Marla W. McGhee, Ph.D.

Marla W. McGhee, Ph.D.


Program Area: Educational Leadership

(817) 257-5980  |

Texas Christian University
TCU Box 297900
Fort Worth, TX 76129


Marla W. McGhee worked in the public schools of Texas for over two decades serving as a teacher, an elementary principal, a secondary principal, and a central office administrator. Under her leadership as principal, Live Oak Elementary was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School. She was also selected to represent Texas as the National Distinguished Principal, and was one of three finalists in the nation for the Principal in Residence position at the U.S. Department of Education.

Prior to joining the TCU faculty, Dr. McGhee taught in the licensure and doctoral programs in Educational Leadership at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. On leave from her university teaching post for one year, she returned to PK-12 public education to serve as Interim Director of Professional Development for the Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas.

In addition to her work promoting the educational and instructional value of school librarians, library media centers, and information literacy, Marla’s research and publishing interests include instructional leadership, consequences of educational accountability systems, campus leadership for literacy learning, and the role of the contemporary assistant principal. Her works appear in such publications as Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Administration Quarterly, the Journal of School Leadership, The Journal of Research on Leadership Education, and Library Media Connection and School Library Monthly.


Ph.D., Educational Administration
University of Texas at Austin

Master of Education, Music Education
Texas Tech University

Bachelor of Education, Music Education
Texas Tech University

Academic Areas

  • Instructional Supervision
  • Campus Leadership
  • Action Research
  • Field-based Practicum Experiences

Research Areas

  • Instructional leadership
  • Action research as a school improvement tool
  • Campus leadership for information literacy and literacy learning
  • Unintended consequences of educational accountability systems
  • The contemporary assistant principalship

Professional Achievements

2017 College of Education Dean’s Teaching Award

Member: Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Advisory Committee

Runner Up: Texas State University-San Marcos Presidential Excellence in Service Award, College of Education Nominee at the Associate Professor Rank

Runner-up: Southwest Texas State University Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Education Winner and Nominee to University-wide Competition, Assistant Professor Rank

Finalist: National Principal in Residence Program, United States Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

National Distinguished Principal (NDP) from Texas: United States Department of Education (USDE)/National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Washington, D.C

Blue Ribbon School: Live Oak, Round Rock ISD, USDE, Washington, D.C.