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Dixie Abernathy, Ed.D.

Associate Professor, Education
Cato School of Education

Professional Resources


Dr. Dixie Abernathy is Associate Professor of Education at Queens University of Charlotte and Director of the Master of Arts in Educational Leadership program. A 36-year veteran educator, Dr. Abernathy has served as a public-school classroom teacher, an assistant principal at both the elementary and secondary levels, a principal at both the elementary and secondary levels, and as Assistant Superintendent of Elementary and Secondary Schools for the ninth largest school system in the North Carolina. During the 1992 school year, Dr. Abernathy was recognized as the North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Dr. Abernathy holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University, a Master of Arts in School Administration from Winthrop University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Wake Forest University. Her research interests include school violence prevention, school leadership efficacy, reflective growth in leaders and teachers, and student engagement in online learning.

In 2019, Dr. Abernathy engaged in important research with colleagues Amy Thornburg and Rob Ceglie from the Cato School of Education regarding the design of engaging online courses, which soon morphed into broader topics on the impact of COVID on educational systems across America and on schoolchildren. The results of these efforts were a three-volume research handbook set published over the next three years: Handbook of Research on Developing Engaging Online Courses, IGI Global (2020); Handbook of Research on Lessons Learning from Transitioning to Virtual Classrooms During a Pandemic, IGI Global (2021); The Schoolchildren of COVID: Impact and Opportunities, Emerald Publishing (2022).


Ed.D., Educational Leadership, East Carolina University
MEd, Educational Administration, Winthrop University
B.A., Education, Wake Forest University