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Meet our Alumni

Slider: MA in Education and Licensure

Meet our Alumni

Students enter the low-residency MA in Education Program with diverse and unique approaches to their lives and their studies. The master's degree can be completed in three or four semesters (depending on whether or not a student is seeking licensure.) Our students and graduates are passionate, engaged and committed educators who work in public and independent schools and colleges, international organizations and community agencies. All share a commitment to education that leads to personal discovery and growth, to the creation of caring communities and as a way toward a just and sustainable world. Below, recent graduates reflect on their Goddard experiences and their work as educators.

 

Rose MetroRose Metro

MA in Education with Licensure in Social Studies: 4 semesters (2004)

Current position: PhD student at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

I have two overlapping vocations: history education in the US and history curriculum development on the Thai-Burma border. I have wanted to be a history teacher since I was in high school, and I became interested in Burma while I was in college. During a long stay in Southeast Asia, I became fascinated by how ethnic, religious, and political groups that have been engaged in violent conflict negotiate their different versions of the past when re-writing history curricula. In searching for a college to obtain my MA, I discovered that Goddard was the perfect place for me to further my studies in both of these vocations – history education in the US and curriculum development in Southeast Asia. While at Goddard, I earned my teaching certification in Secondary Social Studies, which allowed me to spend several years teaching 9th grade World History at a small public high school in the Bronx. I wrote my MA thesis on Burmese educational leaders' attitudes toward inter-ethnic collaboration on history curricula. What I appreciated most about Goddard was that I could pursue a self-designed project that I was passionate about while simultaneously working toward the goal of certification and accreditation. Combining the life of a scholar with that of a practitioner is the spirit of Goddard.

 

Paul FreedmanPaul Freedman

MA in Education; focus: Partnership Education, 3 semesters (2008)

Current position: Alternative Elementary School Director, Salmonberry School, Washington

When I enrolled at Goddard, I was already an experienced teacher. I had been teaching pubic elementary school for ten years, and had co-founded a small alternative school. Yet, Goddard challenged me and helped me to develop and learn in more ways than I could have imagined. Goddard valued and respected my professional experience as well as my unique learning style and particular needs. Goddard understood exactly where I was and helped me to develop from there. Goddard’s progressive learning community surrounded me with new ideas and greatly deepened my understanding of pedagogical theory and the many forms of alternative education. Since graduating, I have enthusiastically continued my self-study. I find that I am a much stronger leader in my community, and both my classroom practice and my writing have improved markedly. I write and teach with far greater passion, commitment, and purpose than when I began at Goddard. When I reflect on my time at Goddard, what I appreciate most is the extent to which these beautiful, caring people - faculty and students - engaged in the practice of holding space open for me as a student. Parker Palmer says: “Education at its best – this profound human transaction called teaching and learning – is not just about getting information or getting a job. Education is about healing and wholeness. It is about empowerment, liberation, transcendence, about renewing the vitality of life. It is about finding and claiming ourselves and our place in the world.” This is precisely what I found at Goddard.

 

Joanne JezequelJoanne Jezequel

MA in Education with Licensure in Secondary Science, 4 semesters (2002)

Current position: High School Science Teacher, Atlanta, Georgia

When I began my studies at Goddard, I was already a Doctor of Chiropractic and had over a decade of teaching experience at the post-graduate level. I realized that if my vision of working with teenagers was to become reality, I would have to return to school and earn both an education degree and official teacher certification. Toward this end, I investigated many programs; however, only Goddard allowed the flexibility and credentials I was looking for. I chose Goddard because I was able to continue working while concurrently earning an MA. While my initial decision to enroll at Goddard was based primarily on the limited time required on campus, my experience evolved into an immersion in progressive education. A self-directed course of study was designed to specifically mirror my interests and needs. Under the auspices of the Goddard faculty, I learned things as varied as how to focus my teaching based on the intended learning outcomes of my students and to how to effectively and successfully conduct academic research. Since my graduation in 2002, I have been happily working as a science teacher in one of the largest public school districts in the country. Being a lifelong learner myself, as I continued to teach, I again returned to school, and in 2008, I was awarded a EdD, whereby I published a dissertation that answered questions which arose during my time at Goddard.

 

Susan O'RileySusan O’Riley

MA in Education; focus: Literacy and Latin America, 3 semesters (2009)

Current position: Rural Literacy Project mentor; On sabbatical from Williamstown Elementary School, Massachusetts

My passions and work have always been related to teaching and education. I have been a classroom teacher, an environmental educator, and a coach of numerous sports. My most recent work is as a grassroots organizer for a cultural exchange and literacy program called Rural Literacy Project (RLP). RLP volunteers create teams to fundraise and raise awareness on literacy in Latin America. We also travel to rural communities throughout Latin America to spread literacy skills in these rural parts of the world. We have just formed a union with Ocean Academy in Belize and will be orchestrating a photography-based pen pal program with both groups. How did Goddard help me reach this point? By encouraging me to develop a program to meet my own needs, interests, and learning styles. Goddard afforded me countless mechanisms for making RLP an even more valuable part of my life. As my focus turned toward the ethics of international service projects, I developed a study plan that linked me to the world. My work at Goddard has been rich with learning experiences and academic challenges. I have worked harder than I thought possible. I have enjoyed every moment. My time at Goddard has assured me that, under the proper conditions, dreams can be transformed into realities.

