University of Calgary

Jim Brandon

  • Associate Dean Professional & Community Engagement
  • Associate Professor


Dr. Brandon joined the Werklund School of Education in the summer of 2011. He served 23 years in the superintendency in two school districts, worked as a principal for nine years, a vice-principal for four, and began his career as a secondary social studies teacher.

Jim works extensively with several of the provincial educational partners in Alberta. He is a past president of the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) and served as its Director of Leadership Capacity Building from 2009 through 2011. His two books and a number of recent papers focus on school system leadership in the Alberta context. Dr. Brandon is also a Life Member of the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA), has conducted two recent research studies for the Association, and currently serves on two of its provincial committees. Commissioned research reports and papers have been completed for the Alberta Association of Deans of Education (AADE), the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA), the Alberta Association of Public Charter Schools (TAAPCS) and the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC). Jim has served as a speaker or facilitator for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA), the Association of School Business Officials of Alberta (ASBOA), the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges of Alberta (AISCA), as well as with the ATA, ASCA, and TAAPCS.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Brandon’s research, workshops, and publications focus on the areas of quality teaching, leadership, leadership development, instructional leadership, supervision and evaluation, educational change, system and school improvement, professional learning, and student assessment.

Current Projects:

Nurturing Excellence in Instruction and Leadership — Canadian Rockies School Division

Pedagogical Leadership in Area III — Calgary Board of Education

Superintendents Who Lead Learning — College of Alberta School Superintendents


PhD, Educational Leadership
University of Calgary – Thesis: A Standards-Based Assessment of Alberta’s Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy

MEd, Educational Leadership
University of Victoria

Graduate Studies, Educational Leadership and Curriculum Studies
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto

BEd, Secondary Social Studies
University of Calgary

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr Brandon is active in the following organizations:

  • American Educational Research Association
  • Canadian Association for the Study of Educational Administration
  • College of Alberta School Superintendents


Brandon, J., Hanna, P., & Negropontes, D. (2015, September). Superintendents who lead learning: Lessons from six highly successful school systems. Report prepared for the College of Alberta School Superintendents, Edmonton, AB.

Brandon, J. (2015). Excellent teachers for northern and remote Alberta schools.In N. Maynes, & B.E. Hatt (Eds.), The complexity of hiring, supporting, and retaining new teachers across Canada (pp. 150-168).Canadian Association for Teacher Education / Association canadienne pour la formation à l’enseignement.

Brandon, J., & Hanna, P. (2014, February). Inspired partnerships: School council contributions to student success in Alberta. Report prepared for the Alberta School Councils’ Association, Edmonton, AB.

Brandon, J., & Saar, C., (2014). Nurturing excellence in instruction and leadership. In P. Preciado Babb (Ed.). Proceedings of the IDEAS: Rising to Challenge Conference, pp. 7-14. Calgary, Canada: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

Brandon, J., Saar, C., Friesen, S., Babb, P., & Alonso, G. (2014).  Supporting pedagogical leadership in Area III. In P. Preciado Babb (Ed.). Proceedings of the IDEAS: Rising to Challenge Conference, pp. 15-24. Calgary, Canada: Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

Brandon, J., Donlevy, K., Hanna, P., Gereluk, D., Patterson, P., & Rhyason, K., (January 2014). An adaptive superintendent induction program, Journal of Education and Training Studies, 2(1), 155-164.

Donlevy, J. K., Brandon, J., Gereluk, D., & Patterson, P. (2014, November). Canada’s constitutionally protected Catholic schools and gay-straight alliance clubs, Education and Law Journal, 44,(3), 241-63.

Brandon, J., Hanna, P., Morrow, R., Rhyason, K. & Schmold, S. (2013).  The Alberta framework for school system success. Edmonton, AB: Henday Publishing.

Brandon, J., Hanna, P., & Rhyason, K. (2013).  Vision in action: Seven approaches to school system success. Edmonton, AB: Henday Publishing.


  • Service Excellence Award, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, 2014
  • Alberta Distinguished Service Award, Canadian Association of School System Administrators, 2009
  • President, College of Alberta School Superintendents, 2007 – 2008
  • Kappan Leadership Award, Calgary Chapter, Phi Delta Kappa, 1999
  • Administrator of the Year, Peace Area Regional Council on School Administration, 1985
  • Citizen of the Year, Spirit River, Alberta, 1982

Media Work

  • Lessons from Alberta: What can practitioners and policy-makers involved in the academies and free schools in England learn from the features and history of Alberta’s education model, Teachers TV Breakfast Seminar, London, England. November 2010
Photograph of Jim Brandon

Curriculum Vitae

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