Katherine Bassett is an education innovator and advocate. Throughout her career, she has advocated for students to receive the highest-quality of education regardless of their zip code or family circumstances. She has championed the strengthening of the teaching profession and the inclusion of educator voices in every aspect of education policy formation and implementation.

Katherine is currently the CEO of Tall Poppy, a company devoted to the training of education leaders and standards revision/development; and of Research and Assessment Design Solutions, an organization focused on solutions to assess social and emotional skills. She is the proud former President and CEO of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.

She served as Director of Policy and Partnerships for the Center for Educator Effectiveness at Pearson, working to support research into educator practice and self-efficacy, and to building partnerships with like-minded organizations to support education.

Formerly at ETS, Katherine led the development of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certificates for Library Media and Literacy, co-developed the Take One! program booklet, led the development of performance-based assessments across the continuum of professional educator practice in four states and worked with six states to develop a common continuum of practice. She led strategic bidding across the US resulting in multiple state assessment awards for performance-based assessments.

In addition, she has facilitated the work of a consortium to develop the Teacher Leader Model Standards and served on the committees that revised the InTASC standards and defined learning progressions for those standards. She co-facilitated the development of the Model Code of Educator Ethics and has led the development of the Teacher Leadership Initiative competencies and Capstone project for the NEA, NBPTS, and CTQ.

Katherine’s research and policy work has focused on teacher leadership, professional career continua in education, engagement of educators in the policy process, and equity issues. She has envisioned and overseen numerous research and policy studies which can be found on the Publications page of this Web site.

Designing and delivering professional learning, particularly around leadership and acquisition of expertise, are hallmarks of Katherine’s practice and she is a talented motivational speaker.

Bassett spent 26 years in the classroom as a middle school librarian and served as New Jersey’s 2000 State Teacher of the Year.

Services Offered

Katherine is available to provide the following services:

  • Professional learning design and delivery
  • Leadership learning experiences
  • Research projects
  • Standards development and revision
  • Motivational speaking
  • Assessment design

Things To Note

Next Engagement: NJ County Teachers, September 29-30, 2018

Things To Note

NASDTEC Annual Conference, June 12, 2018

Presentation: License Renewal Issues and PD Requirements: Making Renewal More Meaningful

Things To Note

Mount Holyoke Master’s Program in Teacher Leadership, May 31, 2018

Presentation: Teacher Leadership: From Possibilities to Practice

Things To Note

Illinois Powered by Teach to Lead, April 19-20, 2018

Teacher Leadership: From Possibilities to Practice

Teacher Leadership: Shifting From Great Teacher to Teacher Leader

Selling Your Message

Things To Note

Delta Kappa Gamma, Lambda Chapter, April 21, 2018

Keynote Address: Gender Bias in the Workplace: We’ve Come a Long Way Baby, But We Have a Long Way to Go

Things To Note

The Connecticut Council of Teachers of the Year Empowered To Lead Conference, April 26, 2018

Presentation: Now What Do I Do? The Model Code of Ethics for Educators

Things To Note

AERA, April 15, 2018

Presentation: From Policy to Practice: Investigating Teacher Leadership as a Lever of Educational Change, panel presentation

Things To Note

New Jersey County Teachers of the Year Annual Leadership Conference, September 25, 2018

Katherine will be presenting on moving from great teacher to teacher leader.

Things To Note

Center for Advancing Opportunity, September 12, 2018

Katherine was part of a panel discussion on Teachers Matter.

Things To Note

Correctional Education Association, presentation on Social and Emotional Learning assessment, August 28, 2018


“Katherine Bassett expertly facilitated groups of educators in developing the Teacher Leadership Institute Competencies and Capstone. She led the group in determining the critical factors that constitute teacher leadership and in the complex work of measuring them. Katherine was highly skilled, professional and timely in this work.”

Andy Coons, Senior Director Center for Great Public Schools, NEA

“Katherine Bassett is not only a consummate educator, but also directly responsible for the growth and development of scores of award-winning teacher-leaders across the US. Her passionate advocacy and acute business savvy has aided literally hundreds of other teachers in expanding their platforms and cultivating their leadership. I consider her a dear friend and mentor.”

