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Walden Magazine // Jul 09, 2014

How It Paid Off: From Teacher to Dean of Students

Learn how an alumna uses the skills she learned while earning her doctoral degree to become a leader.

Dr. Kimberly Sabrina McDuffie

Dr. Kimberly Sabrina McDuffie

NAME: Dr. Kimberly Sabrina McDuffie ’13

DEGREE: Doctor of Education (EdD) with a specialization in Administrator Leadership for Teaching and Learning

TITLE BEFORE MY DEGREE: Business teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, North Carolina

TITLE AFTER MY DEGREE: Dean of students and principal intern at Eugene Ashley High School

HOW MY DEGREE IMPACTS MY FAMILY: I am a first-generation college graduate. I would not have continued on to college without supportive teachers. I chose to become a teacher to pass on my dedication to lifelong learning. By earning my degree, I’ve set a positive example for my son. I grew up in poverty and making a better life for him was my goal. Now that my son is in college, I know I’ve shown him that he can do anything.

HOW MY DEGREE TRANSFORMED MY CAREER: Earning my Ed.D. helped me become a leader. Since I earned my doctorate, my principal offered me the position as dean of students. He trusts me with a vast amount of information and duties. I’m also the person teachers ask for data and feedback. They want to understand how data connects to their teaching to improve outcomes for their students.

THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE SINCE EARNING MY DEGREE: I’m more than a researcher now; I’m a scholar-practitioner. I wrote my doctoral study to learn what motivated students to complete high school, including what teachers can do to support them. I’ve shared my findings, and teachers are using them to improve our graduation rate.

How did earning your degree change your career? Share your story at [email protected].