15:06 PM

UHCL doctoral student is HISD Middle School Principal of the Year

Tanya Edwards heard University of Houston-Clear Lake had a good doctoral program for educators seeking executive leadership skills. After an interest meeting, she knew enrolling would be a good decision.

Now in her second year of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program with Superintendent Certification at UH-Clear Lake, Edwards, a principal of Baylor College of Medicine Academy at James D. Ryan Middle School in Houston Independent School District, said her program is giving her knowledge that she can apply to her real-world profession.

Her school district seems to agree — Houston I.S.D. has just named Edwards the South Area Middle School Principal of the Year for 2020-21.

"My program at UHCL has lived up to all my expectations," she said. "I'm learning to communicate and collaborate with others from different districts, even those who are not in K-12 schools. It's helped me grow as a person. As a principal, I've been in my 'box', but this has helped me meet people from a variety of backgrounds, and I love it. The wisdom shared is unlike anything I've ever experienced. I'm proud to be a part of UHCL's doctoral program."

She said the professors in her program have been teaching half face-to-face and half remotely. "I love the model," she said. "My career goal is to move into executive leadership. I appreciate all my professors, but in particular, (Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership) Thomas Cothern, who has offered a lot of expertise about being a superintendent because he has been one himself."

She added that she'd also been encouraged, guided and motivated by Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Antonio Corrales.

"Out of all the specializations you can have in educational leadership, the superintendent track is the one that fits what I'd like to do," she said.

Edwards said that principals can impact their own campus, but in executive leadership positions, it is possible to do more. "Superintendents must know about the political aspects, but I will always put students first," she said. "You can impact more people, beyond just your own campus and community, and that's what I'd like to do."

Learn more about UHCL's Educational Leadership doctoral program online.