James E. Ford, North Carolina State Teacher of the Year 2015

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Katherine Bassett in the field of educator ethics since 2011. Katherine was instrumental in ascertaining a profound gap that exists within the profession and facilitating a much needed solution – the profession’s first unified code of ethics. Her strategic planning and facilitation skills, as well as an immense understanding of the subtle nuances inherent within the profession, have been instrumental to the educator ethics movement.”

Troy Hutchings

Katherine is driven to instill the attitude in teachers that their role is not limited to “educators”, but that they additionally are influential, vital and impactful leaders.

Debra LeBlanc, Special Education Consultant and DKG Illinois President

“Katherine has a gift for recognizing research topics with real impact for practitioners, policymakers, and the field. She then plans a study with the right participants, gains cooperation, and gets the work done on schedule and budget. And she is fun to work with–supportive and insightful!”

Catherine McClellan, Founder and Principal Scientist, Clowder Consulting

“Katherine Bassett has a pulse on what happens in schools, where the sparks of learning fly between educators and students. Her knowledge of what happens in practice makes her uniquely qualified to define and implement research studies that influence practice. She is a conduit for not “research to practice” but “practice to research.” Katherine has strong communication skills that allow her to bring education practitioners and academic researchers together to study the most relevant topics in education using the top-quality research methods.”

Kimberly O’Malley, Senior Vice President, Education and Workforce Development, RTI International

“Katherine is uniquely capable of bringing together diverse research, policy, and practitioner partners to engage in research that matters. She brings a collaborative and graceful leadership style, wisdom, and breadth of experience and expertise that sets exactly the right tone – from design to dissemination – for ensuring all partners stay focused on producing thoughtful, relevant work that will impact policy and benefit students.”

Ellen Sherratt, Vice President for Policy and Research, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

”I have known, and had the privilege of working with, Katherine for nine years. Our first work together was developing a national set of teacher leadership standards. Katherine did a masterful job of leading a group of approximately thirty five educators and educational leaders in this work. Our next work together involved Katherine “ laying the groundwork” in helping GAPSC think through its professional learning continuum. Again, she did a professional and excellent job. Finally, I have greatly admired the work that Katherine has done leading NNSTOY. Our state has directly benefitted from this work.”

Kelly Henson, Executive Director, Georgia Professional Standards Commission

“For 150 years the education profession has struggled without its own code of ethics…without a common language to guide professional practice. Katherine’s knowledge and skills as a teacher leader served the profession well in her role as the co-chair of the task force of professional educators charged with drafting the Model Code of Ethics for Educators. For the next 150 years educators, students, parents and the community will benefit from Katherine’s important role in the development of the profession’s first code of ethics.”

Phil Rogers, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification

“Katherine Bassett basically invented the concept of ‘teacher leadership’ and has spent most of her adult life helping teachers find and refine their voices.”

Nathan Gibbs Bowling, Washington State Teacher of the Year 2016

“Katherine Bassett has a unique ability to learn what each teacher’s strength is and to lead that person to educational opportunities that can foster those skills. She took the time to listen and to learn about my skills and interests. I trace my confidence as a person and impact in educational leadership to the experiences Katherine has created for me.”

Monica Washington, Texas State Teacher of the Year 2014

“Katherine Bassett has a legacy of educational experience that is built on strong relationships and respect across the country. During my work with Katherine in South Dakota, she brought a practitioner’s lens to her work that gave credibility across the continuum from teachers, board members and legislators. As the Secretary of Education in South Dakota, I knew I could rely on her to bring expertise and support to the work we were doing.”

Melody Schopp, Former Secretary of Education, South Dakota

“Katherine has presented at a number of our events and every one of them was fantastic! Her presentations are extremely informative, interactive and entertaining. She provides a wealth of valuable information that benefits every educational stakeholder in the room.”

Pam Reilly, President, Illinois State Teachers of the Year and Finalists

Katherine is a leader herself and thoroughly understands the challenges of educational leadership at all levels, inside the classroom and out.

Emily Ayscue Hassel /Co-President /Public Impact
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