WWU Masters in Educational Leadership Program: Q&A with VP Kim Casquilho
June 3, 2019
Kim Casquilho is a Vice-Principal at Nicomekle Elementary School, and a graduate of the Masters in Educational Leadership Program.
When did you know educational leadership was for you (i.e. when did you know becoming a VP was for you)?
It has always been something I knew I wanted to eventually pursue. I had taken on leadership roles as a teacher and enjoyed the challenge of working with students, staff and families in a different capacity.
I had been Teacher-in-charge at my school and last year the principal was off for an extended medical leave at the start of the year. During start-up, I assisted with last minute class placements, scheduling and realized that I could have a different, yet meaningful, impact on both students and staff. I was lucky to be assisting a retired principal who supported me, and gave me the opportunity to take on a number of leadership roles within the school. During this time, he encouraged me to get started on my masters.
Why did you decide to join this program?
In my search to begin my master’s I had been looking mostly at online programs. Knowing how I learn, I wanted the flexibility of online course work, but knew I could also benefit from the face-to-face interactions. I attended an information session and knew the blended model offered by WWU was perfect for me.
From your personal experience, what are the main benefits of this program?
The flexibility of the blended model allows for a sustainable work/life balance. The instructors are easily accessible and the face-to-face classes allowed for meaningful support and interactions with both cohort members and faculty. The program’s design set the stage for an interactive learning community where ideas were shared and developed.
How has having local faculty made a difference in your learning?
Having accessible faculty that had knowledge unique to my school district and the surrounding districts has been such an asset. Getting feedback specific to our district has been invaluable and helped develop tools that I could immediately use in my job. Also, having the opportunity to visit a variety of schools in the region allowed our cohort to examine the many philosophies that comprise the schools in our region. Again, I was able to use this information to further shape the leader that I hope to become.
How will this program help you on your educational career journey?
The content covered in my course work directly relates to my role as an administrator, including components of law, policy, HR and instructional supervision. The Growth Plan platform the district is now using was introduced to me through my coursework at WWU and continues to challenge my learning and my research project directly relates to my role as an instructional leader.
What would you say to a teacher who is considering joining this program?
I would recommend this to any teacher who is looking at continuing their career in a leadership role. The content is current and relevant. The face-to-face classes encourage discussion and challenge your thinking. The support, guidance and encouragement from faculty is invaluable.
If you’re a teacher and interested in the program, please visit the WWU Master’s in Education Leadership page for more details!