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About Gary Houchens

Gary Houchens is professor in the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research.  He teaches in the school principal preparation program, conducts research on instructional leadership, and regularly works with schools and districts to support their improvement efforts.  He is a former teacher, principal, and school district administrator. In 2016 he was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education.


Present Professor, Western Kentucky University Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Curriculum Vitae

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Professional Service and Affiliations

2017 - Present Member, Kentucky Charter Schools Advisory Council
2017 - Present Policy Advisor, Pegasus Institute
2016 - Present Commissioner, Education Commission of the States
2016 - Present Member, Kentucky Board of Education
2015 - Present Board of Scholars Member, Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
2015 - Present Board of Directors, EdChoice Kentucky
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Honors and Awards

  • Principal of the Year for work with at-risk students and their families, 2007. Awarded by the FamilyWorks Therapy, Bowling Green, KY.
  • Faculty Excellence Award for Student Advisement, WKU Collge of Educational and Behavioral Sciences, 2015-2016
  • Commissioned to Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels, 2017


  • EDAD 677 (Legal Issues for Professional Educators)
  • EDAD 707 (Educational Leadership, Policy, and Politics)
  • EDLD 710 (Leadership Theories and Ethics)
  • EDAD 699 (Education Specialist Project)
  • EDAD 694 (Seminar in Leadership: Educational Administration)
  • EDAD 643 (Securing and Developing Staff)
  • EDAD 642 (Leveraging Community Systems and Resources)
  • EDAD 641 (Building Culture and Community)
  • EDAD 640 (Introduction to School Leadership)
  • EDAD 576 (Issues and Trends in Education)
  • EDAD 590 (Administration of School Personnel)
  • EDAD 597 (Problems in Education Administratin)
  • EDAD 683 (Leading Teaching and Learning)
  • EDAD 684 (Instructional Leadership)
  • EDAD 696 (Advanced Organizational Theory)


2008 Ph. D., University of Louisville
2003 M.A.T, Oakland City University ‐ Education Administration
2000 Master of Arts, Western Kentucky University ‐ Department of History
1993 Bachelor of Arts, Western Kentucky University ‐ Philosophy, Religion, and History

Contact Information

Office:  Gary A. Ransdell Hall - Room 3087
Phone:  270-745-4999


Research Works (9)

Graduate Research Works (1)