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Education & Social Science Graduates

Richard Hill, M.Ed.

What I do now:
As of July 1, 2019, I will be the principal at St. Philip Neri Catholic School in Metairie, LA. For the last 14 years I have been an administrator and Assistant Principal at St. Catherine of Siena School in Metairie, LA.

My work/job consists of:
I have a variety of roles in my current job and many more adventures to come once I take over the principal position at my new school. I am the school's disciplinarian, manage the school's 1:1 technology initiative, create schedules and handle logistics, and maintain the school's database and website. Most importantly, I help to bridge communication between our school and families and between parents, teachers, and students. I spend a good portion of my day talking with faculty, parents, and students about school policies and procedures or helping people to problem solve.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):
I have a great deal of experience as both an educator and administrator in Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. What I was lacking, however, was the final piece of the puzzle- a Master's degree. Earning that degree wasn't just "ticking off a box" for me. I knew there was still a great deal I had to learn and be exposed to in order to reach my goal of becoming a Principal.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):
I chose LSUS because, among teachers I had spoken with, I heard great things about the program and the instructors. The online MEDL program is staffed by education professionals who either still serve in the field outside LSUS or who have reached great heights in their careers as educators and administrators. The program was online, which was a big plus. The driving force, however, was that I knew I'd get a great education, earn valuable experience, and grow as a servant leader by enrolling in LSUS.

Fond memories of LSUS:
The online class discussions were terrific. Even though my classmates and I were in different parts of the state (or sometimes around the country), we were able to have facetime with each other and with our instructors. The online class discussions brought a "traditional" classroom feel to the online program, which was a net positive for me.

LSUS faculty who helped me:
I learned from many great instructors in the MEDL program. The two who stand out, however, are Dr. Russ Perry and Mrs. Tracie Johnson. I had several classes with each of these great educators and learned many practical ideas that I was able to implement immediately in my current job.

How LSUS helped me succeed:
The education I received at LSUS and the Master's degree I earned made my dream of being a Principal possible. Yes, I needed the credential, but what I learned prepared me for what's next.

Advice to college-bound students:
College-bound students should be open to the world around them. Listen more than you speak. Read and learn about many different things. Engage yourself in activities that are new to you. Don't be afraid to change your mind, even with something as big as your major.

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:
In my field, the most important thing a potential educator should understand is that there is much the students will teach *you*. Education is not a function of simply dispensing knowledge to young people while stopping long enough to sip your coffee before continuing. Through different instructional methods, hands-on learning, and discovery, students are best prepared for high school, college and beyond, but these are also experiences that can and will inform the teacher in his/her practice and make them better. Watching students think logically and problem solve enriches them and enriches the teacher.

Tips on choosing a major or career:
Start with what interests you, but be open to changing your major. My undergraduate degree is in History after I began as a Computer Programming student. The sum total of all your experiences, even when you switch majors, will make you more well-rounded and inspire you to think differently in your chosen career.

My toughest professional challenge:
My toughest professional challenge is still to come, I believe. I am contracted in my current Assistant Principal job until June 30 and then begin as a Principal at a new school on July 1. I want to learn everything I can about my new school, its faculty, its students, and its community. I want to be careful to make a great school even greater while honoring and respecting the traditions that define the school. Going into a new situation with only about a month before the start of a new school year will mean many long days and nights, but I relish the opportunity to put my learning and experience into practice.

My toughest personal challenge:
Personally, balancing all the people and things in my life that need my time and attention is tough. I am in a highly demanding job and soon going into a job that requires even more. In some ways, I am doing a bit of both jobs at the same time. I am a father of two girls (13 and 4) and a husband. Scheduling myself is important and "clocking out" at some point in the day is crucial, but often hard to do.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:
I went through the MEDL program at LSUS with a 4.0 GPA, which I am extremely proud of, since I took the maximum number of classes I could at one time while working full-time in a job that has high expectations and brings unexpected challenges as a matter of course.

I've learned this from life:
Have a growth mindset. Like it or not, everything changes, whether for better or worse. Change is not just part of life, change IS life. Hold on to your core values and beliefs, those define who you are and who to appear to be to others. However, be open to what's new and what's next. Add new thoughts, feelings, opinions, ideas, and skills to the person you are. Seek constant improvement.

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world: Definitely writing mystery stories. I tried my hand at this as a hobby several years ago and really never got back to it.

 
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