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William D. Parker Bio

Will is currently Executive Director for OASSP/OMLEA, Oklahoma’s association for secondary and middle level principals.

An Oklahoma educator since 1993, Will was named Broken Arrow Public School’s South Intermediate High School Teacher of the Year in 1998. He became an assistant principal in 2004. A member of the National Association of Secondary Principals, Parker was named the 2012 Oklahoma Assistant Principal of the Year. As principal of a Title I school, his school’s innovative approaches to collaboration, remediation and mentoring resulted in marked improvements in student performance.

As a high school teacher, he taught language arts, creative writing, and Advanced Placement English. He has also taught writing in summer student academies through Oklahoma State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, and he has taught adult education courses through Tulsa Technology Center.

Parker is the author of Principal Matters: The Motivation, Action, Courage, and Teamwork Needed for School Leaders. His second book, Messaging Matters: How to Inspire Students, Motivate Teachers, and Reach Communities, will be published by Solution Tree Press in August 2017.

Parker hosts a weekly podcast called Principal Matters and writes a weekly blog that he shares on his website www.williamdparker.com. He is also a contributing writer for ConnectedPrincipals.com and a guest blogger for the National Association of Secondary Principals. He also hosts monthly webinars for his state’s principal association members where he shares innovative ideas for growing in school leadership.

On the home front, he has been happily married for more than twenty years to Missy. They are the proud parents of four children: three girls and one boy.

George Couros describes him by saying: “Will is a great storyteller, and his use of these connections makes his book easy to read but also memorable. His focus on ‘purpose’–going beyond what you do in school–is something that all leaders should really consider if they are going to make a difference in both their professional and personal lives.”



Interested in having William speak to your organization, staff, or leadership team? He loves to encourage school leaders, aspiring school leaders or student groups with innovative ideas on leadership development.

William speaks regularly at presentations, workshops, and conferences. You can find free resources and posts for school leaders at his website: williamdparker.com, where he posts weekly updates to help you grow in your effectiveness.


2018 Events

  • July 25, 2018 Nevada Association of Career and Technical Education Summer Conference, Lake Tahoe, Nevada: Keynote
  • February 7, 2018 Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, Assistant Principals Conference, Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill, Prattville, AL: Keynote
  • January 31, 2018 Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, Assistant Principals Conference, Embassy Suites, Huntsville, AL: Keynote
  • January 24, 2018 Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, Assistant Principals Conference, Hampton Inn, Orange Beach, AL: Keynote

2017 Events

  • December 11, 2017: Assistant Principal Workshop, United School Administrators of Kanas, Wichita: 8 Hats Presentation
  • December 4, 2017: Assistant Principal Workshop, United School Administrators of Kanas, Topeka: 8 Hats Presentation
  • August 1-2, 2017 Berkeley County Schools Leadership Conference, Martinsburg, West Virginia: 8 Hats Keynote
  • July 11, 2017, Okaloosa County school Administrators Conference, Ft. Walton Beach, FL: FASA Keynote Speaker
  • June 22, 2017, Growing Leaders National Leadership Conference, Atlanta, Georgia: 8 Hats–Essential Roles for School Leaders Presentation
  • June 14, 2017, TASSP Summer Conference, Austin, Texas: Distinguished Speaker Presentation for School Leaders
  • April 11, 2017, OASSP Webinar Series, RAO Visits and Celebrating the End of School: Presenter and Host
  • March 14, 2017, OASSP Webinar Series, Maintaining Sanity All-Year Long: Presenter and Host
  • February 14, 2017, OASSP Webinar Series, Teamwork and Collaboration: Presenter and Host
  • February 13, 2017, Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, Assistant/Aspiring Principal Conference in Austin, Texas: Keynote Speaker
  • January 18, 2017, Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals, Winter Conference, Doubletree Conference Center in Bloomington, Minnesota: Keynote Speaker
  • January 10, 2017, OASSP Webinar Series, ‘First Days of School’ or Maintaining a Positive Culture: Presenter and Host

2016 Events

  • December 13, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Communication Strategies that Work: Presenter and Host
  • November 17, 2016 Glenpool Leadership Committee, ‘Teamwork & Collaboration’ Presentation for Glenpool Public Schools, Glenpool, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker
  • November 8, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Dealing with Difficult People: Presenter and Host
  • October 11, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Purpose-Driven Leadership and Goal Setting: Presenter and Host
  • September 13, 2016, OASSP Webinar Series, Organizational Management: Presenter and Host
  • July 27, 2016 ICLE Digital Learning Strategies, Jacksonville, Florida: Consultant for the International Center of Leadership Excellence, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • June 22, 2016, NASSP Advocacy Conference, Washington, D.C.: Student Advocacy Presentation
  • June 9, 2016, Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals, Summer Conference, Wichita Hyatt, Wichita, Kansas: Keynote Speaker
  • June 7, 2016, National SAM Innovation Project Summer Conference, Calloway Gardens, Georgia: Keynote Speaker
  • March 1, 2016 OASSP Aspiring Principal Workshop, Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Presented on Resumes & Tips for Interviewing for Principal Positions
  • April 7, 2016, OASSP Aspiring Principal Workshop, Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Presented Roles & Responsibilities for School Leaders
  • February 2016, Digital Learning Provider Dinner, NASSP Conference Region VI Attendees, Orlando, Florida: Guest Speaker
  • January 2016, OAESP Mid-Winter Conference, Midwest City, Oklahoma: Closing Keynote Speaker

