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Behind the Desk of an Education Leadership Graduate
Ashley Crandall

Ashley Crandall is a 2022 graduate of the Education Leadership master’s program. This is an accelerated program where students earn a graduate degree and qualify for a Texas principal certification. Similar to the other graduate programs in the Department of Education, the MEdL is a cohort, in-person model. We sat down with Ashley to hear more about her experience in the program. 

Q: Can you talk about why you chose this program at Trinity? 
A: There is an assistant principal at my campus that was my instructional coach the first two years I was a teacher, and I got really close with her and she helped to develop a lot of my leadership capabilities. Her best friend recently graduated from the program, and she recommended it. Her friend got hired and he answered all my questions, so I said “Alright, I’m going to do this! I’m going to go for it and see what happens!” 

Q: Can you talk about the most challenging part of the program? 
A: Time, oh my god! I can tell you that is definitely the biggest challenge. Of course there is the PASL and the 268 (PAIL) which are tests we had to prepare for, on top of our assignments and being a full-time teacher. It's not that the work can’t be done, it's just you never feel like you have enough time. 

Q: Can you talk about the most beneficial part of the program? 
A: There are so many things to talk about! I think that the relationships we form with the professors and with the coaches are something that will last me a lifetime. The professors and coaches are not just invested in teaching you the content, they are also there to literally see you through and after the program. They give great advice on things that are currently happening and how you can leverage your leadership skills to impact change. 

Q: Which PASL tasks have you had the most growth in throughout the program? 
A: Definitely Task 1, they had us identify a significant problem or challenge within our school and then come up with a plan to address it. My principal really gave me the reins so I was able to take leadership and ownership of it. I helped lay out the plan for professional development to help close the gaps on the problem we had presented. Then, I was able to present it to teachers, and we developed different strategies and practices to help promote growth within students, teachers and their pedagogical practices in and out of the classroom. Seeing their students grow over time is really fulfilling because you are not just having an impact on one group of students in your classroom, but you also see it go across several grade levels! 

Q: What are your future career plans?
A: I definitely see the first stepping stone is an assistant principal. I just want to get some more leadership experience under my belt before jumping into a principal position. I’m going to take a year off from school, but I will definitely go back for my PHD because I want to be a superintendent eventually. There aren’t enough female leaders in education and that's something that needs to change.

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