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Cathy Lassiter

Lassiter, Cathy

Cathy Lassiter, Ed.D., is an international consultant with over 35 years of combined experience as a public-school teacher, principal, central office administrator, and consultant. Her areas of expertise are in Visible Learning, Teacher Clarity, and all aspect of school leadership.  Cathy is the author of Everyday Courage for School Leaders, published by Corwin in 2017 and in 2022 she co-authored How Leadership Works and Leader Credibility with Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and Dominque Smith.  In addition to serving in the roles as Executive Director of Middle Schools and Senior Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Staff Development, Cathy was a successful middle school principal and was named Virginia’s Middle School Principal of the Year for the success of her school. Cathy has served as an adjunct professor for The George Washington University, teaching graduate courses in educational leadership.

Cathy can be reached at  Follow Cathy on Twitter @ cathy_lassiter

Areas of expertise
  • School Leadership
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Leading for equity and excellence

Keynotes & Workshops

  1. Activating Everyday Courage to Improve Results
    School leaders cannot be effective if they do not have the courage to embrace accountability, build trust and take risks. In this seminar, four types of courageous leadership will be examined and applied to the most difficult school leadership challenges. Participants will discover effective techniques for activating courage in situations that call for it.
  2. Creating an Accountable Culture: Strengthening Personal and Collective Accountability for Results
    This seminar is focused on building a school culture in which individuals, teams, and the faculty at large embrace accountability for results in their schools. The content is divided into 3 main sections: personal accountability, holding others accountable, and generating individual and collective accountability.
  3. Leading Instruction from a Courage Mindset
    Establish a strong foundational understanding of research-based leadership actions that are linked to improved student achievement. This engaging format enables principals to self-assess and adjust their leadership practices to improve student and staff performance at their schools.
  4. Leading Instructional Transformation: What Works BEST?
    This practical workshop provides participants with concrete strategies for providing quality learning opportunities for their teachers. The focus is on restructuring school-based professional development from information sharing to truly transformational learning for staff which changes instructional delivery in the classroom.
  5. Guiding Teacher Growth: Feedback and Conversation Techniques That Work
    Gain feedback and conversation techniques that help guide teacher reflection and growth. Participants will learn about best feedback practices for walk-throughs, post-observation conferences, PLCs, grade level meetings, teacher team conferences, and various other formats where instructional feedback can be provided.
  6. Generating Collective Teacher Efficacy for Improving Student Learning
    This workshop centers on John Hattie’s finding that collective teacher efficacy has a 1.57 effect size. But how do principals achieve this? Participants in this session will develop an understanding, from a theoretical as well as practical perspective, of what collective teacher efficacy is and how to create it their schools.
  7. Accomplishing Goals Through Successful Change Management
    School change is difficult. Participants will learn about the stages individuals experience when implementing a change and how to honor these stages to ensure the change initiative is a success. The workshop will also include the ways organizations resist change and how to prepare in advance for this resistance.
  8. Cultivating a Resilient Performance Culture
    A high performance culture is resilient, and resiliency can be generated by the leader. Explore the qualities of resilient leaders along with new and surprising research on what motivates people to give more of themselves at work, and how leaders can get twice the productivity from their people.


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What People Are Saying


“Among Dr. Lassiter’s many strengths is her grasp of the most recent research.  Dr. Lassiter’s knowledge and understanding of the research have assisted her with supporting and increasing leadership development among our principals and assistant principals.  Her experience as a principal and district leader lends itself to providing examples of application for school-based personnel and how district personnel can provide support for school-based administrators and teachers.”

—Dr. Jane K. Respess
Assistant Superintendent
Osceloa County Public Schools, FL


“Dr. Lassiter's work with us over 2 1/2 years focused on building the instructional leadership capacity of our principals as well as our campus and district administrators.  Her practical approach embeds current research and successful characteristics of high-performing schools and she customized the sessions and coaching to meet our needs.  Her reliability, sense of humor, and connection with our staff made our on-going relationship one of the most powerful professional learning opportunities we have provided to our school leaders.”

—Kim Tunnell
Superintendent of Schools
Mineola ISD, TX


“Cathy Lassiter has worked with The Rhode Island Association of School Principals for the last three years. Her primary role has been to provide professional development to teams of school district administrators and principals to assist them to improve their understanding of the Common Core State Standards, particularly as it relates to their respective roles as school leaders. Her work is outstanding- always research-driven, engaging and highly regarded by participants. In addition to contributing to the successful implementation of this important initiative, Cathy has also contributed to improved leadership within districts served. The participants, impressed with Cathy’s delivery and their gains in learning, have sought to engage her directly to continue the work and/or to provide professional development to their teaching staff. “

—Carol Bissanti, Professional Development Coordinator
Rhode Island Association of School Principals
Providence, RI


"Dr. Lassiter has a natural ability to connect with her audience immediately. After her first visit to our district, participants requested that she come back-again and again! Cathy truly became a trusted and relied upon member of our community. The key question seemed to be, 'Can Dr. Lassiter help us with this?' And the answer was always YES! She is knowledgeable about so many topics in education and leadership. She not only teaches and presents in an engaging and energetic manner, but continually supports her participants with any requested follow-up through with  communication, visits, coaching, and consultation. Cathy was a key player in the success of our grant, and we will always be so appreciative of her efforts and contributions!"

—Anna Warren, Senior Coordinator, Statewide Leadership Initiatives
Region 13 ESC
Austin, TX


“Cathy Lassiter facilitated 3-5 different workshops throughout the Race to the Top Grant on a variety of topics at Heartland Educational Consortium. I have always found her to be not only, be extremely knowledgeable on each topic she presented but offered the participants relevant, practical strategies that aligned to the current research. She is a consummate professional and the practioner's advocate!” 

—Dr. Debra Elliott, Executive Director
Heartland Educational Consortium
Lake Placid, FL


“Dr. Cathy Lassister’s work with Brevard was simply amazing. I participated in 5 of her leadership seminars as well as her teaching and learning certification program for educational leaders. Her discussions were always research-based, and her expertise as a principal and district administrator enabled her to focus on building leadership capacity within our district. These seminars and the certification program were enriching to my role as a district leader; I learned a great deal from Dr. Lassiter, and her trainings were perhaps the best professional learning experiences I have had thus far. I look forward to working with her again in the future.”

—Jacqueline Ingratta, Coordinator
Professional Learning & Development
Brevard County Public Schools, FL


"Our staff has continued their professional learning virtually with Dr. Cathy Lassiter through the recent school closure. The virtual book study of Engagement by Design has provided our teachers the opportunity to read independently prior to participating in group reflection conversations facilitated by Dr. Lassiter. Through the use of video chat, chat box features, and break-out rooms during each session, teachers have also learned strategies to engage students in a virtual classroom. Without the virtual option, professional learning with Dr. Lassiter would not have continued during the closure period."

—Alisa Barrett, Director of Instruction
Greenfield Exempted Village Schools, OH