Sara Quay is the Dean of Education and the Director of the Endicott Scholars Honors Program at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. Dr. Quay received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University, her M.A. from Simmons College, and her B.A. from Boston College. She holds an initial license in English (8-12) from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, has served as a Teaching Fellow for Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Data Wise Summer Institute and been certified as a Data Wise coach. Dr. Quay has received multiple grants to support her work in teacher education and has published articles and essays in The Boston Globe, Principal Magazine, Academic Leader, Teachers College Record, Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, Honors in Practice, and The Teaching Professor. She is the author of several books, and has spent the past 16 years of her career working to improve teacher preparation in her home state of Massachusetts.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

The work deans of education do every day is influenced and evaluated by so many different stakeholders, including state departments of education, accrediting bodies, the public, and the media. Deans for Impact connects me with other education deans who understand these factors while also being committed to moving the field ahead in positive ways. What a great way to collaborate with leaders who are willing to share best practices, be innovative, and ground our work in evidence! Deans for Impact is truly a game changer, and I am honored to be a member.

What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?

In 2013, the Endicott School of Education participated in the Data Wise Summer Institute at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Our charge was to learn the Data Wise cycle of inquiry, developed for PK-12, and to evaluate its relevance to higher education, specifically educator preparation. This experience transformed how we use data for continuous improvement, built new relationships across programs, and connected us to our PK-12 colleagues in meaningful ways. I became a certified Data Wise coach the following year and have led a higher education network of educator-preparation programs using Data Wise for the past four years. It is so energizing to dig into data, and we are making real changes that support our teacher-candidates and PK-12 students.

When did you first know you wanted to work in education? What was your first job?

There is a saying that no young person dreams of being an administrator when they grow up. I may be the exception to this rule! The multi-faceted role of being a dean is hard yet very meaningful work. Every day is different; there is ample opportunity to problem solve and innovate. I have been fortunate to have been able to grow our School of Education each year–and the process continues. The work of leading a team, supporting pre-service teachers, and engaging in state and national conversations around teacher preparation keeps me busy and rewarded every day.

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