Dr. Brian Coppess serves Western Colorado University as an assistant professor and Director of Principal Licensure. He has experience as a teacher, a coach, an activities director, an assistant principal, and, just before coming to Colorado, the principal of Urbandale High School in Iowa. Dr. Coppess’ research reflects the influences of Peter Senge’s systems thinking perspective, as well as the Quality and Continuous Improvement models espoused by Edward Deming, David Langford and William Glasser. In addition, Dr. Coppess believes that Daniel Goleman’s ideas about emotional intelligence are essential for school leaders. Dr. Coppess’ research focuses on understanding the purpose of schools’ missions and visions, meeting the needs of staff and students alike, and creating school cultures that communities can believe in and value. Dr. Coppess’ teaching and research is guided by three fundamental principles: A leader must discover her own values and beliefs before she can help others understand their own. Improvement happens in small increments; the goal is gradual, continuous improvement. To help others be the best they can be, focus on meeting your students’ needs, your staff’s needs, and all your stakeholders’ needs.