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Student Profile: Chad Kodama, Master of Education in Leadership
Chad Kodama, a graduate of CityU’s Master of Education in Leadership program, was recently appointed as assistant principal at Dearborn Park and Graham Hill Elementary Schools in Seattle. We caught up with Chad as he shared about his CityU experiences.
City University of Seattle (CU): Why did you become an educator or when did you know education was the field for you?
Chad Kodama: I first knew that I wanted to be an educator when I was in high school and I visited my aunt who was a principal of an elementary school at the time. I absolutely fell in love with the idea of molding the lives of young people in a positive way. I could tell it was very rewarding for her and I wanted to someday be a part of it.
CU: In the classroom vs. administration. What motivated you to pursue your leadership post?
CK: I loved being in the classroom. It is truly a special feeling to have your own classroom community and build that special bond with your kids. In the back of my mind I knew that going into administration and leading a school was my ultimate goal so I never lost sight of that. You can have a major impact on the lives of young scholars by the decisions you make as an administrator and I think about that daily. Though I miss the classroom I love being able to mentor and help teachers and watch them grow.
CU: As an Educational Leader, what are some of the greatest challenges you face in moving your school forward?
CK: With all the changes that are going on right now with district and statewide curriculum it is sometimes difficult to help coach your staff to be innovative in their teaching practices. I think this is a big challenge for educational/instructional leaders and makes it hard for schools to progress at the desired rate. Also, trying to meet all the needs of the students, staff, families and community is always a big challenge. As an educational leader you want to be able to meet all the needs (academics, social & emotional, physical) of your students first and it often leaves less time to meet the needs of your staff, families and communities. Putting together a plan at the beginning of the school year is a great way to try and help balance these important issues.
CU: Which program did you pursue at CityU and what was your experience like?
CK: I received my principal certification from CityU and I hope to follow that with a Doctorate and Principal Professional Certification someday. I enjoyed my time at CityU. I was close to the students in my cohort and also felt a sense of trust with the faculty. I came to Dr. Purcell after I had already graduated to help me with my resume and cover Letter. She was awesome and guided me throughout the process.
CU: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for educators out there who would like to move into a leadership role and/or switch to a more administrative role within their district?
CK: Well, first off I would say make sure your heart is in it for the right reasons because the hours are really long and draining. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. It gave me a whole new outlook on education and allowed me to see the process in a different light. It’s a great feeling to see both your students and staff succeed!
Thank you for your time Chad and congratulations on your success!