2011 Brock Prize Jurors

Keith Ballard

Contact Nominee

Keith Ballard, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Nominee:  Carol A. Cohn

A native of Kiowa, Kansas, Dr. Ballard holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Speech from Kansas State University in Hays, Kansas; a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma; and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Oklahoma State University. Before becoming the Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, Dr. Ballard was Executive Director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA). Dr. Ballard began his educational career in 1972 as a teacher in Coweta Public Schools. He moved to Oologah, Oklahoma, in 1974 where he taught and served in several administrative positions including Superintendent from 1986 until 1992. Dr. Ballard then moved to Claremore where he served as Superintendent of Claremore Public Schools before assuming the position with OSSBA on January 1, 2000.

Dr. Ballard has served as an adjunct professor of school law for Southern Nazarene University, Tulsa and Oklahoma City branches, and Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. He is currently on leave as a professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Ballard also currently serves on the State Superintendent’s Advisory Council and is past chairman of the Oklahoma Education Coalition and of the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust. He served on the United Suburban Schools Association Executive Committee where he was the 1996-97 president and was on the executive committee of the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators where he served as president in 1997-98. Dr. Ballard has served on the American Association of School Administrators and the National School Boards Association Liaison Committee representing executive directors on the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Board of Directors.

Nomination Portfolio

Stacy DeCorsey

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Stacy DeCorsey
Principal Jordan Elementary School, Jordan, Minnesota. National Elementary Principal of the Year – 2009
Nominee:  Matthew Dorschner

Stacy DeCorsey, principal of Jordan Elementary School in the Jordan Public School District and a member of the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association, is Minnesota’s 2009 National Distinguished Principal (NDP).

DeCorsey has been in the Minnesota education community since 1998. She has been the principal at Jordan Elementary in Jordan since 2003, and before that was the principal at Westwood Elementary in St. Cloud for three years, and Dean of Students at Glencoe Silver Lake High School in Glencoe for two years. She received her superintendent and K-12 principal licensures, as well as her Master’s in Education from Saint Mary’s University in St. Paul, MN; and her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education/Special Education from Dakota State University, Madison, SD.

“The Jordan School District’s success with students, parents, and community is directly related to Stacy DeCorsey’s vision and dedication,” said Kirk Nelson, Superintendent, Jordan School District. “Stacy has made her colleagues better and the district successful by her leadership demonstrating best practice, motivation, and a positive approach. Stacy understands that success comes from building relationships and encourages all constituents toward continuous improvement. Stacy DeCorsey is one of those rare individuals whose influence changes lives. Her extraordinary leadership, boundless energy, and incredible attitude combine to make her the ideal educational leader.” DeCorsey has pioneered many initiatives in her building including: Healthy Snack Cart, Food for Friends backpack program, S.M.A.R.T. motor development, and RTI efforts.

Nomination Portfolio

Mary B. Herrmann

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Mary B. Herrmann
Superintendent, School District of Clayton, Clayton, Missouri
Nominee:  Linda Darling-Hammond

Prior to accepting the superintendent position in Clayton, Missouri in 2010, Mary Herrmann worked for ten years as a superintendent in Winnetka and Barrington, Illinois. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership, a master's degree in counseling psychology and a bachelor's degree in secondary education, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Herrmann's tenure as a district-level leader began as an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at New Trier High School (Winnetka, Ill). She has eight years experience as a building administrator, serving as both an elementary school principal and a high school principal. Prior to becoming an administrator, Herrmann was a school counselor and teacher for 11 years. In addition to serving students and families in elementary and secondary schools, Herrmann teaches and advises graduate students in the Educational and Organizational Leadership department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She also serves on the board of directors for the Great Books Foundation and the Midwest Principals’ Center.

Originally from Madison, WI., Herrmann shares her passion for education with her entire family. Her husband, Scott, is a middle school principal and adjunct professor. She has two children, Jessica, a school psychologist, and Zachary, a math teacher.

