National Board-Certified Teacher Grows as an Educator Through Ed.D. Program Alumni Profile
Meet Stephanie White
- Job Title & Employer
- English Teacher, West Allegheny School District
- Leadership and Administration-Ed.D.
- December 2018
- Imperial, Pa.
- High School
- West Allegheny High School
- Now Living In
- Wexford, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Reading, traveling, hiking and being active
“The Ed.D. program at Point Park helped Dr. White tremendously, both in her classroom and in her role as the English department head. As she progressed through the program, she grew more reflective of her teaching and leadership skills and her knowledge of administrative tasks and leadership capacity flourished. The program ultimately has helped Dr. White to be a greater asset to our students and school community through the development of her innate leadership ability.”
"My additional years in the Ed.D. program prepped me to become a teacher-leader and department chair at my school through both individual and group presentations and individual coaching and conversations with my professors and classmates. I found that much of what transpired in the classroom correlated to what I was experiencing in my workplace and gave me the confidence to grow as an educator."
As a national board-certified English teacher, what factors made you choose our Ed.D. program?
I first discovered Point Park’s Ed.D. in leadership and administration program through a fellow national board teacher. I was impressed by the knowledgeable and engaging faculty, the small class sizes and the attention and care paid to the fact that we were both learners and working professionals.
Throughout the program, I explored engaging topics and partook in critical conversations that allowed me to grow professionally and personally, among a community of highly-skilled professionals, similar to what I had experienced in pursuing and achieving my national board certification.
How have our classes helped you excel as an educator?
I can honestly say that I have not experienced a class at Point Park that has not helped me become better at performing the responsibilities of my job. The first few semesters helped me see beyond the four walls of my individual classroom as I wrote critical action plans, communications proposals and case study reflections.
My additional years in the Ed.D. program prepped me to become a teacher-leader and department chair at my school through both individual and group presentations and individual coaching and conversations with my professors and classmates. I found that much of what transpired in the classroom correlated to what I was experiencing in my workplace and gave me the confidence to grow as an educator.
In what ways did our education faculty impact you?
Each of the faculty members at Point Park positively impacted my learning and overall experience. Generally speaking, they are experts in their respective fields, but also down to earth and generous with their time.
For example, Dr. Dufalla’s experiences as a principal helped me consider potential career paths. Dr. Abbott’s research skills inspired me to enhance my skills as a researcher and Dr. Stennett’s leadership and work ethic inspired my own.
The faculty at the University always made time for their students and worked to fulfill their needs. They listened to our concerns and reacted promptly to help make our learning experiences positive and fulfilling.
Tell us about your dissertation topic.
The title of my dissertation is “Opportunities and Barriers to Female Leadership in Secondary Education: A Qualitative Analysis.” When I entered Point Park’s Ed.D. program, I was anticipating wanting to become a high school principal.
However, through classes and conversations with both my professors and peers, as well as field experiences, I realized that the principalship is not the path for me. As I reflected on my personal experience, I realized only a few female principals worked in our district, and only one at the high school level had ever been a female. This led to my curiosity about why so few female principals existed and why I did not want to be one.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have always loved learning and Point Park gave me the invaluable experience of getting to do that over and over again during my three years at the University and beyond. I could not have picked a better location, group of people or community to spend my time and am grateful for all that I learned. Most of all, I have the skills and confidence to pursue whichever opportunities I am granted.