Educational Leadership

Apply Now for New Doctoral Program

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Hood College is now accepting applications for a new organizational leadership doctoral program. The 60-credit, three-year experience leads to a choice of two degrees: (1) Doctorate of Organizational Leadership (DOL) – For those in public and private education, the non-profit sector, training and development, government or military. (2) Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) – For those employed in business and industry who hold business and related graduate degrees.

The multidisciplinary program is structured by cohort. Both DOL and DBA candidates advance together through core and research courses. They then begin to differentiate their degree pursuit—DOL or DBA—by specializing in business, psychology and counseling or education courses. Finally, they complete their capstone work.

Classes are held on the college’s Frederick, Md., campus on a schedule that accommodates working professionals. The application period for the first cohort closes May 15, 2016. Learn more.

Alum Finalist for Maryland Teacher of the Year

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Amanda Portner
Photo courtesy FCPS

Hood Graduate School alum and Frederick County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Amanda Portner has learned that she one of seven finalists for the 2015 Maryland Teacher of the Year Award.

A literacy specialist at Thurmont Middle School, Maryland, Amanda holds both a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and a certificate in Educational Leadership from Hood. A panel of judges from key Maryland education organizations selected the seven finalists from among the state’s 24 district Teacher of Year recipients. Read more here.


Massey Tapped for Outstanding Educational Leadership Award

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Jennifer Massey with Prof. Roger Stenersen and Hood President Ron Volpe

Jennifer Massey with Prof. Roger Stenersen and Hood President Ron Volpe

The 2015 Award of Excellence for the Educational Leadership Master’s degree program went to Jennifer Massey.  The award is funded by Dr. Keith Harris ’99.  

Jennifer, a middle school science teacher at Mary of Nazareth Roman Catholic School in Darnestown, Maryland, already holds one degree from Hood, a BA in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies.  For her master’s degree she came back to her alma mater, where she has maintained a perfect GPA of 4.0.  In addition, Jen’s score on the School Leader’s Licensure Assessment – the “Praxis for Principals” – was among the highest ever achieved by a Hood candidate.

Jennifer has also sought out opportunities to grow beyond the requirements of her program, such as attending the Graduate School’s Professional Development Institute. This seminar series is designed for graduate students who want to enhance their marketability, sharpen their workplace skills and experience great networking and learning opportunities.

Stenersen Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

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Professor Roger Stenersen (center) with Daryl Boffman, Vice Chair of the Board of Associates, and Dr. Edgar Schick, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Professor Roger Stenersen (center) with Daryl Boffman, Vice Chair of the Board of Associates, and Dr. Edgar Schick, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Professor Roger Stenersen likes to introduce himself as a reformed high school principal.  At Hood’s Graduate School awards ceremony in May, however, Dean Maria Green Cowles introduced him as the recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award for Full-Time Faculty. 

Once a high school English teacher who later became principal at four public high schools, Roger knows what it takes to prepare future school leaders. Last year, under Roger’s direction, over 97 percent of recent Educational Leadership candidates reported that they passed Maryland’s required School Leaders Licensure Assessment the first time they took it. In fact, students’ scores far exceeded both the state and national averages across all major indicators.

Roger was first person in the Education department to offer a completely online course.  He thought teachers in the Washington and Berkeley County public school systems should be given the opportunity to grow their school leaders, so Hood now offers onsite certificate programs in these counties. And he was one of the leading collaborators in Hood’s proposed doctoral program in Organizational Leadership. 

Roger is a leader in his own right — as board chair of the United Way of Frederick and, before that, campaign co-chair of a successful $1.6 million campaign for the United Way of Washington County.  Roger also meets regularly with school leaders themselves to find out what they need today to be successful in the classroom, in the school system and in the larger community.  As one of his students wrote in his nomination letter, Professor Stenersen’s “talent and love for the field of education” are evident to everyone in the classroom.

Teacher of the Year Holds Two Master’s from Hood

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PortnerAmandaTOYAmanda Portner has just been named Frederick County Teacher of the Year! The school system’s most prestigious award recognizes outstanding members of the teaching profession.