2015 Events

  • December 2015, Cleveland High School Student Council, Cleveland, Oklahoma: Essential Lessons for Student Leaders Guest Speaker
  • December 2015, Platt College Mid-Year Graduation Ceremony, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker
  • November 2015, Glenpool Public Schools Administrative Team & Curriculum Development Committee, Guest Speaker
  • November 2015, Tulsa Community College K-12 Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Understanding Your Purpose in School Leadership Presentation
  • October 2015, OASSP Fall Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Closing Keynote Presentation
  • September 2015, Eighth Floor Advisory Council Luncheon, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker
  • September 2015, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Bartlesville, Oklahoma: School of Education: Guest Presenter
  • August 2015, OSSBA President’s Dinner, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker
  • June 2015, CCOSA Summer Conference, Edmond, Oklahoma: Break-out Session on release of new book Principal Matters
  • May 2015, Tulsa Community College K-12, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Understanding Your Purpose in School Leadership Presentation
  • March & April 2015, OASSP Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Workshop for new or aspiring assistant principals or principals
  • January 2015, Tulsa Community College K-12, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Helping Schools Manage Grief Presentation

2014-Past Events

  • March & April 2014 OASSP Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Guest Presenter
  • October & November 2013, OASSP Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Guest Presenter
  • June 2012, CCOSA Summer Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Mentor 180 Presentation, Strategies for Reaching At-Risk Students. Guest Presenter
  • December 2013, Principal Leadership Graduate Education, Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: Guest Speaker
  • October & November 2012, OASSP Aspiring Principals Workshop I & II, Tulsa Technology Center, Tulsa Oklahoma: Guest Presenter
  • April 2012, NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year Reception and Awards Ceremony, Washington, D.C.: Recipient of the Oklahoma Assistant Principal of the Year Award


You can contact William via email:

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Presentation or Keynote Topics


8 Hats For Highly Effective Principals: An introduction to Will’s book, Principal Matters, this presentation has been described by participants as motivating, inspiring, and instructive. Learn the key responsibilities every school leader must embrace for highly effective leadership. Explore strategies for dealing with difficult people, setting key responsibility areas for your staff, and communicating effectively with stakeholders. Find out how to turn patrons and parents into raving fans of what’s happening at your school!


Conference Speaking/Presentations

Aspiring Principal Workshops: In conjunction with principal associations, OASSP and OAESP, William has presented frequently on ways for emerging leaders to recognize the most important elements of school leadership, and how to prepare themselves for the road ahead by asking the right questions and choosing practical strategies for school management.

How School Leaders Can Effectively Manage Crisis and Grief: This presentation comes from the unfortunate hands-on experiences Will’s schools have experienced with crisis and grief connected to student tragedy. Communicating with stakeholders, dealing with media inquiries, and preparing staff for walking through the difficulties of school grief are some of the topics explored with communication and media release samples provided.


Understanding Your Purpose & Goal Setting For Success: This is an intensive, hands-on, question/answer based workshop for those who want to really dig deep into the root issues surrounding their motivations for leadership. It is also a guided time for exploration, discussion, and consultation on goal-setting, self-improvement, and strategy discussion on how to lead while avoiding burnout.

Principal Matters–The Book!

School leaders are very busy, so each of the twenty-four chapters is designed as a quick-read and followed with take-action questions for follow-up or reflection. If you want practical ideas on understanding your purpose, managing school teams, dealing with challenges, and leading with courage, action, motivation, and teamwork, go HERE to pick up a copy for you or your team.

More About William D. Parker

From Will: I grew up as a farm boy from west Tennessee who never thought he would go to college. But I love to learn, and eventually I found myself in Oklahoma with a degree in hand and classrooms full of students who taught me more about teaching (and life) than I ever expected. After more than a decade in school administration, I am passionate about school leadership development!


On the home front, my wife and I have been happily married for twenty years and are the proud parents of four children: three girls and one boy.

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22 thoughts on “About

  1. Melinda Jensen

    Thank you! Reading this well-conducted and well-written interview was a perfect start to my Wednesday afternoon!
    🙂 Melinda

  2. Suzie Smith

    Will, this is awesome, and I am so excited to have found you! Please keep writing and sharing . . . education needs you!

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