Educational Leadership

Faculty PhotoLora L. Wolff 
Assistant Professor

Horrabin Hall 115D
Phone: 309/298-1776

Curriculum Vitae

 Lora is a graduate of Wartburg College (B.A., English education, 1979), Western Illinois University (M.A., English with an emphasis in writing, 1992) and the University of Iowa (Ph.D., 1997, English Education). She earned her principal certification from WIU and her superintendent endorsement from the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls).

Dr. Wolff joined the Educational Leadership Department at Western Illinois in the fall of 2012. However, she has served as an adjunct on a regular basis since 2001. Prior to joining the department full-time, Dr. Wolff was the superintendent for the Keokuk (Iowa) Community Schools for four years. Additionally, while in Keokuk (28 years total) she served as assistant superintendent, Director of Technology and Communications, department chairperson, and teacher (English, speech, and journalism). Lora taught four years at Lakota High School (1980-1984). She has also taught college writing (WIU) and Introduction to Teaching English, Speech and Journalism (Iowa).

Significant achievements while in Keokuk:

  • Secured over 80 competitive grants for the Keokuk district totaling over $12 million.
  • Implemented the development and use of district-wide electronic, standards-based report cards using the district student information system.
  • Researched, adopted, and implemented the Understanding by Design curriculum framework (Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins) district-wide including providing off-site professional development and leading on-site professional development.
  • Worked to help pass the One-Cent Sales Tax and the bond issue for a new middle school and an early childhood wing.
  • Led district in numerous planning activities including strategic planning, facilities planning, district and building goal development, Board of Education goal development, and school improvement planning.
  • Secured funding, designed, implemented and supervised a summer credit recovery program for HS students.
  • Planned, organized and/or facilitated professional development on-site activities for Keokuk teachers and administrators.  Sample topics: PowerGrade, grading practices, curriculum, unit development, creating rubrics.
  • Designed and prepared annual Report to Community (2001 - 2012) including data collection and analysis.
  • Led district through closure of two elementary schools (Torrence—2010, Wells-Carey—2012).
  • Led the district through budget reductions (2011-2012--$1,200,000; 2010-2011--$1,242,311; 2009-2010--$795,921; 2010-2011--$1.3 million; 2011-2012--$1.7 million).
  • Instituted and planned administrative book studies (e.g. Good to Great-Collins, Results Now-Schmoker, The Learning Leader-Reeves, Fierce Conversations-Scott, What Works in Schools-Marzano).
  • Participated in GPAEA Superintendent Rounds (Instructional Rounds in Education, Richard Elmore) during 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.

 Current research interests include grading practices, the implementation of professional learning communities, and portfolios as assessment tools.