M.S., Iowa State University, 1992,
B.A., Simpson College, 1981
Dr. Brian Coppess serves Western Colorado University as the Director of Principal Licensure and an assistant professor in the Education Department. Dr. Coppess has K-12 experience as a teacher, a coach, an activities director, an assistant principal, and most recently served as the principal of Urbandale High School in Urbandale, Iowa.
According to his experience and study of motivation, Dr. Coppess teaches aspiring leaders that great teachers are motivated to be a part of a school and a mission that aligns with their own values and beliefs. Teachers who believe in the purpose of their school demonstrate care for students and thrive in an environment that compels the self-actualization of all students.
Foundational to Dr. Coppess’ system is the understanding that external control techniques of coercion or punishment compromise the joy in learning innate to young children when they begin school. Further, modern leaders grasp that students take responsibility for their behavior and engage in their own learning when supported in a compassionate culture that emphasizes the impact of meeting learners’ basic needs.