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My journey

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berkeley hall

on 23 September 2014

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Transcript of My journey

Personal Background
I, Michelle Hall, was born on November 11, 1969 at Altus AFB, Oklahoma to Joseph and Doris Gross. My dad was a USAF officer and my mother a domestic engineer. I have two brothers, Michael and Matthew, and one sister, Mary. I am the second oldest child in the family and the two girls are stuck in the middle of the sibling family line up.

I spent my early childhood traveling the U.S. with my family courtesy of the USAF. Upon my father's retirement from the military at the end of my sixth grade year, my family decided to remain at the last duty station. Ironically, we had come full circle from my place of birth. I remained in Altus, Oklahoma until I was twenty-four years old. By this time my husband was on active duty with the USAF, and we departed Oklahoma for the Great Wilderness of Anchorage, Alaska.

As we packed up our belongings to head out to Alaska, we must have resembled the "Beverly Hillbillies." We had an old pickup bed trailer with a cover over the top packed from ceiling to floor and an old blue and grey suburban also packed from bottom to ceiling. There was just enough room for my husband, Jim, and I in the front and my then three year old son, Bryan, to sit in the back seat.

During our 3 year tour in Alaska, I was blessed with a daughter, Berkeley. She was just eighteen months old as we left Alaska for Florida. Yes, we drove all the way. Same blue and grey suburban packed again with just enough seating for each person and dragging a car on a trailer behind us. Upon arrival in Florida, I began my teaching career as I worked on my Masters Degree with the University of West Florida. Part of the Masters Degree program and steps to State Licensure in Florida was to teach in a classroom for two years while completing the courses required for graduation. Since my Bachelors Degree was Mathematics with a Minor in Statistics, this enabled me to teach 6-12 Mathematics, and I was immediately employed with Walton County School District as a Middle School Mathematics Teacher at Freeport Middle School in Freeport, Florida.

As my husband's career with the USAF progressed, we moved multiple times. This made maintaining a teaching career difficult. Currently, we are living in Las Vegas, Nevada. This constant movement gave me the opportunity to teach all across America from Florida to Alaska and work with students from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. I would not change any of the experiences I have shared in my journey to this doctoral program. The lives that I have touched can never compare to the extraordinary ways my students and the parents of my students have touched and inspired me through the years.
Professional Background

My professional background in private education began over 26 years ago when I accept a job with Hughes Aircraft on Altus AFB, Oklahoma. My primary responsibilities were to implement instruction in the pilot training program and monitor the data collected from the students for curriculum advancement and development. This career path was just what I needed at that time of my life. However, as a young mother, I found that the hours in the flight simulators did not match my duties surrounding raising my child. Also, my husband was joining the military and this did not permit me to remain in the job.

As we transitioned from Oklahoma to Alaska, I had vast quantities of time to reflect on personal career goals during the 10 day road trip through Canada and the Alcan Highway, and how I would incorporate those goals into being a military wife. I did not initially start out thinking that I would ever teach middle school or high school mathematics. However, our three year tour in Alaska was spent teaching music at my local church and within a short amount of time became the choir director. I loved seeing the excitement of the young children in the children's choir, and I cherished the enjoyment and enthusiasm of the adults in the adult choir. Just as it was getting good and I was more comfortable with my abilities to lead the music program, we needed to move to Florida.

It was during our tour in Florida that teaching in a public school intrigued me and sparked my interest in putting my mathematics and statistics degree to better use as a licensed public school teacher. I enrolled in a two year internship with the University of West Florida and began teaching middle school mathematics. I learned more from my students then they learned from me during the early years. I learned that I was not as patient as I needed to be, that I my mentors were my most valuable resource, and that I needed to reflect, introspect, and apply all of the knowledge crammed in my brain in an effort to assist my students in becoming productive citizens.

At the end of these first 26 years of teaching, I look back at the various levels of mathematics from Pre-Algebra to AP Calculus and ask myself what next. I embarked on the next phase in my career and took the Assistant Principal position at my current school. While I was comfortable in my abilities as an educator, I am now finding myself in need of personal growth in the field of educational leadership. As I travel down this road in acquiring knowledge in school administration, I am looking forward to challenges ahead and completing this next stop on my journey down the road to success.

Pursuing a Doctoral Degree
I decided to pursue a doctoral degree, because I am finally at a stage in my life where I can commit to the rigor and intensity required to complete the Ed.D in Educational Leadership. In addition, I am interested in furthering my career in the education field as a school administrator.
Doctoral Program and Rational
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

My decision to enter into this program is based on my desire to further my abilities and expertise as a school administrator. As part of that goal, I recently took a position with my current school as the Assistant Principal of the Middle School and am looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Why I am here:
I am here to prove to myself that I have what it takes to complete a goal that I set for myself years ago. With the support of my family, I finally have the opportunity that I was seeking and the timing is perfect. I am excited to begin this journey with an open mind and the willingness to see it through.
I plan to accomplish
I plan to accomplish the acquisition of a deeper knowledge in the the role of a school administrator and be able to apply that knowledge in meaningful ways.
What I would like to know:
What is the average length of time a doctoral student typically takes to complete this program, and how often do courses begin during the program?

Are all materials for the course provided online once the courses begin?

What books would you recommend to have in our personal libraries for use as reference materials other than the APA Style Guide?

Currently, what are the big names in educational research?

What professional journals subscriptions would you recommend to aid in our studies through out the program?
My journey
on the road to success!
My Family
Full transcript