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Dr. Essie McKoy

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Dr. McKoy received her Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) and an Educational Specialist Degree (Ed. S.) in Educational Leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master’s Degree in Middle Grades Education from Appalachian State University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education with certification in Learning Disabilities from Winston-Salem State University. She has additional areas of certification in Public School Administration/Principalship, Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in English, and the NC Superintendency. Her dissertation topic, “A Study of Elementary Principals’ Perceptions of Accountability and Leadership in an Era of High Stakes Testing,” is a foundational part of her book, “The Heart of School Transformation.”


She attended The Urban Superintendent’s Program at Howard University and The American Association of School Administrators and received the National Superintendent’s Certification. During the summer of 2016, she participated in Harvard University’s Public Education Leadership Project. She has attended many leadership programs throughout her career and sought additional learning opportunities, including the Wake Forest University Leadership Program for Public Engagement and the Mastering Leadership Dynamics Program with the BB&T Institute, as well as three other programs at BB&T. In 2015, she completed the Distinguished Leadership Program and the Distinguished Leadership Program Digital Learning with The Department of Public Instruction at North Carolina State University.

She graduated from the Principals’ Executive Program – Leadership Program for Assistant Principals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received the Program’s Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and she graduated from the Principals’ Executive Program – Leadership Program for New Principals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received the prestigious Jack McCall Award. In addition, she was accepted into The National Scholars Honor Society.  A highlight of her career is that in 2017, she was selected by Winston Salem State University as the Education Alumni Achiever Recipient.

Dr. McKoy began her teaching career at an optional middle school and later taught at another middle school. She has served as assistant principal at the elementary level before becoming the principal of two elementary schools. She worked as an instructor at the Math and Science Academy of Excellence at Winston-Salem State University and worked as an Adjunct Professor at NC A&T State University and ITT Technical Institute. Furthermore, she served as an Executive Director/Principal. Another highlight for her is to serve at an Early College/Middle College. Her experience spans from pre-K through college and she use her experience and knowledge to continue to make an impact in the field of education! Dr. McKoy was recently nominated for the AASA Women in School Leadership Award with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has been nominated five times as Principal of the Year and has received many accolades and recognitions for her accomplishments.

She is known as a transformational leader and has improved the academic performance and success indicators of all the schools she has led. She is most proud of the fact that both elementary schools became Piedmont Triad Signature Schools! Her mission is to continue to ignite a passion in others and to make a profound impact in the field of education to help at-promise students believe and change the trajectory of their futures!

Even though she recently retired after 30 years in education, she started her own Educational Consulting Business, Dr. Essie Speaks, designed her web site with her business manager, Dr. Larry White Sr., travels the nation to do speaking engagements, started a second business that allows her to participate in mentoring programs in North Carolina and Virginia, enrolled in Divinity School, finalized her first book about school transformation and has two more books waiting to be finalized. In addition, she serves as the Senior Vice President and Director of Education of the DMV Mastermind Organization and works at George Mason University!

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