James A. Vornberg Award

TCPEA established the James A. Vornberg Living Legend Award in 2006. This prestigious award is given periodically to a TCPEA member who has contributed an outstanding degree of service and commitment to the organization.


Nominate a TCPEA Member

Complete this online form to nominate a TCPEA member for the James A. Vornberg Award.

About James A. Vornberg

James “Jim” Vornberg joined the Texas Professors of Educational Administration (as it was then called) at the first regular meeting following the formal establishment of that group in 1974. He was active in the group and served as Secretary-Treasurer/Newsletter Editor for 1983-85, Vice-President for 1985-86, and President for 1986-87. In 1987, he decided to publish a textbook on Texas school administration that would serve as a basis for administration programs across the state, recruiting TPEA colleagues to help write chapters.

Texas Public School Administration and Organization was first published in 1989 and was adopted by many institutions in the state for use in their programs. It soon unofficially became the project of TPEA, and after being financially successful, a portion of the royalty was designated to TPEA. After 12 editions, 87 individuals — most TCPEA members — have authored or co-authored chapters in the various editions.

Vornberg’s research and teaching focus has been primarily on the principalship during his decades-long career at East Texas State University/Texas A&M University–Commerce. He has had more than 1,800 different students in his principalship courses during his tenure. He co-authored or authored three grants totaling $2 million that were funded by the Meadows Foundation in Dallas. The grants resulted in the Meadows Principal Improvement Program and Principals’ Center at Texas A&M–Commerce. The project still remains active 25 years later. It has offered more than 135 staff development opportunities for principals and other administrators, and graduated 165 “Meadows Fellows” between 1985 and 1999.

In addition to the publication mentioned above, Vornberg co-authored The New School Leader for the 21st Century: The Principal with Edward Seifert. He has more than 50 articles and monographs to his credit and has been the dissertation director of more than 85 dissertations. He has served as department head and as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services during his time at A&M–Commerce.

He has been active in all the principal professional organizations at state and national levels, as well as TASA, AASA, ASCD, NCPEA, SACS, and Phi Delta Kappa. He is married to Dr. Caroline Vornberg who is also an educator. The couple have three grown children and three grandchildren. Vornberg is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served for more than 27 years on active and reserve duty.


Past Award Recipients


Stacey Edmonson, Ed.D.

Dr. Stacey Edmonson is Dean of the College of Education at Sam Houston State University. She served as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling for five years and has been a professor in educational leadership since 2000. She has previously served as a teacher, principal, and central office administrator in Texas public schools. She earned a B.A. in English from Texas A&M University and M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She has authored a number of books and articles on topics including trust, stress, and burnout among educators, legal issues in education, and educator ethics. Stacey has had many roles within TCPEA, including editor of its journal School Leadership Review and Executive Director for seven years.


Betty Jo Monk, Ph.D.

Betty Jo Monk served as a professor of educational administration and educational leadership at Baylor University (1989-2003) and Tarleton State University (2004-2013). She taught exclusively in the principal preparation programs and doctoral programs at both institutions. Prior to her work in higher education, Dr. Monk was the chief human resources officer for Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD (CFBISD). Before entering public school administration, she was a kindergarten teacher in CFBISD and Wilmer-Hutchins ISD. Her teaching experiences included professional work in England, Hawaii, and private education. In additional to her university teaching role, she also served in university administration as an associate dean and department chair.

Throughout her professional career, her areas of interest and scholarship focused on personnel administration and leadership. She created numerous publications, training programs, and technical documents. Known as a highly effective teacher and trainer, Dr. Monk served for nearly 30 years as an educational consultant for the State of Texas, TEA, TASA, TEPSA, TASSP, TASPA, the 20 regional service centers, Texas public school districts, and other professional groups. She was also very involved with national-level educational organizations and associations. Teacher and administrator performance appraisal, conflict resolution, and action learning were major areas of life-long learning and expertise for her. Dr. Monk has been credited with working with more than 10,000 educators in professional development.

As she always explained when introducing herself to a new group, Betty Jo Monk has three priorities in her life—God, family, and career. She celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband, JD, in 2011. She is the mother of two sons and the grandmother of seven. She has always proudly declared that she chose to be an educator and her legacy, in addition to children and grandchildren, is the difference made in the lives of children by the students and individuals with whom she was privileged to work. She considers receipt of the James A. Vornberg Living Legend Award from the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration a highlight in a very blessed life.


