Brian Coppess

Brian Coppess

Assistant Professor, Director of Principal Licensure


B.A., Simpson College, 1981, M.S., Iowa State University, 1992, Ed.D., University of Northern Iowa, 2010


In July, 2017, after thirty-five years in public education in Iowa, Dr. Brian Coppess moved to Gunnison and Western Colorado University as an assistant professor with the title Director of Principal Licensure. He has served as a teacher, a coach, an activities director, an assistant principal, and, just before coming to Colorado, the principal of Urbandale High School.

Dr. Coppess’s research reflects the influences of Senge and Systems Thinking, as well as Deming, Langford, and Glasser and their work in Quality and Continual Improvement. In addition, Dr. Coppess cites an awareness of Goleman’s efforts in emotional intelligence as being essential for school leaders. Dr. Coppess’ research emphasis is about the intentional design of mission and vision for meeting the needs of staff and students alike, and for securing the school your community can believe in and value.

Dr. Coppess has submitted the article entitled, “The Power of Instructional Leadership: Don’t Go It Alone” for publication, and presented about Educational Leadership to The Colorado Association of Teacher Educators.

Key words and phrases

Design: You are the designer of the ship.

Meeting the needs: Do not focus on meeting your own needs. Focus on meeting your students’ needs and your staff’s needs and all your stakeholders’ needs.

Securing: I could have written “creating” or “developing.” Securing speaks of safety. Maslow identifies safety as a basic need. In order to self-actualize, your stakeholders, especially your students, must feel physically and emotionally safe.

School: I could have written “school culture.” The intention is that you are purposeful about everything about your building: Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, Budget, Facility, Transportation, Food Service, Everything!