Michael Sampson earned his Ph.D. in Reading Education from the University of Arizona. His leadership experience spans four states and includes his current national leadership role on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE).
Before coming as Dean of the School of Education at St. John’s University, Sampson served as Dean of the College of Education at Northern Arizona University, and as Dean of the School of Education at Southern Connecticut State University. Prior to those experiences, he was Reading Coordinator at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and Chair of C&I at Texas A&M University—Commerce, where he also directed their doctoral program. Foundational to all of his work has been his experience as a kindergarten and elementary school teacher.
He has written university textbooks, been published in his field’s leading peer reviewed journals, authored curriculum materials, and presented to children and teachers in schools around the world, including Europe, Asia, and South America. He currently serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Teacher Education. He is an an award-winning author with Bill Martin Jr of 30 books for children, including New York Times Bestsellers Chicka, Chicka, 1,2,3 and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
Awards for his writings include a Grammy nomination, American Library Association ALA Notable Children's Book; Book Links Editor’s Best of Books; Chicago Public Library Best Books for Children and Teens; Parenting Magazine Book of the Year, Kansas Picture Book Award; Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award; Philadelphia Children’s Please Touch Museum Book of the Year, New York Public Library 100 Best Books for Reading and Sharing, and Children's Literature Association of Utah's Beehive Book Award.
In Texas, Sampson served on the State Board of Educator Certification and the Teachers Professional Practices Commission, where he was instrumental in restoring COE hours for education majors. He served as State President of the Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading. In Arizona, he is a leader at the system level (Arizona Board of Regents) with other deans and was a panelist on the US Department of Education “Strong Start, Strong Finish” Tour.
His greatest contributions to education have been in the area of professional development for teachers and creating professional development school partnerships in Texas, Connecticut, and Arizona, and the creation of easy to read books for young readers.
A first generation college graduate, Sampson is passionate about the role education plays in social justice and enriching lives. He is deeply committed to St. John’s Vincentian mission of service and to increasing candidate diversity in our schools of education, and to developing more global opportunities for our students.