Featured Grad: Nicole Chapman ’20E
Program: Education Specialist
Current position: PK-12 Music Curriculum & Instruction Facilitator and CADRE Associate, Millard Public Schools
Congratulations on graduating, Nicole! As a graduate student and educator, what has this last year been like for you?
Thank you!! This year has had its challenges, but the dedication and commitment of educators has been inspiring. It was hard transitioning from in person learning with my Doane CADRE colleagues to a virtual format. I was so incredibly grateful for the 2.5 years of strong relationships we had already built prior to moving to virtual classes. I am grateful for the experiences I have had even through this challenging year.
As someone who already had a master's degree, what first interested you in Doane's Education Specialist program?
I am a continuous learner and always interested in growing myself in order to better serve those around me. I was very interested in the EdS/EdD program for the opportunity to grow myself as a leader. I also appreciated the ability to continue working full time in my position while continuing my education.
Since you began Doane's Ed.S. program, you have advanced in your career, going from music teacher, to administrative intern, to a district leadership role. How have you been able to experience tremendous growth professionally in a short period of time?
Starting the Doane program reignited a spark in my leadership journey. At the time I applied, I was teaching music in an elementary school in Millard. I started the program and a year in, I applied for an administrative leadership position within my building. I attribute the program for giving me confidence and strength in my own leadership which helped me feel prepared to move into that role. I held that role for two years and then applied for a district leadership position, which I started this year. I am incredibly grateful for my Doane experience that prepared me for these leadership roles and opportunity to serve others.
What are some of the main takeaways you have from your time in the Ed.S. program?
There were many takeaways from this program. This program really taught me how to be a truly reflective learner and leader. It emphasized the need to build strong relationships built on transparency and trust. It focussed on presence in all interactions and committing yourself to truly being in each movement. It taught me about forward vision and seeing beyond what's right in front of me. It emphasized leading through change and guiding those on the journey with you in a safe way.
You mentioned that you really enjoyed the cadre format at Doane. How do you think the cadre format helped set you up to succeed as a student and in your day-to-day work?
I do really like the CADRE format. I had never been in a CADRE program before and I loved that you have a group of people that you move through the program with. It allows you to have much deeper relationships which lead to deeper conversations built on trust and growth for all. I felt we were able to be vulnerable with each other and push each other as leaders to maximize our growth.
What are your future aspirations?
Honestly, I am incredibly grateful for the new district level leadership position I have this year and look forward to learning, growing, and developing in this role. I am planning now to continue with Doane in the EdD program and complete my doctorate. I know it will open many doors and possibilities and I'm excited where my leadership journey will take me.
If you had to describe Doane's College of Education in one sentence, what would that be?
A place of true reflection and growth as a learner and leader.