Superintendent earns doctorate
Published 1:03 pm Saturday, January 3, 2015
Franklin City Public Schools Division Superintendent Willie J. Bell Jr. has completed all requirements for the doctoral degree in educational leadership from Cambridge College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Bell successfully defended his dissertation on Dec. 17 and will participate in commencement ceremonies in June.
Bell took over the helm of Franklin City Public Schools on July 1. He previously earned a bachelor degree in business information systems/mathematics from Virginia State University, master’s degree in administration/supervision with an endorsement as a curriculum specialist from East Carolina University and educational specialist degree from Cambridge College.
His doctoral study focused on the influence of teacher common planning time on the high school culture. An investigation of two high schools, one with common planning and one without, was used to quantitatively gauge the impact on student outcomes and qualitatively view teacher perceptions on utilization of this collaborative model. The study yielded positive results, which more than likely means the treatment of common planning had an impact on student outcomes.
Dr. Bell began this journey toward his doctorate in the summer of 2009. While working as a principal of a comprehensive high school in Richmond City Public Schools, director of secondary education in Petersburg City, and director of instruction in Sussex County, as well as division superintendent of Franklin City Public Schools, he was able to manage his time effectively to ultimately achieve his goal.
A native of Southampton County, Bell is the son of the late Willie J. Bell Sr. and Lottie Bell, both former educators in the Southampton County Public School System. He graduated from Southampton High School and currently resides in Franklin with his wife, Cassandra, and three children, Evan, Gabrielle and Khairi. He attributes the completion of his goal to keeping God first and valuing the impact of family uplift and encouragement of remaining disciplined, dedicated and committed.
His message to the students of Franklin City Public Schools: “If a country boy from small, rural Southampton County can achieve such a momentous goal, then the sky is the limit for you. Stay disciplined, dedicated, humble, and committed to achieving your goals for any goal is reachable through hard work.”