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L4L Faculty

The Leadership for Learning program instructors include a team of core faculty widely recognized for their deep scholarship and engagement with practice as well as visiting instructors from the field. The greatest strength of the program lies in the combination of the teaching and research experience of the faculty with the working experience and insight of successful district-level leaders.

L4L Core Faculty Bios

Meredith Honig
HonigDirector, Leadership for Learning
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
College of Education, University of Washington
Ph.D., Stanford University

Meredith Honig’s research and teaching focus on policy, leadership and organizational change to improve results for all students at scale. She is particularly interested in how public policymaking bureaucracies such as school district central offices innovate and collaborate to improve opportunities for all youth to learn. Her work on central office transformation has been featured in various scholarly journals and by national organizations such as the American Association for School Administrators and Learning Forward. She recently founded and directs the District Leadership Design Lab which partners with learning scientists, leadership educators, and district leaders to help school districts improve their performance. Prior to joining the University of Washington faculty, Honig was an assistant professor and co-director of the Center for Educational Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked at the California Department of Education and in other state and local youth agencies. About L4L, Meredith says, “Working with L4L students is one of the highlights of what I do. Our students bring deep commitments to improving results for students, not just in single classrooms or schools but across systems. Our students develop deep connections with each other and alumni that they carry forward with them beyond the program. Faculty work with students to help them stretch their leadership, sometimes in ways they never imagined; in turn, students stretch faculty to become ever better instructors and partners in the field. We are a true learning community.”

Department Faculty Profile  | Campus Box: 353600  | (206) 616-0679

Monte Bridges
Associate Director, Leadership for Learning
Senior Lecturer, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
College of Education, University of Washington
Ed.D., University of Washington

Monte Bridges serves as associate director and senior lecturer for the Leadership for Learning doctoral program. In 2012, he retired as superintendent and chief executive officer of the Puget Sound Educational Service District in Renton, Washington, where he provided leadership and support to 35 school districts and other educational communities across the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan region. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of the Vashon Island School District. A champion of effective leadership, governance, social justice and quality education for all students, Bridges’ career includes over 32 years in classroom, support service and administrative leadership positions in Washington state. He has demonstrated success in establishing public-private partnerships to benefit students and school systems. His research and practice interests include the public school superintendency, performance evaluation for school leaders, school district leadership and governance and equity in education.  | Campus Box: 353600  | (206) 999-5444


Ann Ishimaru
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
College of Education, University of Washington
Ed.D., Harvard University

Ann Ishimaru’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of leadership, school-community relationships and equity-based reform in urban and “new immigrant destination” school systems. Her work examines leadership capacity for system-wide equity in the context of both district-community organizing collaborations and educational leader professional growth.

Department Faculty Profile  | Campus Box: 353600  | (206) 543-9840

Michael Knapp
Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
College of Education, University of Washington
Ph.D., Stanford University

Michael Knapp’s teaching and research focus on educational policymaking, school reform, sociology of education and policy research methods, with an emphasis on how policy connects to classroom and school improvement. His studies have concentrated on the education of disenfranchised populations, mathematics and science education, and the professional development of educators. His publications include Leadership for Learning: Reflection, Planning, and Action (2006), Paths to Partnership: Universities and Communities as Learners in Interprofessional Education (1998) and Teaching for Meaning in High-Poverty Classrooms (1995).

Department Faculty Profile  | Campus Box: 353600  | (206) 221-3456

Margaret Plecki
Associate Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
College of Education, University of Washington
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Plecki's research and teaching expertise includes: school finance and education policy, the economics of education, educational leadership, the allocation of resources for school improvement, and mixed methods research design. Dr. Plecki is a Co-Principal Investigator for the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy.  She was elected as the President of the Association for Education Finance and Policy and served two terms on the organization’s Board of Directors. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked as a special education teacher, a school administrator, and the Managing Partner of an education consulting firm. Dr. Plecki recently has served as a member of the State of Washington’s Compensation Working Group.

Department Faculty Profile  | Campus Box: 353600  | (206) 221-3430