Educational Leadership

Kelli Green Receives the Outstanding Educational Leadership Award

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 GreenHood College takes pride in preparing new leaders. Kelli Green, this year’s Outstanding Educational Leadership Award recipient, started her Hood career in 2008, studying as an undergraduate student. She graduated in 2011 with her certification in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. Since then, she has been teaching for Frederick County Public Schools at Frederick High School.


Kelli is a teacher leader and is a member of the FCPS Vanguard program, a partnership between FCPS and Hood that includes classes promoting leadership, and focusing on mindset, instructional technology, teaching practices, and professional learning and networking. As a teacher, she excels at integrating technology in a way that benefits students., including being as early adopter of 1:1 classroom technology and blended learning. She is also working at the forefront of FCPS’ Competency Based Education Initiative.

Special thanks to Dr. Keith Harris, M.S. ’99, who funds the Outstanding Educational Leadership award.


Leading as Coaches and Teachers

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Educational leadership isn’t just for the classroom. For Kevin Kendro, Shawn Baker, and Kevin Pirri it extends to the field as well. All three are employed by Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), Kendro as the Supervisor of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities and Baker and Pirri as head coaches as well as teachers. Beyond teaching and coaching, what do all three have in common? All are using Hood College’s M.S. in Educational Leadership to support their careers and goals. Kendro is a 2007 graduate of the program, which he credits with helping him make connections and get the degree that he needed for his current position. For Pirri and Baker, who entered the program in the spring of 2018, the program was highly recommended from their peers and administration, including Kendro.


Kevin Kendro 1Kevin Kendro is a Frederick native, who graduated from Governor Thomas Johnson High School is 1997. While at TJ he played in the 1997 All-State Baseball game at Camden Yards. He played baseball at Shepherd University, where he got his B. A. in Secondary Education – Health and Physical Education in 2001. After graduating, he returned to FCPS where he worked as teacher, varsity coach, and school athletic director, attaining his current position in 2013. At the same time, he came to Hood for his Educational Leadership degree. He chose Hood not just because of its proximity to home and work, but because of “strong recommendations.” While in the program, “I enjoyed the personal connections with my professors who I felt really cared about me and my growth as an educational leader. I also enjoyed having FCPS administrators teaching some of my courses.” His wife, Jenn Kendro, followed him in the program and earned her Hood Educational Leadership degree in 2011. Kevin and Jenn live in Frederick County with their two children and he enjoys swimming (at Hood!) and supporting his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees.


BakerFor Shawn Baker, Kendro’s recommendation was a major reason he came to Hood. One of Baker’s eventual goals is to follow Kendro into the position of Athletic Director. He is currently a Physical Education teacher at Brunswick Elementary and the varsity soccer coach at Brunswick High as well as an assistant coach for two FC Frederick soccer teams. A native of Brunswick who went to the schools he now teaches and coaches at, Shawn says “being back at Brunswick teaching and coaching has been such an amazing experience over the past 4 years.” He attended Frostburg State University, where he got his B.A. in Health and Physical Education and played soccer. Baker came to Hood for his M.S. because of recommendation from Kendro, as well as Baker’s own family members, several of which have degrees from the college. Like Kendro, Baker has “enjoyed working with current and former FCPS employees and administrators, working with the staff and current students at Hood that have first-hand experience of Frederick County, I know they will be preparing the best they can for my future as an FCPS employee.” Baker also plays on a semi-pro soccer team for FC Frederick and enjoys having home games on the Hood campus!


PirriUnlike Kendro and Baker, Kevin Pirri is not a native of Frederick. He grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Millersville University in Lancaster where he played two years of college football and got his B.A. in Technology Education with a minor in Athletic Coaching. In 2013, he moved to Frederick and started working at Thomas Johnson Middle School. He then switched to Frederick High School, where he currently teaches Woodworking, Architectural Engineering and Design, and Foundations of Technology. He’s been the head football at FHS since 2015. He came to Hood both because of recommendations from colleagues and the options offered. Pirri explains “as a Masters programs, Educational Leadership offers a lot of opportunities which allow me to have some open options when I complete the program”. As someone who is not a Frederick native, he feels that “coming from out of state for a job is not easy, and in coaching and teaching you need to know people for personal and professional growth. Through Hood I have already had several conversations and created relationships in my short time that will help me with my future.” He lives in Frederick with his wife Lauren and one-year old son Logan and looks forward to more opportunities.


For Baker and Pirri, becoming head coaches at their relatively young ages is quite an accomplishment. Kendro is proud of both and feels they both have bright futures in the classroom and on the field. We look forward to seeing all of them as part of the FCPS and Hood communities!

Who Teaches the Teachers?

