Dr. T.J. Vari, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools & District Operations
- Ed.D. in Innovation & Leadership – Wilmington University, 2012
- M.Ed. in School Leadership – Wilmington University, 2008
- B.A. in Education – University of Delaware – 2001
- B.A. in English Literature – University of Delaware, 2001
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I currently have the pleasure of being the assistant superintendent of secondary schools and district operations in the fastest growing school district in Delaware, helping to manage the largest capital improvement project that the State has ever seen.
I am also one of two Chief Officers in a Leadership Development Institute startup company called TheSchoolHouse302.
In which online program do you teach?
Which classes do you teach online?
Foundations of Measurement, Data Driven Decision-Making, Introduction to School Finance
What do you want students learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?
My expected outcomes for students is that the information learned has practical implications and immediate application in their setting. In fact, my hope is that many of the projects or experiences are completed in the context of their environments.
Why did you start teaching?
I have a passion for teaching and learning as well as an interest in helping school leaders to grow so that they can serve their communities better.
What's the best advice that you have ever received?
"You can't make more time, but you can make the best of it" – Tim Ferriss
What's the best advice you could give to online students?
Do your best to stay in touch with the work and your peers on a daily basis. A day away can easily become three. Falling behind online usually means falling out of touch with the community of learners, which is one of the main features in an online environment.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles.
What qualities make someone particularly successful in educational leadership?
In educational leadership, the future super stars will be able to balance theory and practice--knowing what the research says and making changes to current systems of belief and long-held traditions that don't lead to improvements and progress. Successful educators are always thinking about the kids first with no deviation to the mission of serving young people. Successful leaders are driven by core values and serving people.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that teachers today?
The biggest challenge that educators face is sifting through all of the urgent work to ensure that the focus is on important work. In a world where everything can seem like the next best thing to do, it's important to be grounded in research and evidence to support best practices and sustainability.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know about you.
Before my journey as an educator, I was a restaurant manager. I value my experience as a business leader and it has shaped my thinking as a school and district leader.