Doctor of Education- PreK-12 Education Administration and Leadership Program Director, Assistant Professor
Westlake Hall 341
Ph.D. – Education in Educational Administration, Aurora University, 2016
Education Specialist (Superintendency) – Eastern Illinois University, 2012
M.S. – Education, Illinois State University, 2000
B.S. – Bradley University, 1991
Dr. Estes is a central Illinois native, and worked as a PreK-12 public school teacher and administrator for twenty-nine years. After graduating from Bradley University, he started his career as a third grade classroom teacher and then a junior high United States history and literature teacher, Dr. Estes served as an elementary principal for a decade before serving another decade as a district office administrator. He began his higher education teaching experiences served as an adjunct professor for Aurora University and later at Bradley University beginning in 2016. Dr. Estes joined the full-time faculty in 2022.
Dr. Estes’ life is defined first and foremost by faith, family, and friendships. He spends a great deal of time reading and enjoys traveling to historic locations within the United States (with a future goal of traveling internationally). Dr. Estes and his family are active with their extended family and friends and spend time attending his children’s school and community activities and serving in their church. Bradley University is “home” for Dr. Estes, and considers himself blessed to be able to return to his alma mater and serve our future educational leaders.
Dr. Estes has taught instructional supervision for both Aurora University and Bradley University, and more recently, leadership courses for both the educational administration and counseling programs. His teaching is currently focused on the doctoral level action research courses, and he works in course development for the Ed.D. Programs.
Dr. Estes believes students learn best by experience and connection. He embraces an inquiry-based approach to instruction for learners at any age. A foundation of good source materials, connections to what students know and are interested in learning, andessential questions followed by exploration are hallmarks of his philosophy.
Dr. Estes’ professional interests are in research, instructional methods, curriculum development, teacher professional growth, and supervision of educational programs. His research has focused primarily on instructional practice. He looks forward to more opportunities to research and write independently as well as with colleagues.
Over the course of his administrative career he has spoken at several state and local conferences as well as local teacher training sessions focusing on topics such as inquiry-based learning, standards-based education, performance tasks and assessments, visual literacy, and other instructional themes.
Licensures and Certifications
Illinois Professional Educator License
Endorsements: Elementary Education, Social Science, Language Arts, Middle School, General Administration, and the Superintendency