Assistant Professor,
Urban Educational Leadership Expert,


Providing consulting for school leaders, with proven success using data to drive outcomes and strategic planning to move schools toward their goals.

Media and Appearances

Find articles and appearances, as well as booking information for presentations or speaking engagements.


My research focuses on equity-oriented school leadership, school leadership during crisis, education reform policy analysis in historically marginalized communities and liberatory leadership and practices.

Books and Publications

I have contributed to numerous publications with a focus on policy reform, minority groups, and improving leadership within educational institutions.


Dr. Patricia Virella Receives Educational Change Emerging Scholar Award from AERA

Montclair State University

Dr. Patricia Virella, Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, recently won the 2023 AERA Educational Change Emerging Scholar Award. The award is presented to an individual in the first eight years of their career (post-doctorate) who demonstrates a strong record of original and significant scholarship related to educational change. Receiving this award highlights Dr. Virella’s contributions to educational research and introduces her work to the field at large.

Preparing To Lead

Narratives of Aspiring School Leaders in a "Post"-COVID World

Popular education press and scholarly conversations have focused on the impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of school leadership during the induction process and after. However, voices heard directly from the students are often left out or not heard from in a comprehensive oral historical account. We argue that while the attention is deservingly placed on principals and superintendents in schools leading through the pandemic crisis, there has been less dialogue about the impact of COVID-19 on aspiring leaders who will take the helm amid the lingering crisis. Focusing on this population is explicitly significant as COVID-19 has disrupted and traumatized aspiring leaders who will begin to leave the principalship or superintendency en masse.