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Student Profile: Christine Moloney, Doctor of Education in Leadership
As a teacher, Dr. Christine Moloney’s goal was to make a difference in the lives of her students. Today, her goal remains the same, but now as an administrator she’s able to expand her reach across an entire school district.
“When I went into teaching I had a fantastic time, but I realized I wanted to make a difference for more than just the kids in my classroom,” she said. “When I went into administration I absolutely loved it because I was making a difference for the entire school. Then I transitioned a third time because I wanted to make a difference for more kids—not just at one school, but a whole district. So that’s my goal.”
In September 2014 Dr. Moloney became the first doctoral student to graduate from CityU’s Doctor of Education in Leadership program. She currently serves as director of instructional leadership for the Puyallup School District. Prior to getting her doctorate, Dr. Moloney also went through CityU for her Master of Education in Educational Leadership: Administrator Certification, and her Superintendent Certification.
Dr. Moloney understood the joys of teaching early on. Her mother was a K-12 educator, and two teachers from her junior high school influenced her decision to enter the profession.
“I wanted to be just like them,” she said. “I wanted to be a teacher who could engage students and make it fun, while also motivating them to become lifelong learners.”
These two role models also taught Dr. Moloney the value of hard work – something she has continued to demonstrate in her development as an educator and administrator. Going through CityU’s Ed.D. in Leadership, Dr. Moloney said learning from her instructors’ personal experiences was instrumental.
“There are always insights you can gain from someone else’s experience,” she said. “The faculty at CityU know where you’re at, because they’ve been there. They have the experience to say ‘yes this worked’ and ‘no this didn’t work.’”
Even post-graduation, Dr. Moloney said she still applies skills she learned at CityU like change management techniques and cultural competency practices. The Ed.D. in Leadership program also helped her recognize leadership styles.
“I’ve found that I actually change my leadership style depending on who the stakeholders are, who the followers are, and what the situation is like,” she said.
As a leader, Dr. Moloney said, it’s imperative to understand your own values and habits. CityU’s Ed.D. in Leadership stresses the importance of recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses because self-awareness allows leaders to remain authentic.
“You have to be really honest with yourself because there’s no way you can improve if you’re denying that you have faults or ignoring areas where you can grow,” she said. “CityU had things in place that helped you identity your strengths, and areas where you could improve.”
Remembering her most recent walk across CityU’s commencement stage, Dr. Moloney said she felt both proud and humbled to finally receive her doctorate.
“I really appreciated the incredible support of my family, friends and especially the faculty. They kept saying ‘hey you can do this,’ and encouraging me every step of the way.”