Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue
Sonya D. Hayes

Sonya D. Hayes

Assistant Professor


Sonya Hayes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Tennessee. A native Texan, she received her PhD in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University, her MEd in Educational Administration from Texas State, and her BA in English from Lamar University. Prior to entering the professoriate, Hayes served in public education as a high school English teacher, an Assistant Principal, and a Principal for 23 years. Her research interests include leadership development and support for both pre and post service school principals, principal preparation, and leadership for learning. Specifically, she is interested in how principals are prepared and supported for the complex and demanding role of improving teaching and learning.

Full Profile    


Hayes has publications in several peer-reviewed journals. She serves on the Editorial Review Board for Mentoring and Tutoring Journal, and she is a reviewer for the Journal of Research on Leadership Education, Journal of Higher Education, International Journal of Leadership in Education, and Education Leadership Review. Additionally, she has published book chapters and feature articles in practitioner magazines.


  1. Derrington, M.L. & Hayes, S.D. (2020). Crisis leadership: Principals’ resilience under extraordinary pressure, In J. Glanz (Ed.), Crisis and Pandemic Leadership: Implications for Meeting the Needs of Students, Teachers, and Parents. Emerald.
  2. Hayes, S.D. & Angelle, P.A. (2020). Relational mentoring for supporting school principals in social justice leadership. In C. Mullen (Ed.), Handbook of Social Justice Interventions in Education. Springer.
  3. Hayes, S.D. & Burkett, J.R. (2020). Almost a principal: Coaching and training assistant principals for the next level of leadership. Journal of School Leadership. Available first online at
  4. Hayes, S.D., & Mahfouz, J. (2020, in press). Principals and mentorship: An international review of empirical research from 1999-2019. Research in Educational Administration & Leadership.
  5. Locke, L.A. & Hayes, S.D. (2020, in press). Navigating the gendered labyrinths within the academy: A dialogue between two women assistant professors. The Sojo Journal: Educational Foundations and Social Justice Education.
  6. Stone-Johnson, C. & Hayes, S.D. (2020). Using improvement science to (Re)design leadershippreparation: Exploring curriculum change across five university programs. Journal of Research in Leadership Education. Available first online at
Sonya D. Hayes

Contact Information

  • 1122 Volunteer Boulevard 313 Bailey Education Complex, Knoxville, TN 37996-3430
  • Phone: 865.974.7696
  • E-mail: