Kristina A Hesbol

Associate Professor

Professional Biography

Kristina A. Hesbol is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Department at the University of Denver, where she teaches graduate leadership courses. She has taught preK-high school students, as well as graduate students in Educational Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, as well as the Educational Administration and Foundation Department at Illinois State University. She served as a building principal in several culturally and linguistically diverse school districts, as the Coordinator of Literacy and School Improvement in a linguistically and culturally diverse suburban Chicago school district, and has consulted nationally in literacy leadership. As a professor at UIUC, Dr. Hesbol was named one of twelve Stafford Fellows (2002-2005) for the National Institute for Leadership on Disability and Students Placed At-Risk (NILDSPAR).
Dr. Hesbol earned a B.A. in Education (DePauw University), an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (National-Louis University), and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (Loyola University, Chicago), and holds a current superintendent endorsement. Her teaching, research, presentations and publications converge on the impact of principal leadership as praxis in guiding inclusive systems of learners, with social and organizational contexts of schools central to this focus. She has worked extensively with teacher leaders and aspiring school and school district leaders in leadership for school improvement, using data to inform instructional decision making, and organizational change. Her research agenda focuses on leadership for learning organizations, and the principal’s pivotal role in building systemic capacity for change. Hesbol’s teaching and writing are filtered through the intersection of issues of social justice, systems thinking and leadership for sustainable change. Her current research explores the relationship between entrepreneurial school leaders and student performance, examining evidence of specific indicators across various organizational learning contexts to improve teaching and learning.
Hesbol’s dissertation, An Examination of Learning Organizations in the Public and Private Sector: Understanding Organizational Change Efforts, examined the impact of leadership on systemic efforts to improve teaching and learning in schools as well as in private sector organizations, bridging historically disparate business and educational literature.


  • Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Loyola University, 2001
  • M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, National Louis University, 1992
  • BA, Elementary Education, DePauw University, 1972

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Illinois General Administrative Endorsement (Principal)
  • Illinois Superintendent Certification
  • Elementary Teaching, Standard Certificate
  • Superintendent Endorsement