An alum of two Hood graduate programs — Curriculum and Instruction in 2004 and Educational Leadership in 2009 — Amanda is currently the literacy specialist at Thurmont Middle School. Among numerous leadership roles, she serves as an FCPS curriculum writer and teacher trainer and co-directs the Maryland Writing Project for Frederick, plus she’s taught English for the FCPS Virtual School.

Find out more about Amanda and her most recent achievement on the FCPS website.

Grad Takes School Leadership Post

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Tracy Flower

Tracy Flower says Hood’s Educational Leadership program helped her to identify her core values as a school leader and how she could inspire educators and garner the respect of the families she’d serve as a school administrator. The 2013 grad is now putting what she learned into action as assistant principal at Whittier Elementary School in Frederick, MD.

“My professors became my mentors, took personal interests in me, and even followed up with me after I left their classrooms. The skills and knowledge they shared–coupled with my authentic field-based experiences–set the foundation for me to be a passionate school leader.”

This is Tracy’s ninth year in education, having taught third and fifth grades for five years and served as a math specialist for three.

Reception for All New Students: August 20

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All students who are new to the Hood Graduate School for the Fall 2014 semester are invited to an orientation on Wednesday, August 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The informal welcome reception, to be held at Whitaker Campus Center, will provide an opportunity to meet faculty, staff and fellow students.

The agenda includes a campus tour, introduction to the bookstore and Apple computer lab, a welcome from Graduate School Dean Dr. Maria Green Cowles, and dinner with the program directors. Get the complete agenda and then RSVP here 

Couple Tackle Master’s Together

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FamilyFrederick County natives John Ridenour and Jessica Zentz tend to do things by twos. Both have pursued their entire teaching careers with Frederick County Public Schools. They have two small children and two cats. (Only their dog is a singleton.) So it’s not unusual the husband-and-wife team decided to get their master’s in Educational Leadership together.

“We have similar interests in education and furthering ourselves professionally,” says John, who teaches fifth grade at Lincoln Elementary. By taking classes together, they “balanced each other’s different ideas and opinions about concepts.”

For Jessica, who currently teaches second grade at Walkersville Elementary, the program has “opened doors” in her career, inspiring her to take risks and providing networking opportunities with other FCPS professionals.

John agrees. “The program encouraged me to actively engage in aspects of school leadership that teachers do not typically participate.”

The two aspire to leadership roles in education – with FCPS, of course.

Finishes at the Top, Moves into the Top Seat

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img3Rod Kerbs is a role model for the Graduate School’s Educational Leadership program. Not only did he knock the top off the SLLA (School Leaders Licensure Assessment) on the first try in 2013, but he was hired for a principalship right after completing the program. Now principal at Mt. Aetna Adventist School in Washington County, MD – which serves record-level enrollment in grades preK-8 – Rod has 12 years’ experience in education, including three as an assistant principal.

Rod found that the Educational Leadership program took his know-how to the next level. “It equipped me with the confidence to create a vision and the patience and knowledge to push that vision forward through collaborative leadership practices.” Reputation, affordability and proximity to his Hagerstown home were key factors in choosing Hood to advance his education, says Rod. “I’d recommend it. The learning is relevant, and it has directly impacted my school in positive ways.”

Grad Lands the Job Fast

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2013-09-28 01.44.06-1Already armed with a master’s in special education, Emily Quinlan took Hood’s certification preparation path toward a future in educational leadership. Program director Roger Stenerson says he wasn’t surprised when Emily landed a teacher specialist position within two months of completing the 18-credit program in 2013. “She has tremendous energy, a strong sense of diplomacy and well-developed leadership skills.”

Emily credits the curriculum and faculty for equipping her with effective new mentoring, collaboration and professional development strategies for working with teachers of varying experience levels. “It is a great program for discovering your own leadership qualities while learning how to build positive relationships with other educators.”

As an itinerant teacher specialist with Frederick County Public Schools, Emily delivers consultative and direct services to students with disabilities and their instructional staffs at eight middle and six high schools. She mentors teachers, conducts observations and monitors instructional programming – as well as provides professional development.