sufficiency program run by Action for a Better Community, participation in the Rochester Children’s Zone, and work with youth at a city drop-in center. He currently mentors and tutors several area young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods, including one long-term incarcerated youth.

Please visit his website johnstrazzabosco.com

Books authored or co-authored by John Strazzabosco:

Ninety Feet Under:



Kay A. Keiser

Kay A. Keiser, EdD is Chair of the Educational Leadership Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During her time at the university, Kay has been named Outstanding Teacher in the College of Education and Carnegie Scholar, and has hooded over 50 doctoral candidates. She is a co-author of Prepare to Chair: Leading the Dissertation and Thesis Process as well as articles on administrator dispositions, school community relations, teaching and learning styles, and social justice. Her current research interest is gender differences in leadership decisions, both for PK12 administrators and higher education leadership. She had been involved with developing survey instruments measuring school climate, diversity dispositions, academic chair evaluation, and student growth in learning research tools. Prior to becoming  a professor, she served as a teacher and administrator for the Omaha Public Schools for 25 years.



Keith Walker

Keith Walker, Ph.D. (University of Saskatchewan) is a professor in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of PUblich Policy (30%) and in the Department of Educational Administration in the College of Education (70%). He believes in the fundamental importance of robust systems of early childhood, K-12 education, and post-secondary education for the well-being of civil societies and has a wide-angle focus on lifelone and life-wide education in his work. To his way of thinking, organizational-community and leadership learning and development in all three sections sectors (public, social, private) are critical. His academic expertise in educational administration, executive leadership, organizational development and applied ethics, match well with his public policy research interests (governance, leadership-constituent relationships and social policy). Walker's present projects range from an examination of trust - why it is important, how it can be sustained - to how we might further engage public and social sector becoming flourishing and engaging organizations. 

Books authored or co-authored by Keith Walker:

The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching
Teacher Wellbeing:



Kendall Zoller

Kendall Zoller, Ed.D, is an author, educator, researcher, international presenter, and co-author of Calming Chaos, Leading Through the Ecotone (2018) and The Choreography of Presenting: The 7 Essential Abilities of Effective Presenters (Corwin Press, 2010). He is president of Sierra Training Associates, specializing in communicative intelligence and Hacking Leadership. He has authored over three dozen reviewed book chapters and journal articles spanning topics of communication, community, and leadership for educators and law enforcement. His work on leadership and presentation skills takes him to schools, districts, universities, state agencies, and corporations across the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Thailand, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. His lectures, presentations, and paper presentations include the campuses of Harvard, UC Berkeley, St. Anselm College, Boston University, University of Chicago, and Loyola University Maryland. Kendall has a doctorate in Educational Leadership a Masters in Educational Management. Kendall can be reached at kvzollerci@gmail.com

Books authored or co-authored by Kendall Zoller:

Voices Leading from the Ecotone



Mary-Ann Mitchell-Pellett

As a public-school teacher, counsellor, and school-based administrator, Dr. Mitchell-Pellett has enjoyed creating spaces where people learn to acknowledge their inner gifts in service of changing school and cultural narratives that better empower self and others. She researches and implements approaches that facilitate the horizontal and vertical development of pre-service teachers and leaders, and she is a co-creator and instructor of the Leading with Heart program at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education.



Nada Aoudeh

Nada Aoudeh is currently a vice principal in a public school board in the greater Toronto area (Ontario). She has been an educator for 18 years. She has completed two Masters degrees (in public health and in education) and is working toward a doctorate in education. Her research explores connections of race, ethnicity, and gender in the areas of education and health. She is particularly interested in the interaction of multiple forms of systemic oppression and the impact on minoritized women's leadership.

Prior to becoming an educator, Nada worked as an international consultant in public health in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa including fieldwork in Gaza, Palestine, where she engaged in a collaborative research project on the connection of occupation and gender violence. She was also the guest editor of special issues of the journal of Violence Against Women which focused on centering the voices of women in the research methodologies used to study gender based violence.

Nada is a provincial equity facilitator, training senior leaders in the human services fields to enable coherence in strategies across sectors(e.g. education, mental health, child welfare, justice, etc.). She is a founding member of an alliance of educators for Muslim students. Nada’s Tedx Education talk ‘Loud Silences and Quiet Voices’ invites educators to not only create space for diverse student voices but to get uncomfortable and listen to those voices that challenge the dominant ways of knowing and being in the world. Nada is committed to a vision of education that centers the experiences and voices of marginalized identities thereby promoting schools as a site of social transformation. Nada is a mama of two. When she doesn’t have her face buried in a book, she can be found eating and laughing with loved ones.



