Doctor of Education- PreK-12 Education Administration and Leadership Program Director, Assistant Professor in Residence
Westlake Hall 343
Ed.D. – Education in Educational Administration, Aurora University, 2016
Ed.S. (Education Specialist: Superintendency) – Eastern Illinois University, 2012
M.S. in Ed. – Educational Administration, Illinois State University, 2000
B.S. – Elementary Education/Middle School Education, Bradley University, 1991
Dr. Estes is a central Illinois native, and worked as a PreK-12 public school teacher and administrator for over twenty-nine years. After graduating from Bradley University, he started his career as a third grade classroom teacher before moving on to a junior high teaching position as a United States history and literature teacher. Dr. Estes held the position of elementary principal for a decade before serving another decade as a district office administrator focused on, among other things, teaching and learning, literacy, human resources, administrator evaluation, professional development, and federal grants. 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 here at Bradley in 2022.
Foremost for Dr. Estes are faith, family, and friendships. An avid consumer of historical topics, he spends a great deal of time reading and enjoys traveling to 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 he considers himself blessed to be able to return to his alma mater and serve our future educational leaders.
Dr. Estes’ teaching is currently focused on the doctoral level action research courses, coursework for the PreK-12 Education Administration and Leadership Concentration, and leadership and research at the master’s level. He has taught the following courses here at Bradley:
ENC 703 Action Research 1: Introduction to Action Research
ENC 704 Action Research 2: Action Research Design and Ethics
ENC 705 Action Research 3: Data Collection in Action Research
ENC 706 Action Research 4: Data Analysis and Reporting in Action Research
ENC 707 Action Research 5: Scholarly Writing and Presentation in Action Research
ENC 606 Interpersonal Behavior and Organizational Leadership
ENC 604 Research Methodology and Applications
ENC 611 Instructional Leadership
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, and essential 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 future opportunities to research and write both independently and with colleagues.
Bakken, J. P., & Estes, T. S. (Accepted). The role of technology in enhancing assessment and pedagogical practices in special education during the pandemic. In F. E. Obiakor, T. Banks and A. Rotatori, Special education during the pandemic: Considerations for change in practice. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Nugent, P., Wherfel, Q., Davison Aviles, R., Estes, S., Underhill, E., Snyder, A. (2023, February 27). Support of student teachers in the real world: Use of counseling strategies and techniques [Conference session]. Association of Teacher Educators Conference, Jacksonville, FL, United States.
Dalmasso, E. A., Bakken, J. P., Estes, T. S., Wherfel, Q. M. (2023). Using technology to enhance special education: An introduction (vol. 37). In J.P. Bakken and F.E. Obiakor, Advances in Special Education. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.
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.
Dr. Estes serves as the PreK-12 Education Administration and Leadership (PEAL) Concentration Program Director within the Ed.D. in Education Leadership Program.
Dr. Estes serves on the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Curriculum Committee, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program Committee, and has served on faculty search committees.
Dr. Estes is a member of the American Association of School Administrators as well as the Association of Teacher Educators.
Licensures and Certifications
Illinois Professional Educator License
Endorsements: Elementary Education, Social Science, Language Arts, Middle School, General Administration, and the Superintendency