Nomination Portfolio

Becky Kennedy


Becky Kennedy, MS Ed.
Principal, Curtis Middle School, Allen ISD, Allen, Texas
Nominee:  Phillip C. Schlechty

Becky Kennedy was named Met Life/Texas Association Middle School Principal of the Year for 2008. The honor came after 33 years of distinguished service to middle school and high school aged children in Texas. In 2009 Kennedy was recognized by receiving an HEB Excellence in Education Award representing North Texas. Mrs. Kennedy has been a guest speaker for various leadership settings in Allen ISD and also a presenter at the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals conference.

A graduate of Texas Tech University, Becky served as art teacher, art coordinator, assistant principal, house principal and principal in three school districts thorough-out her career. Becky is a strong believer in servant leadership. Her superintendent writes, “Mrs. Kennedy routinely nurtures an environment where instructional designs incorporate creativity and intellectual development for the success of the whole child.” Curtis Middle School diagnostician notes, “Personalizing the school environment to meet the needs of each unique student is truly where Becky’s heart lies.” Becky believes that it is up to the principal, as the instructional leader, to provide the kind of leadership in the school and community that builds and maintains a vision of high expectations for all students. Student success can be measured in many ways. Through personalizing the learning environment, students become willing participants in the learning process. She believes that engaging lessons, designed by teachers, are instrumental to student success in the learning process. Mrs. Kennedy also believes, as leaders and designers, we must invest in our students today so that they can become the leaders of tomorrow.

Becky and her husband, a retired teacher, are proud parents of two daughters who both serve in education in Texas.

Nomination Portfolio

Elizabeth M. Morgan

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Elizabeth M. Morgan, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Washington County Public Schools, Hagerstown, Maryland. She is currently The American Association of School Administrators 2010 National Superintendent of the Year
Nominee:  Freeman Hrabowski

Dr. Elizabeth Molina Morgan is currently serving in her ninth year as superintendent of the Washington County (MD) Public Schools, an Appalachian system of wide diversity with a 42% student poverty population. She has worked in a number of senior management roles in Maryland public schools, including: Chief Academic Officer in the Baltimore City School System; Associate Superintendent in the Frederick County Schools; and four positions in the Montgomery County Schools, where she spent the majority of her earlier career as an administrator. During her tenure as superintendent, Dr. Morgan has focused on developing innovative and challenging educational opportunities to serve the needs of a wide range of students who attend public schools. She is a passionate advocate for high academic standards and for transforming schools to reach world-class levels.

Dr. Morgan has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards for excellence in education, including being inducted into the Circle of Excellence as one of Maryland’s “Top 100 Women;” having achieved a “Service Above Self” Rotary award; and having been named recently The American Association of School Administrators 2010 National Superintendent of the Year.

She holds a Ph.D. in Administration from American University, in Washington, D.C.

Nomination Portfolio

patricia E. Neudecker

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Patricia E. Neudecker, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools, Oconomowoc Wisconsin; President Elect-American Association of School Administrators and will serve as national president of AASA in 2011
Nominee:  Howard Gardner

Pat Neudecker is the superintendent of schools in Oconomowoc, a community located between Milwaukee and Madison,Wisconsin. Five elementary, two intermediate and one high school serve approximately 5000 students in academics, arts, and athletics. During the past 7 years, Neudecker led the district though a serious financial misfortune, restored trust with the community, and led a successful capital project campaign for the construction of 2 new schools, a performing arts center, and an athletic field house. Neudecker has been a public school educator for 28 years as middle and high school teacher, an assistant principal, middle school principal, director of instruction, assistant superintendent, and superintendent.

Neudecker completed her undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and UW-Stout and received a masters and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Neudecker is an active member of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, the American Association of School Administrators, Phi Delta Kappa, and the Horace Mann League. She is on a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Advisory Committee and is chairperson of the southeastern Wisconsin superintendents group and one of several writers of the CESA 1 Transforming Public Education: A Regional Call to Action whitepaper. A strong believer in community service, Neudecker is a Rotarian and also serves on the local boards for the YMCA, Lake Country Free Clinic, and the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra. She co-chairs the Oconomowoc Sister City Project with Dietzenbach, Germany. Pat has been married to Curt for 37 years and they have two grown sons and three grandchildren.