Posted by | Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Graduate School Highlights, Multidisciplinary Studies in Education, Reading Specialization, STEM Education, Uncategorized | No Comments


Hanna editHarry Hanna, one of many exceptional adjunct professors in Hood College’s education programs, has multiple connections to Hood, from being caught by college security toilet papering cars on campus in his much younger days, to marrying a Hood graduate, to working at a summer program hosted at Hood and staying in the dorms before men were allowed to live on campus. He later earned his M.S. in Educational Leadership from Hood, and now teaches as an adjunct professor.


As a young man in California, he worked various jobs while finishing high school and then attended community college while working. At 20, he joined the United States Army, and after basic training in Kentucky and advanced training as a medic in Texas, was assigned to Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, where he first heard about Hood College. Hanna explains; “at the time, Hood was primarily a women’s college and someone at Fort Detrick told me that I was going to love the post and that there was a women’s college a mile from the base.” While stationed at Detrick, he took classes at Frederick Community College and finished his A.A. degree while working in the Virology Division at the United States Army Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). He became friends with some of the Hood College students who were interning at the base and learned more about the college and its programs.


After finishing his enlistment, Harry decided to pursue a degree in elementary education at Towson University, where he became the first member of his family to graduate from college. At the same time, he continued to make friends with Hood students, and ending up dating Hood student Barbara Wood, ’97, whom he married a year after she graduated. They moved to California for a few years where Harry taught middle school and Barbara elementary. In 2002, they returned to Frederick and both began working for Frederick County Public Schools at Twin Ridge Elementary. They’ve now been married for almost 20 years, have four wonderful children, and still get together with her best friend from Hood at least once a year!


Harry has worked for FCPS in various positions, and then finally made it to Hood as student, earning his Master’s in Educational Leadership in 2007. While working at Centerville Elementary as a Technology Staff Developer and Reading Intervention Teacher, he was recruited by a Hood adjunct to teach EDUC 502, Technology for Literacy, Leadership and Learning, a core course for the Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Reading Specialization, and STEM certificate graduate programs. The course looks at instructional technology and “discusses how technology fits within the modern and traditional classrooms.” He has taught many graduate students, who describe him as “motivating.” One current student explains that his class gave her “not just real things I can use, but the ways and means and comfort to use them”.


See a clip of Harry teaching a class HERE


Why Hood? Harry explains; “I truly have been blessed by Hood in many ways and I have spent the better part of a decade now teaching teachers how to incorporate technology in their classrooms, whether they are educators in Maryland, West Virginia or even Saudi Arabia, (where two current students are from). I love teaching this course because the content is dynamic since the changes in technology keep it fresh and engaging. We ask our students to take risks when it comes to incorporating technology in their teaching, and we can model it ourselves. I always hope that my students take away from the course a shift in mindset in the way they look and view technology. It is a tool to help students be successful, to think critically and not just be consumers of technology and information, but creators of it. I really want teachers to know that, even if they aren’t totally comfortable with a particular program, app or piece of technology, that it is OK if students might know more about it than they do. Teachers shouldn’t use technology just for technology’s sake, but to develop those higher order thinking skills through creativity, collaboration, content creation and connection. These are some of my goals for my graduate students.  Hood has been a big part of my life and I am #Hoodproud!”

One Man, Many Roles

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Keith HarrisHood College is a small school and a tight-knit community. We pride ourselves on that, and love that we have members of the community who fill many roles. One such person is Dr. Keith Harris, who has been a student, professor, mentor, supporter, and even the sponsor of an award her at Hood. Outside of the college, he has worked in education for 26 years, including teaching and leadership positions in public school, higher education, and community settings. With such a breadth and depth of experience, he has brought so much to us!

Dr. Harris’ connection to Hood came before he even started here. His wife, Sylvia Freeman-Harris, ’90, sister Lisa Harris-Watts, ’93 and several friends all attended Hood. He came to Hood for his Masters of Science in Educational Leadership because of the quality of the staff. As he explains, “at the time I enrolled, the graduate program was run by two recently retired Maryland Superintendents.  If anyone knew what leaders needed to know and be able to do as administrators, these superintendents, both from high performing school districts, would. Several other professors also made learning practical and relevant to the work I would eventually have to do.” Several years after attaining his degree, he returned to Hood as a professor.

Keith also helped develop several of our graduate programs, including the cohort concept for the Educational Leadership program. He describes working to create the cohort –  a rigorous, accelerated program for receiving the M.S. or certificate in Educational Leadership –  as “one of the highlights” of his career at Hood. He also was one of the original forces working to start our doctoral program. He states that “I recognized that there was no program easily accessible for the many students who would like to have taken advantage of a doctoral program. I also recalled my experience of having to travel to Virginia every week to take my doctoral classes, and travel to different parts of the United States during the summers for three years in order to complete other requirements. Surely, Hood could create as quality a program as many of the other institutions offering degrees throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia. Years later, more conversations were had and other Hood staff took the lead in making this a reality.”   Another proud moment for Dr. Harris was in 2014, when he was selected as the Hood College Graduate School Commencement Speaker and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree. He reflects, “anyone with the mental capacity and effort can earn a degree, but not everyone is honored with one.  I continue to be humbled by this honor.”