 

Jeremiah BurnsJeremiah Burns

MA in Education with Licensure in Elementary Education, K-6, 4 semesters (2007)

Current position: K-6 Public School Teacher, New York City

I came to Goddard to earn an MA in Education as well as a license to teach in the public schools. Not only did Goddard prepare me to meet my goals and engage me in informed dialogue with colleagues and mentors within the field of education, but Goddard also gave me the chance to join a community of people dedicated to making the world a more humane place. The residency workshops and adviser groups engaged me in expansive dialogues on topics related to effective teaching skills, including ways in which issues of social justice and sustainable ways of living can be integrated into curricula. Furthermore, one of the most beautiful qualities that I remember about Goddard is how each person was implicitly understood to be integral to the whole community. Now, in my second year of teaching elementary public school children in New York City, I am sustained and inspired by the practical skills, theoretical knowledge, and stellar role models embodied by Goddard faculty, staff, and students.

 

Barbara Martinez-GriegoBarbara Martinez-Griego

MA in Education; focus: Soy Bilingüe Adult Dual Language Model, 3 semesters (2008)

 

Current position: Early Childhood Education Department Faculty, Skagit Valley College, Washington

I am currently a faculty member of the Early Childhood Education Department at Skagit Valley College in Washington. I provide leadership on campus and in the community through the implementation of a dual language approach to college teaching. I have also developed a popular linguistically and culturally relevant Child Development Associate (CDA) program on campus. My MA studies at Goddard focused on coaching, mentoring, and accountability within the Soy Bilingüe Adult Dual Language Model. My research included dual language preschool, program administration, and creativity and cultural arts with young children. Attending Goddard enlightened my past work and guided me into the position I presently hold. It prepared me to work with my students towards the creation of a more just and humane world. Goddard’s emphasis on reflective practice, individual identity, and culture inspires the work I do, which is aimed toward improving the lives of children and their families. Before finding Goddard, I had spent over 30 years looking for the perfect program to work on my MA degree - the wait was well worth it. I see the world in such a different way - going through Goddard’s program has made me a credible educator and enriched human being! Life is good!

 

Josiah S. LitantJosiah S. Litant

MA in Education; Focus: Partnership Education, 3 semesters (2008)

Current Position: Associate Dean of Students, Hampshire College, Massachusetts

As a scholar of education, I purposefully searched for a graduate program that emphasized student-driven learning and encouraged me to develop my own ideas. Goddard offered me this learning community – a community that challenged me to think in new ways about theory and practice and supported my ideas. Goddard gave me the resources and encouragement to create a course of study from the ground up, completely of my own design. I now use these skills in my workplace on a daily basis as I create and implement new initiatives that affect student life in higher education. My Goddard thesis, "Partnership Theory as a Philosophical Model for Student Affairs Practice in Undergraduate Education," laid the groundwork for my implementation of an innovative, new-student orientation program at Hampshire College. The program - much like Goddard - seeks to build strong, intentional connections between curriculum and students' lives outside the classroom. It focuses on small group discussions that facilitate familiarity with the college community and that engage students as partners in shaping the institution itself. The skills and knowledge I acquired at Goddard continue to inform this and my other projects. As I work to implement necessary and effective educational change within my institution, my experience at Goddard serves as an important and powerful inspiration.

 

Heather Duffy-StoneHeather Duffy-Stone

Goddard MA in Education with licensure in School Counseling, 4 semesters (2006)

Current position: High School Counselor, New York City

I have always been a writer and I grew into being a counselor. By allowing me to study School Counseling through the lens of a writer, Goddard taught me how to unite my passion and work. As a high school counselor at Bard High School Early College II (BHSEC), I have found a position that allows me to develop and build the kind of Guidance Program I always envisioned. BHSEC is a public school that offers a high school diploma as well as an Associates degree. Our students come from a diverse range of countries and families, and our academic program allows them to explore their best selves in college seminars and small classes. I work with students to develop extra-curricular activities, to design their academic programs, and to help them adjust to new expectations and the sometimes-clashing cultures between home and school. The Goddard "classroom" is present in most of what I do because the philosophy here at BHSEC has much to do with self-directed learning and constantly being challenged to grow. In early 2009, my first novel, This Is What I Want to Tell You, was published. This Is What I Want to Tell You grew out of conversations I have had in high schools and the stories that grow there. The stories I told in this novel are so important to me because they are about very real - and very sad - truths. Being a novelist and being a counselor are inherently intertwined. Stories and narratives inform the way we grow, teach, and learn. Being at Goddard allowed me to explore this idea and bring narrative and storytelling into the work I do as a school counselor in Queens.