What led you to study in the Educational Leadership MA Program at Montclair State University?
For years, I was confident that I would further my studies strictly in math following an MS in Math Ed. Over time, however, I looked to a few of my administrators that had been truly inspiring and seemed to “break the mold.” I decided that I not only was in love with the public school environment, but I also wanted to “break the mold” as an instructional leader and “teach the teachers.” I had a very positive experience at MSU pursuing my first Master’s Program and knew that I wanted to continue as a student at the university.
What were/are your career objectives?
After 11 years of teaching math, I made the transition to K-12 Math/Science Supervisor and Co-Director of Curriculum for Cedar Grove Schools in July 2013. I did this almost unexpectedly as I was truly passionate about being in the classroom…and still am...but felt compelled to take the opportunity to supervise and make a larger-scale impact on our education system. I am happy in my position now and learning a great deal, although I would eventually like to be a high school principal.
How has/does the program at Montclair support your career objectives?
I feel that the courses I’ve taken have been directly applicable to what I am doing as a supervisor and even impacted my teaching in the classroom.
How have you/are you using what you have learned?
From Education Law and policies of Special Education to Action Research and Community Relations, I was given the opportunity to experience the varying aspects of public education that is not always seen as a classroom teacher. As a supervisor, I have an even greater understanding of what my professors were relaying to me as I am in an administrative role.
What are you doing now (i.e., have you made a career change or advanced in your career)?
I completed the MS in Math in May 2009 and started with Ed Leadership in fall 2009. I had completed the necessary courses to become certified as a supervisor of mathematics and a window opened in my own district in June 2013, as I mentioned earlier. I am in my 4th year as the K-12 Supervisor, therefore, I was already in this position when I completed the program in May 2015.
Did the program meet your expectations?
I believe that all of my courses provided ample assignments and opportunities to connect with others, discuss personal thoughts and analyze current issues in education.
What kind of support did you receive from faculty and staff?
I developed positive relationships with all of my professors.
Thinking about your experiences with the program at Montclair, what did you like most?
I enjoyed networking with other graduate students and I appreciated the variety of courses I was required to take. From curriculum to leadership, I felt that I was able to gather information about aspects of education that one does not experience in the classroom.