From SAGE International Reform Journal

“I believe Vertigo is a valuable resource for helping school boards, district leaders, and campus leaders to consider their current state of affairs and how they can systematically reform their systems to examine opportunities for growth and change. Because “many practitioners do not have access to peer-reviewed journal articles or the knowledge of which organizations produce high quality research reports” ”

– Bruce G. Barnett, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at San Antonio


VERTIGO portrays how school systems thrive when tackling these challenges head on in order to transform teaching and learning. Rather than a fool-proof formula or series of steps that should be undertaken, the book reads like a case study of the six-year journey of Dena’s tenure.
The authors uncover the underlying philosophy driving Dena’s vision for teaching and learning, the internal challenges thwarting her vision of excellence, and her patience to implement school improvement reforms. ”

– Bruce G. Barnett, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at San Antonio


“Finally had an opportunity to delve into Dena’s book; I was speechless, at times, due to how closely I resonated with so many of her observations.
Right off the bat I could appreciate the structure of her work; identifying challenges, reflecting on what she learned in navigating the conflict, and then posing a series of questions to consider. The ability to reflect, learn, and continue down a path of inquiry is something I value highly in my current teaching profession, and hope to continue in a future leadership role. Please share these insights with Dena! I was so impressed by her experiences, and plan on sharing her title with my PBIS committee members in the coming weeks as a resource for our work initiatives moving forward. ”

– Justine Capuson, Creative Writing Teacher, Cincinnati, Ohio

“The strongest attribute of this text lies in its boldness. The fortitude to call out the intentions of state and national politicians that are undermining public education. Within the pages of this book lies an educator who is willing (and able) to speak truth to power. At last.”

– Alvin Taylor, former superintendent of Meridian Public Schools, Meridian MS and Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership at Montevallo University, Birmingham, Alabama

“This district and their leadership team achieved innovation through practical shifts based on proven strategies for teaching and learning. They used digital technology for all the right reasons and greatly enhanced the experience of each student.”

– Anthony Kim

“Aspiring and practicing educators (especially those in central office leadership roles) need to know how to read policy environments and community contexts, but they will also need to be able to secure resources, develop systems for monitoring and improving student performance, build commitment at all levels for the district’s vision, and develop the leadership capacity of others within the system. Finally, principals often feel district initiatives and support are not clearly aligned with their campuses’ student learning needs; however, the Warren Township story clearly shows how “students first” is far more than a slogan. All of these timely topics are examined in the book.” 

– Bruce Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Texas, San Antonio

“In our 24-hour news cycle, every topic is ephemeral, passed over readied for the next story to gather the headline of the day or the hour. Education is a national treasure, too important for millions of children, parents, and communities to preserve and renew to be left in the daily heap of “an old story.”

– Ronald Barnes, Director, BWP Associates, Superintendent Advisory Firm, former Superintendent of Schools, Consolidated High Schools District, 230, and former Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Indiana University

“Each chapter describes Vertigo and provides creative ideas for responding to it.” 

– Ruth Melton, former Director of Advocacy Services and Government Relations for Florida School Boards Association and Owner and President of Melton Consulting