Currently, Dr. Harris works for Frederick County Public Schools as the Executive Director of Accelerating Achievement and Equity, overseeing several departments. He also is an executive and teaching pastor for his church. Due to his professional and community engagements, he is no longer able to teach classes at Hood, but is still a part of our community. He works with doctoral candidates and sponsors the Keith R Harris Outstanding Educational Leadership Award, which is given to a selected graduating student during the graduation ceremonies each year. “I am grateful for the investment Hood has put in me.  And as long as I am able, I will continue to return the investment into the students at Hood.”

Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn

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HendersonFor Raythorne “RJ” Henderson, continuing his education was an obvious choice. An enthusiastic and innovative teacher who motivates his students through ideas like naming their groups after colleges, he decided on the Educational Leadership program at The Graduate School at Hood College, where he became part of a community which helped him professionally and personally. He credits Hood with helping him “gain a global perspective of the type of work in which administrators engage”.


In March of 2017, near the end of his program, RJ was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, causing kidney failure. Although hospitalized for several weeks and in need of rest and dialysis, he was able to graduate that May. He credits his professors and cohort members with helping him and making accommodations so that he was able to finish on schedule. He currently has a living donor and will receive a transplant on October 31, 2017.


RJ graduated from Frederick High School in 2004 and received his B.A. in Elementary Education from Salisbury University. After four years of teaching in Wicomico County, he returned to Frederick to teach at Hillcrest Elementary. After several years, he made the move to Montgomery County, where he currently teaches, for family and career growth.


While teaching in Frederick, he started coursework on campus at Hood, but shifted to the Hood/MCPS Cohort Program when he moved to Montgomery County. This program allows teachers to take Hood Ed Leadership classes hosted locally in MCPS facilities. He explains that “the cohort was an excellent experience as I was able to move from one course to another with the same group of colleagues.  We were constantly in contact with one another and built meaningful relationships.  It was great to gain the insight and hear the perspective of other professionals, some in positions other than classroom teachers. Travel time was also cut significantly. [However] there’s just something special about taking a class on campus. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like reading the e-version of a book versus the hard copy.  They each have their advantages and it’s simply a personal preference.”


RJ is hoping for a position as an Assistant Principal next year, and believes that his classes at Hood allowed “networking with other future administrators, and learning from some of the best educators in the country.  It was extremely beneficial to learn from those who are involved in the work on a daily basis”. We are #HoodProud of RJ and hope to hear about Principal Henderson soon!


Hood also offers the Educational Leadership Cohort Program for teachers in Washington County, MD and Berkeley County, WV. For more information click the above link or email


Outstanding Student- Educational Leadership

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i-mzS4Z8D-L  Kaitlin Moore applied to Hood College’s Educational Leadership Program at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, and when she was interviewed by the program director on October 26, he noted, “Kaitlin is an exceptionally motivated educator who is more capable than most; she is quite articulate in expressing her passion as an educator.”  Some people are just that impressive when one meets them for the first time!

Kaitlin teaches at Hillcrest Elementary where she has been able to employ one of her academic passions, Spanish, to mold positive relationships with elementary school students whose first language is Spanish. Thanks largely to Kaitlin’s drive, Hillcrest – the elementary school with the highest percentage of Hispanic students in the state of Maryland – has ensured that such students are English proficient before they leave the school.

In fact, her methods are so effective that Kaitlin has hosted educators from Washington County, Montgomery County and the Maryland Department of Education in her classroom so they can adopt the Hillcrest Dual Language model of instruction, which Kaitlin developed.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Kaitlin has applied to and been accepted to the Johns Hopkins Doctoral Studies in Education program, where we have every faith that she will experience the same kind of success as she’s experienced here at Hood.

Become a (Better) Leader with Hood’s Doctoral Program!

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bandsDid you know that Hood has a doctoral program in Organizational Leadership? Learn all about it directly from Kathleen Bands, the director of the program, on our brand new YouTube channel!

Meet Kathleen Bands

Hear her describe the program, which offers degree options in educational leadership (D.O.L.) and business administration (D.B.A.). Working with a cohort of peers from various backgrounds, doctoral candidates learn from coursework and practical experience that will help as they pursue their individual goals. Current students include school principals, researchers, human resources directors, and project managers. Several have undergraduate and/or graduate degrees from Hood, and aim to become the colleges’ first “Three Degree” graduates! Learn more about Dr. Bands and the program in the above video, as well as on our website (Hood Graduate School Doctoral Program).

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Graduate School’s brand new YouTube channel!

