Donna Warthan, EdD, is a senior technical assistance consultant at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and serves as a project lead with the Region 9 Comprehensive Center (R9CC), supporting the Illinois Empower Project. Dr. Warthan has served as a project lead, coach, and trainer for several successful leadership coaching and instructional improvement projects in school divisions across the country. These projects leverage data-driven instructional coaching, utilizing data to close achievement gaps, and innovative approaches to professional learning and growth to support diverse learning needs.
Dr. Warthan’s other work at AIR includes serving as project manager for several state and district projects focused on leadership development and coaching, professional learning communities and collaborative practices, and instructional feedback. In previous roles at AIR, Dr. Warthan delivered high-quality, intensive capacity-building services for several states through the Midwest Comprehensive Center, the Texas Comprehensive Center, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders on projects related to recruiting, selecting, and retaining turnaround leaders to improve equitable access to effective principals.
Dr. Warthan has worked in education for 25 years, serving as a public-school teacher, instructional specialist, and principal. She has substantial knowledge and experience working with Title I schools and transformation initiatives. Warthan has more than 8 years of experience supporting states and districts on instructional leadership coaching, equity in education, early warning systems (e.g., EWIMS), multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), and attracting, supporting, and retaining excellent principals in high-need settings. Dr. Warthan earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.