John R. Hoyle

John R. Hoyle, who passed away in 2013, was professor emeritus of Educational Administration at Texas A&M University and specialized in Leadership Training and Assessment and Future Studies. He was one of America’s leading researchers and reformers in leadership education and assessment and an authority on the visioning process and future studies. Hoyle was a dynamic speaker who spiced up his content with humor and motivational stories.

Hoyle was once selected by his peers in a national survey as one of America’s four “exceptional living scholars” in educational administration/leadership. Other honors included: two Texas A&M University awards for Distinguished Achievement in Teaching; the Hoyle Leadership Award created in 2007 by The Texas A&M University Administrative Leadership Institute to be given to a Texas school leader who has made a positive difference in the lives of students for the betterment of society; the first Living Legend award in 1999 by the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration; the 2008 Living Legend award presented by TCPEA; and receipt of the coveted Golden Deeds Award for distinguished service to Texas education.

Hoyle created more than 150 scholarly publications over his 40 years in education: Leadership and Futuring: Making Visions Happen (2007) 2nd ed., was selected as the August 2007 Book of the Month by the National Association for Career and Technical Education. Other books include: The Superintendent as CEO: Standards-Based Performance (co-authored, 2005); Leadership and the Force of Love: Six Keys to Motivating with Love (2002); and Professional Standards for the Superintendency. An October 2008 co-authored article “Maintaining America’s Egalitarian Edge in the 21st Century: Unifying K-12 and Postsecondary Education for the Success of All Students” (Theory Into Practice Journal) is a visionary look at a successful collaborative system for all students.

Hoyle attended Texas A&M on an athletic scholarship, playing first base on a conference championship team. He served as a public school teacher, coach, and administrator, as well as professor and administrator at six universities. Hoyle’s spouse, Carolyn, served as a public school and community college English instructor, counselor, and administrator, and was the expert editor for his publications.



Betty J. Alford, Ph.D.

Dr. Betty J. Alford served for 27 years at Stephen F. Austin State University in multiple roles including one year as interim department chair of the Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, nine years as department chair, eleven years as coordinator of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, and three years as coordinator of the Mid-Management Program. She also taught in both the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program and in the Principal Preparation Programs in addition to grant leadership responsibilities.

From 1999 to 2013, she served as lead writer or co-writer for U.S. Department of Education and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board school-university-community college partnership grants received by Stephen F. Austin State University that provided over $20 million for educator preparation and school improvement. Grant leadership roles included service as project director for three different U.S. Department of Education multi-year grants, principal investigator for three different US Department of Education multi-year grants, and co-principal investigator for two additional Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grants.

Throughout her professional career, Dr. Alford’s areas of interest and scholarship have focused on the improvement of educational leadership programs, the establishment of a college-going culture in public schools, and the attainment of both equity and excellence for students. Her ever-present commitment to social justice, culturally proficient leadership, and authentic, servant leadership is evidenced through her numerous publications and conference presentations. As a Board member of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration for a three-year term, Dr. Alford further demonstrated her commitment to service and educational improvement.

Alford attained her Ph.D. from The University of Texas in Austin in Educational Administration in 1996. Prior to that, she served as a public school teacher, high school counselor, assistant elementary principal, middle school principal, and educational region service center consultant. She stated that she was deeply honored by being named as a recipient of the James A. Vornberg Living Legend award and treasures the friendships with members of the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration. Dr. Alford is currently serving as professor of educational leadership at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona, California, and professor emeritus of educational leadership at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.


Sandra L. Harris, Ph.D.

Sandra Harris is associate professor and director of the Center for Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where she teaches courses in social justice and qualitative research. Formerly, she served as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in public and private schools.

Her scholarship agenda includes administrator preparation and building relationship-oriented, socially just school environments. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 journal articles and book chapters as well as 15 books including BRAVO Teacher, BRAVO Principal, and Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools: 8 Steps from Analysis to Action. She presents at regional, state, and national conferences on these and other related topics, in addition to consulting with school districts. She considers being on the TCPEA Executive Board and serving as president of this organization as highlights of her career.


Judy Adkison, Ph.D.

Judith Adkison is associate dean for Administrative Affairs in the College of Education at The University of North Texas. She joined the UNT faculty in 1983 and has served as chair of the Department of Educational Administration and the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.

Her scholarship focuses on leadership and policy issues, particularly those associated with equity. She has served as president of the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration and president of the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration.

Adkinson received the James A. Vornberg Living Legend Award for outstanding service and support to the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration. Her visionary leadership and eye for operational detail lead to her being credited with the governance structure and board organization that is in use today by the association as adopted in 2004.