Hood – A Place That Nurtured My Calling and Passion

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Lura_Hanks_WebHaving earned her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and her Master’s in Educational Leadership from Hood College, Lura Hanks, a candidate in Hood’s initial Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) cohort, is on her way to becoming one of the college’s first “three degree” recipients.

Lura is currently Supervisor of Language Arts and Social Studies for Washington County (MD) Public Schools.  She provides professional development, curriculum design and resources to 48 schools, serving staff and students from PreK through 12th grade. She started her teaching career with Frederick County Public Schools at Middletown Elementary School before becoming an FCPS Teacher Specialist for English/Language Arts and Social Studies. Following Assistant Principal positions at Thurmont Primary and Elementary and Spring Ridge Elementary, she received her first Principal position at Mercersburg Elementary in the Tuscarora School District in Pennsylvania.  Lura returned to Maryland in 2013 to become Principal at Winter Street Elementary in Hagerstown before assuming her current position in 2015.  She has also served as a School Board Director in the Greencastle- Antrim (PA) School District.

Lura has been involved in a variety of projects to support technology initiatives and enrich students’ experiences at the elementary level, including the development of a program for students in grades 3-5 to demonstrate proficiency on grade level standards, work ethic and motivation, as well as exemplary character and behavior.  The program enabled students to enhance their general education through integrated studies in math, English, Science and Social Studies.

“Hood College has provided the foundation necessary for me to excel in the educational field.  With my own passion and drive to succeed, Hood continues to provide exceptional mentors and instructors that inspire, expect and support my own professional learning.  Through a liberal arts approach, Hood has enabled me to view the world from a global perspective and transfer those experiences to better prepare young students for the world they will lead.  Each experience at Hood has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to advance professionally with confidence and passion. 

As an educator, my goal is always to have the greatest impact in preparing our nation’s youth for success in the world we have created for them.  My hope is to inspire, expect and support success for as many children as I can influence.  Hood has nurtured my calling and I will continue to work for the health and wealth of our communities through advanced literacy competence and citizenship development in our future caretakers.”

Originally from Massachusetts, Lura is married to David Hanks, Assistant Principal at Northern Middle School in Hagerstown, and mother of Nathan (10) and Natalie (9).

Effective Leadership Makes the Difference

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Roger's PhotoRoger Stenersen, Program Director for Hood College’s Educational Leadership Program, has devoted his life to education and teacher preparation.  A Baltimore County native, Roger attended St. Paul’s School in Broolandville and earned his Bachelor of Arts in History of English Literature and teacher certification at Washington College. He completed his Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision at Salisbury State University.  He also took additional graduate coursework in the University of Maryland’s field doctoral program partnership with Washington County Public Schools.

Following graduation from Washington, Roger taught at the high school in Kent County, MD, where he also coached lacrosse and wrestling.  In 1978 he moved to Washington County, where he worked in school-based administration for twenty-six years.  His professional roles included assistant principal appointments in three middle schools and principal appointments in four.  Following his retirement, he was an instructor in Towson University’s Department of Instructional Leadership and Professional Development where he taught courses in Leadership Theory and Practice, Leadership of the Schools, Supervision, and Group Dynamics. He has also supervised dozens of educational leadership interns in Baltimore, Carroll, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Washington and Frederick counties.

An area of special interest to Roger is the professional development of school leaders, and he has earned NAESP certification as a mentor to beginning principals.  One of four members of the team which developed Hood’s new Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership, he sees this as a wonderful opportunity – not just for school personnel, but for all community leaders – to take their leadership to the next level and benefit the greater Frederick region.


Educational Leadership Certificate Preparation – Discovering Your Own Leadership Skills

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Emily Quinlanpic1Emily E. Quinlan, already armed with a Hood College Master’s degree in special education, also earned a certificate in Educational Leadership from Hood, which puts her on the path toward an administrative career in education.  Emily is an Instructional Coordinator for Elementary Special Education for Frederick County Public Schools. She delivers consultative and direct services to students with disabilities and their instructional staffs at the district’s 36 elementary schools. Additionally, she mentors teachers, conducts observations, monitors instructional programming and – as well as provides professional development. Prior to her current position, Emily was an FCPS Teacher Specialist and Coordinator for Secondary Schools.

Emily credits Hood’s curriculum and faculty for equipping her with effective mentoring, collaboration and professional development strategies for working with teachers of varying experience levels as well as administrators in schools with diverse needs. “(The Educational Leadership Certificate Program) is great for discovering your own leadership skills and qualities while learning how to build positive relationships with other educators.” The educational leadership program at Hood provides insight into the intricacies of school-based and systemic needs and how leadership roles impact those needs. The lessons and rigor of the leadership program have allowed Emily to adapt to new leadership roles, support schools based on their individual needs, and work to build teacher-leaders throughout the county.