Thomas R. Feller, Jr., Ed.D. has over 20 years experience in education. He received his doctor in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2020, his masters in school administration from Easter Carolina University in 2006, and his bachelors in music education from Palm Beach Atlantic College in 1999. His 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 was first introduced to the World Music Drumming curriculum. While in Florida, he was honored to be the 2002 Conductor of the Palm Beach County Schools Elementary Honors Handbell Choir, conducting a 60+ member handbell choir at the world-class Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in front of over 2,000 audience members.
In 2003 he 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 implemented across the district in one way or another in almost every elementary and middle school music program. He helped develop and lead 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. As a music teacher, Dr. 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.
Beginning in 2007, he spent four years as a school administrator at two different schools until he was promoted to serve as a district coordinator overseeing Pitt County School’s implementation of the Federal Race to the Top grant. One of his main responsibilities was to coordinate the transition to new state academic standards by coordinating all district-wide professional learning, including its design and evaluation, and the instructional coaching program for the district.
It was during this time he further developed his belief that the best way to positively improve student learning is to support the growth of teachers in the classroom and leaders (including teacher leaders) in the school. During the 2012-2013 school year he worked closely with the Teacher Leadership Cohort (TLC), a teacher leader program designed to support high-performing teachings impact their peers in low-performing schools; that work was described in the October 2013 edition of Educational Leadership, and it began his interest in developing and equipping teacher leaders.
Currently, Dr. 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 Dr. 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. His research interests and expertise are in the areas of teacher leadership, leader identity, coaching, the science and psychology of learning, adult learning theories and development, professional learning, and self-directedness.
In addition to his academic credentials, Dr. 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, Crucial Accountability, and Influencer), and The Arbinger Institute (Developing and Implementing an Outward Mindsetand Outward Mindset in Education). He is a certified coach for the Center for Creative Leadership’s suite of 360-degree feedback assessments, with Polarity Partnerships in the use of their Polarity Assessment and Polarity Mapping process, the Leadership Circle on their 360-degree Leadership Circle Profile and the Collective Leadership Assessment, and with Multi-Health Systems on the EQi 2.0 emotional-intelligence survey.
Dr. 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 he enjoys spending time with his family playing games, hiking, playing with their dog, riding his bike, reading, and (when time and money permit) skiing. Some day he hopes to enjoy a world cruise.
You can see Dr. Feller’s LinkedIn profile by clicking here.