Powerless to Powerful is a system of thinking and behaviors that transforms schools. 

This system was first implemented at the high school in Sunnyside, Washington. Sunnyside had a graduation rate of 49% when the Powerless to Powerful beliefs and actions were introduced. Four years later, the graduation rate was at 85%. Today, in 2016, just under 90% of students at Sunnyside are graduating. Powerless to Powerful is about raising achievement by combining academic press, social support, and relational trust to create systems that support everyone—students, teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents. 

Powerless to Powerful Final from Charlie Hamm on Vimeo.

Charles Salina, Ph.D.

Chuck Salina was the turnaround principal at Sunnyside High School in Sunnyside, WA. He is currently chair of the Leadership and Administration Department in the School of Education at Gonzaga University.


Suzann Girtz, Ph.D.

Suzann Girtz, Ph.D., is a former high school math and science teacher who now teaches research and assessment in the School of Education at Gonzaga University.  Girtz also consults and does grant work, including evaluation, and is particularly interested in the areas of assessment and secondary school reform.


Joanie Eppinga, M.A.

Joanie Eppinga is the owner of Eagle Eye Editing & Writing (www.eagleeyeediting.com). Eppinga writes and/or edits book manuscripts, web content, software, dissertations, journal articles, white papers, and feature articles. She also conducts interviews, for which she has won two national awards.