Peggy  Connell
Assistant Professor
Orlean Beeson School of Education
Educational Leadership
Office: Orlean Bullard Beeson Hall 219
Phone: 205-726-2783

Dr. Peggy Connell is an assistant professor of education and director of assessment for the department of educational leadership in the School of Education at Samford. Dr. Connell dedicated over 35 years in K-12 public education and served as a high school teacher, counselor, program specialist for staff development, director of curriculum and instruction, high school principal, chief academic officer, and superintendent. She has served in diverse school environments including small to large size districts and schools; rural, suburban, and urban settings; and students from low to high poverty backgrounds. Dr. Connell has served in leadership roles at the local, district, state, and national levels. She has participated in educational reform initiatives through The Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform, Cornerstone Literacy, Inc., Southern Regional Educational Board (SREB), and Race to the Top.

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D. Educational Research/Psychology, University of Alabama
  • Ed.S. Guidance and Counseling, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • M.A. Guidance and Counseling, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • B.S. English and Business Education, Jacksonville State University


  • principal leadership
  • educational leadership
  • leading change
  • women in leadership

Awards and Honors

  • Professional of the Year Award, Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, 2011
  • Distinguished Service Award, Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors, 2010
  • Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Inc. Woman of Distinction, 2009
  • Distinguished Service Award, Georgia School Superintendents Association, 2004
  • Outstanding Distinguished Professional, Girls Scouts of Cottaquilla Council, 2001
  • Outstanding Educational Leadership Award, Alabama Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1998
  • Outstanding Educator, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1986


  • Education, 2014, 134(1) pp. 94 – 109, The Recruitment and Selection of Principals Who Increase Student Learning
  • AAPEL Journal, 1(1), Sept. 2014, Five Critical Practices for Middle Grades Leadership:  Framework for School Improvement
  • Sage Open, 2013 3:  DOI:  10.1177/2158244013486492, School Funding Issues:  State Legislators and School Superintendents—Adversaries or Allies?


  • Hawaii International Conference on Education Jan 2015, Honolulu, HI; Five Critical Practices: Principals Who Improve Student Learning; Peggy Connell & Pat Hodge
  • KDP CONVO Oct, 2014 Calgary, Canada; Female Superintendents: Advantages, Challenges, and Pathways; Peggy Connell & Jane Cobia
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals July 2014, Nashville, TN; Five Critical Practices of Principals Who Improve Student Learning; Peggy Connell, Ruth Ash, & Pat Hodge
  • MSERA November 2013 Pensacola Beach, FL; A Middle School Initiative to Develop Student Voice, Interpersonal Relationship and Intrapersonal Relationships on Students’ Sense of Belonging in School; Peggy Connell, Les Ennis, Phyllis Faust
  • AAPEL Spring 2013 Montgomery, AL; Five Critical Practices of Principals Who Improve Student Learning, Peggy Connell, Ruth Ash, Pat Hodge, Yvette Richardson, Zebbra Green


  • Editor-in-Chief of on-line peer review journal, The Educational Collaborative; March 2012 to present; published Vol. 1 & 2
  • LiveText Coordinator for Graduate Studies; August 2012 to present
  • Treasurer, Alabama Association of Professors of Educational Leaders (AAPEL), February 2013 to present
  • Session Chair at the AAPEL Spring Conferences, 2013, 2014, & 2015, Montgomery, AL
  • Facilitator for the Middle Grades Leadership Academy; March 2012 to present
  • Facilitator for Superintendent’s Association professional development initiative; 2012 to present
  • Session Chair at MSERA in Pensacola, FL on November 6 – 8, 2013
  • Muscogee County School District Fine Arts Committee, 2012 to present