Nan Stevens

Dr. Nan Stevens enjoyed a fifteen-year teaching career working with marginalized populations, including street-entrenched youth and adults, within inner city schools of Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. Presently, as a teacher educator at Thompson Rivers University, Nan brings her experience in alternate education to inform pre-service and in-service teachers’ thinking regarding diversity and social justice. When Nan’s first son was born with a severe developmental disability, her lived experiences as the primary caregiver steered the course of her career. She has focused her life work on research, teaching, and advocacy, specifically, advancing innovative practices for educators, designing personalized programming for a high quality of life for self-advocates, and serving families in need whose children live with disabilities. Nan embraces and celebrates the shift in educators’ identities as they grow into capable and knowledgeable leaders. Her teaching approach encourages learners to dig deeply into personal biases and assumptions, and to assess critically one’s personal limitations. Nan’s identities are varied and numerous: mother of a child with high needs, a teacher, a postsecondary educator, a scholar, a community advocate, and a writer. This unique combination has established her as a change agent on local, provincial, national and international stages.



Sabre Cherkowski

Sabre Cherkowski is an Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Mindful Engagement at the University of British Columbia. She teaches and researches in the areas of leadership and organizational development, with a current focus on well being; professional learning and collaboration; mentoring and coaching; and diversity and education. She brings her experiences as a teacher, coach and parent to her passion for exploring flourishing in educational contexts.

Books authored or co-authored by Sabre Cherkowski:

Teacher Wellbeing:



Sarah Mullin

Sarah Mullin is a Deputy Headteacher at an independent all-through school in Birmingham, England. She is an experienced middle and senior leader who was a finalist in the category of Headteacher of the Year 2019 by the West Midlands Education Awards. As a highly regarded educator, Sarah has delivered CPD for aspiring, training and experienced teachers at schools, colleges and universities nationwide and she has coached and mentored educational professionals all across the UK. Sarah is a Woman Leading in Education (WLE) coach where she supports women aspiring to school leadership; she was recently shortlisted from over 28,000 nominees as a 'Positive Role Model' for women by the National Diversity Awards. Sarah is a member of the Secondary Education Board at the English Association and she is also studying for her Doctorate in Education where she is researching the gender imbalance in school leadership. Whilst Sarah has contributed towards many educational texts over the course of her career, 'What they didn't teach me on my PGCE' is the first book in what will be a series of books written by educators, for educators. 



Scott Lowrey

Dr. Scott Lowrey is an elementary school principal in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He received Canada's Outstanding Principals (COP) recognition in 2005, the inaugural year of the COP program for initiatives relating to early literacy and the creation of a multigenerational continuum of community services encompassing society’s youngest to society’s most senior.

Scott completed his Ed.D studies (Educational Administration) at the University of Toronto within the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 2013.  Scott was inducted in the McMaster University’s Alumni Gallery in 2014, and was also a recipient of McMaster University’s Lloyd Reed Prize in 1985.

Scott has taught Masters and Doctoral students at both the University of Toronto and Western University and is a recipient of the Western Education Graduate Excellence in Teaching Award.

Books authored or co-authored by Scott Lowrey:

The Principal Reader:
The Leader Reader:



Victoria Door

Victoria Door taught languages in secondary (high) schools in the south of England, the Midlands, and Germany. She was Head of Department (in middle management) in two schools before moving to Keele University to work in teacher education. Passionate about teacher development, she set up and taught on a range of Masters in Education focused on practice development. Currently she supervises national and international doctoral students and works with in-service teachers on action research projects.

Victoria has an M.Phil from Newcastle University comparing the construction of language textbooks in England, France and Germany, and a PhD from Bath University on attention in foreign language reading. She published her first single author book in 2014 (Developing Creative and Critical Educational Practitioners, Critical Publishing) and has published in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy (Critical Pedagogy and Reflexivity: The Issue of Ethical Consistency, Vol 5:2).

Books authored or co-authored by Victoria Door:

Save Our Teachers' Souls:



William T. Smale

William T. Smale, Ph.D. (University of Alberta); H.B.P.E.; B.Sc; B.Ed; M.Ed, is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Professional Learning at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He teaches undergraduate courses in Educational Law, Ethics and Professional Conduct, and graduate courses in Research Methods and School Law. His research interests include school law, educational administration, early school leaving, deviance, and early childhood interventions. William may be reached at williamsmale@trentu.ca.

Books authored or co-authored by William T. Smale:

Perspectives on Canadian Educational Law and Policy