Our nontraditional and graduate students are some of the hardest-working Tigers you'll meet. While they earn their degrees, most of them maintain other responsibilities, such as working full time or parenting. And their effort and execution don't falter in the classroom, whether that be online or in person.

Meet our class of 2023 Featured Tigers, leaders in all aspects of their lives!

Jared Haag ’23E
Jared Haag ’23E is excited to start his dream job as elementary principal at Fairbury Public Schools — where he attended grades K-3 and his children currently attend.

Jared Haag ’23E (he/him)

Hometown: Fairbury, NE
Currently: Hickman, NE

Master of Education in Educational Leadership

First off — congratulations! How do you feel as you head into the next phase of your life?
Doane has prepared me greatly for the next stage of my educational career, and I'm excited to take the next step into educational leadership.

What's your next step after graduation?
I am extremely excited to pursue my dream job as an Elementary Principal at Fairbury Public Schools. This opportunity is one I will not take for granted and will enjoy having the opportunity to build relationships with staff and students in a new school setting next school year. I will have the opportunity to serve as the building principal at the school that I attended kindergarten through third grade, which is extremely special for me.

How has attending Doane prepared you for your next steps?
My professors at Doane have been tremendous mentors and leaders that taught me to prioritize a student-first approach with a relationship-based leadership approach. They have taught us many key leadership components, but the most important takeaways are how to activate and lead continuous school improvement efforts and how to build and maintain a strong school culture that involves input from all stakeholders.

What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?
The most important aspect of my Doane experience is the relationships I built with all of my cadre members and the network that we created through our time in Doane EDL cadre. We built a strong culture that valued listening and learning from every person in our group.

What will you miss the most about being a Doane student?
I will miss the fellowship that we shared and the time that we were able to get together to process our struggles, celebrate our accomplishments, and champion each other to continue to push forward and promote positive change in our school settings.

Who was a major influence for you during your education here, and how have they helped you?
Our Cadre was led by a distinguished principal, Kris Morrison, who taught by engaging us in challenging conversations and provoking reflection and discussion. We were also fortunate to have Michelle Phillips, who was a seasoned veteran principal who has seen and done it all in her time in educational leadership and taught us through sharing her vast experiences. Last, but certainly not least, we were blessed with the presence of Alan Eighme who showed us how to lead with compassion, understanding, and a kindhearted approach to building up leaders by believing in their strengths.

What is something you're proud of achieving or accomplishing while at Doane?
I feel most proud about balancing the work in Doane EDL cadre, the role of an elementary teacher, and the most important duty of being a father and husband. I was fortunate to have a great supporter in my wife, Megan, who understood what I was working for and allowed me to devote the time to put forth quality work.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Be a sponge. Every person in this world can teach you something you do not know. Everyone has a story, listen and understand what brought them to this moment. Learn from them and understand how they can help you see the world from a different perspective.

Finishing a degree is tough to begin with, but especially so in recent years — what has helped you overcome challenges you've faced along the way?
I was fortunate to build meaningful, life-lasting friendships with people in the Doane EDL cadre who supported me throughout this process and always helped me believe that we could make it to the finish line together. We accomplished and achieved our goals together, and I'll forever be grateful for the people who were in it with me.

Finally — what are you most excited about for your future?
I'm excited to begin my dream job and build a bright and promising future with my family. We are excited to be all together, teaching and learning in the same school district, growing each and every day as a family. It is amazing to have the opportunity to watch my children be students in the building that I get to work at.