Christopher Colwell

Associate Professor and Chair of Education

Christopher Colwell comes to Stetson following a 34-year career in teaching and administration at the K-12 level.

  • Ed.D., University of Central Florida
  • Ed.S., University of Central Florida
  • MEd, Stetson University
  • BA, Stetson University


Christopher Colwell


Dr. Chris Colwell is an Associate Professor and Chair of Teacher and Graduate Education at Stetson University. Prior to his tenure at Stetson, Dr. Colwell served public P-12 education for thirty-four (34) years as a classroom teacher, guidance counselor, elementary, middle, and high school principal, and as Deputy Superintendent for the Volusia County School Board. Dr. Colwell's school principal experience includes leading Title 1 elementary and high schools as well as International Baccalaureate high schools. As Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Colwell led all academic programs for the district including federal, state and local programs designed to support at-risk students in the county. The development of the districts' "Plus One" extended school year program was recognized as one of three exemplary practices in Florida by the USDOE and has been featured in national publications on time and learning for at risk youth.

In addition to numerous state committees and advisory boards, Dr. Colwell served as President of the Florida Organization for Instructional Leaders. He was named Florida's Principal of the Year in 1997 and District Administrator of the Year in 2007. Chris is a frequent presenter at the state, national, and international level on issues relating to education innovation and reform.
Dr. Colwell's scholarly work centers on best practices in educational leadership at the school and district level. He is a frequent author in national journals focused on school and district leadership development including the American School Board Journal and Principal Leadership Journal. His first book on school leadership, Impact: How Assistant Principals Can Be High Performing Leaders was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2015. He is currently under contract with Rowman & Littlefield for his second book on school leadership, Mission: Changing School Culture & Climate scheduled for publication in the spring of 2018.

More About Christopher Colwell

Areas of Expertise

  • Teacher Evaluation Systems
  • K-12 Curriculum, Instruction, Professional Development and Administration
  • Teacher Union – School Board Collaboration and Communication
  • Restorative Practice Certified Trainer 


    Leadership and Charisma
  • Certified Trainer in Restorative Practices

Course Sampling

  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Educational Management and Systems Planning
  • School Finance

  • School Leadership
  • Leadership Theory
  • Teacher Effectiveness
  • Labor-Management Collaboration
  • School Culture and Climate

  • Tichenor, M., Colwell, C., Heins, E. & Piechura, K. (2018 accepted for publication in PDS Partners). Cohabitation: A university and district partnership living in the same evaluation house.
  • Colwell, C. (2018). Mission driven leadership: Understanding the challenges facing schools today. .Lanham. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Sabina, L.L., & Colwell, C. (2018). Challenges of principal succession: Examining the challenges of hiring internal vs. external candidates. Athens Journal of Education.
  • Impact: How Assistant Principals Can Be High Performing Leaders, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Projected publication date Spring 2015.
  • "Union-Management Collaboration: Finding Common Ground Through Student Achievement," The American School Board Journal. Projected publication date to be announced.
  • "Assessing Teacher Performance: A Call for Transparency," Principal Leadership Journal. Projected publication date to be announced.
  • "District and University Perspectives on Sustaining Professional Development Schools," The Professional Educator. projected publication date Fall 2014.
  • "So You Want to be the Principal," Principal Leadership Journal, December, 2013.
  • The Fourth Tier: Leadership and the Power of Charisma. Rowman & Littlefield, Publishers. 2020.