Nomination Portfolio

Cindy Reed

Contact Nominee

Cindy Reed, Ed.D.
Director of the Truman Pierce Institute (TPI), a research and outreach center in the College of Education and a Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology at Auburn University
Nominee:  David Matthews

As Director of the Institute, Dr. Reed oversees numerous programs and research activities related to educational reform and leadership development. Additionally, Dr. Reed is a Commissioner on the Alabama Select Commission on High School Retention and Drop Out Prevention, the Governor’s Black Belt Action Commission and serves on the education committee, and is Co-Chair of the Education Committee for Region 5 of the Alabama Rural Action Commission. In recent years she has served as a member of the Middle Grades Initiative for the Alabama State Department of Education, the Governor’s Congress for Instructional Leadership II, and the Governor’s Task Force for Teacher Leadership (Professional learning committee). Reed is an Associate Editor of the Journal of School Leadership and Executive Editor of The Professional Educator, and is also on the editorial review board of several national and international journals. In Fall 2008, she was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the University Council for Educational Administration. She is an active member of the American Educational Research Association and several other professional organizations.

Cindy received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in Administrative and Policy Studies with specialization in Educational Policy, Planning, and Evaluation and her B.S. and M.S., and administrative certification from universities in the State University of New York system (Oswego and Cortland respectively). She has experience as a public school teacher, specialist in gifted education, middle school assistant principal and principal, and director of collaborative at-risk education and college access programs among multiple K-12 schools and institutions of higher education before coming to Auburn University. Her research focuses on applied transformational leadership; leadership preparation; educational policy and policy advocacy; intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational leadership capacity building; community and civic engagement; and collaborative educational reform efforts.

Nomination Portfolio

Alan Shoho

Contact Nominee

Alan R. Shoho, Ed.D.
Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio; current President of University Council of Educational Administrators
Nominee:  James P. Comer

His research focuses on aspiring principals and assistant principals, high school social processes, and organizational cultures. Dr. Shoho is currently leading a research team of four doctoral students to examine various social processes existing in high schools. Dr. Shoho has published in the Educational Administration Quarterly, ERS Spectrum, Journal of School Leadership, Journal of Educational Administration, The High School Journal, Research in Schools, Theory and Research in Educational Administration, Journal of Special Education Leadership, and The International Journal of Educational Management. Recently, Dr. Shoho co-authored with Bruce Barnett and Mike Copland a book chapter in the upcoming Handbook of Research on Leadership Education on “The use of internship in preparing principals.” In addition, Dr. Shoho co-authored another piece on “Admissions to university-based preparation programs: Faculty assessments of current practices and implications for navigating the future” in the 15th Annual Yearbook of NCPEA. He was also the lead author for a book chapter in the Handbook of Educational Leadership entitled, “Social Justice: Seeking a Common Language.” Shoho is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Leadership and Policy in Schools and Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Shoho earned his Ed.D. at Arizona State University, M.Ed. at the University of Hawaii, and his B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering at California State University at Fullerton, whereupon he worked as an Electrical Engineer at Rockwell International designing gyroscope guidance systems for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). He subsequently taught high school mathematics in Hawaii before moving into higher education. He teaches graduate courses in educational leadership including introduction to school administration, internship, pro-seminar, and ethics.

Nomination Portfolio 

James C. Spoher

Contact Nominee

James C. Spohrer
Director, IBM University Programs, IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California
Nominee:  Ioannis Miaoulis

Spohrer has been the Director of IBM University Programs (IBM UP) since 2009. He founded IBM's first Service Research group in 2003 at the Almaden Research Center with a focus on STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) for Service Sector Innovations. He led this group to attain ten times return on investment with four IBM outstanding and eleven accomplishment awards over seven years. Working with service research pioneers from many academic disciplines Spohrer advocates for Service Science, Management, Engineering, and Design (SSMED) as an integrative extended-STEM framework for global competency development and economic growth. In 2000, Spohrer became the founding CTO of IBM’s first Venture Capital Relations group in Silicon Valley. In the mid 1990’s, he lead Apple Computer’s Learning Technologies group, where he was awarded DEST (Distinguished Engineer Scientist and Technologist).

Spohrer received a Ph.D. in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence from Yale University and a B.S. in Physics from MIT.

Nomination Portfolio