Thomas R. Feller, Jr. graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic College in 1999 with a Bachelors of Music in Music Education and a minor in Musical Theatre and began teaching full time in November of 1999. Mr. Feller’s career in education began teaching music to elementary students at an inner-city school in Southeast Florida, where he taught over 900 K-6 students general music, handbells, and chorus (including producing student musicals). It was there he first got introduced to the World Music Drumming curriculum. While in Southeast Florida, Mr. Feller was honored to be the 2002 Conductor of the Palm Beach County Schools Elementary Honors Handbell Choir, conducting a 60+ member handbell choir at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in front of over 2,000 audience members.
In 2003 Mr. Feller relocated to Greenville, NC where he spent four years as a middle-school music teacher. His classes consisted of chorus, general music, guitar, and orchestra. He was the recipient of multiple grants, allowing him to implement the World Music Drumming (WMD) curriculum at his middle school; WMD was eventually introduced across the district and implemented in one way or another in almost every elementary and middle school music program. The Bulldog Beat program, which was detailed in the May, 2007 edition of Educational Leadership and highlighted in the August 9, 2007 edition of ASCD Express, was co-developed and co-lead by Mr. Feller. As a music teacher, Mr. Feller holds certifications in World Music Drumming and in Orff-Schulwerk. Even after leaving the music classroom he continued to be involved in music by serving as both a church music director until 2011 and as the Music Director of the Beaufort County Choral Society until 2015.
Mr. Feller received his Masters of School Administration degree from East Carolina University in 2006. A year later he began his service as a school administrator and spent four years as an Assistant Principal at two different schools. Then in 2011 Mr. Feller began his work as a district administrator by first serving as the Race to the Top Coordinator and Professional Development Specialist for Pitt County Schools in North Carolina. One of his main responsibilities was to oversee and coordinate the transition to new state academic standards by designing and implementing district-wide professional learning. During this time he was also responsible to coordinate all district-level professional learning, including its design and evaluation, and oversee the instructional coaching program for the district. During the 2012-2013 school year he worked closely with the Teacher Leadership Cohort (TLC); that work was described in the October 2013 edition of Educational Leadership, and it began his interest in developing and equipping teacher leaders.
Currently, Mr. Feller serves as the Director of Professional Learning and Leadership Development for Pitt County Schools, which includes serving as one of the co-authors and co-directors of the district’s federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant award. While this website serves as a hub for teachers and administrators in PCS to find information on the implementation of the TIF grant and other DEEL initiatives, occasionally Mr. Feller may share personal reflections related to each of these areas as well as general thoughts in regards to education, professional learning, teaching and learning, and leadership.
Mr. Feller is a doctoral student enrolled at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with research interests and expertise in topics such as teacher leadership, coaching, the science and psychology of learning, adult learning theories, professional learning, teacher leadership, leadership development, self-directedness, and self-regulation.
In addition to his academic credentials, Mr. Feller holds certifications from multiple organizations. He is a certified Training Associate with Thinking Collaborative for both Cognitive CoachingSM, and Adaptive Schools and a certified Professional Developer with the Institute for Habits of Mind. Additionally, he holds certifications from the Center for Leadership Studies (Situational Leadership: Building Leaders, Leading with DiSC, Situational Teams, Situational Coaching, Leveraging Your Power of Influence, and Taking Charge), VitalSmarts (Crucial Conversations and Influencer), and The Arbinger Institute (Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindset and Outward Mindset in Education). He is a certified coach for the Center for Creative Leadership’s suite of 360-degree feedback assessments as well as with Polarity Partnerships in the use of their Polarity Assessment and Polarity Mapping process.
Mr. Feller has been married to his wife Melissa since 2002 and together they have four beautiful daughters (three at home and one in heaven):,Chloe Faith, Celeste Hope, Cecelia Love, and Caroline Grace. When not working or studying for school he enjoys spending time with his family playing games, hiking, or playing with one of their dogs. Some day he hopes to enjoy a world cruise.
You can see Mr. Feller’s LinkedIn profile by clicking here.