Students and graduates reflect how knowledge gained from their degrees has helped them in their careers.

This article is the second in a series of articles highlighting how EdLF impacts its students and alumni.

No graduate program is ever easy, but many BYU McKay School EdLF graduates agree that they are better for it. From our survey a few months ago, we found examples of how the department and it’s programs have helped graduates become better—as leaders and lifelong learners.

Better Leader

EdLF programs have empowered their graduates to become more impactful leaders. John Arthur Labare (’14), principal at Northridge Elementary School in Orem, Utah and holder of an MEd in school leadership, credits the program for his ability to handle real-world trials. “The wealth of knowledge, skills, dispositions, and practical experience that I gained through the EdLF program at Brigham Young University prepared and empowered an old science teacher for the rigors and challenges of educational leadership.”

Bruce Eschler (’16), an assistant principal and adjunct professor, said that his PhD in educational leadership has helped him take multiple approaches to the challenges of leadership. “It provided me with the analytical background and skills to not only approach problems at work as an educational leader but also as a researcher. The combination of these two perspectives has enabled me to be a more effective school administrator.”

Khristen Massic (’19) believes her MEd in school leadership helped her become a more multifaceted leader. “The EdLF program has empowered me to be an instructional leader­—not just a disciplinarian. Not only have I been able to develop skills, but I have also used several of the resources from my courses to help lead discussions and start conversations with teachers.”

Julie Stoddard Warren (’03), says the MEd program created a foundation of knowledge on which she continues to build in her current position as associate superintendent. “I feel that the partnership experience has always given me the opportunity to look beyond current practice and look forward as an educator, to be a forward-moving thinker and also have an opportunity for renewal at the same time.”

EdLF students collaborating on an assignment
EdLF students collaborate on an assignment with EdLF professor Bryan Bowles.
Photo by Pam Hallam.

Better Learner

David Flake Boone (’94), a professor of church history and doctrine, says that he still relies on the skills he learned in the EdD educational leadership program to help him in his work. “Frequently, I remember where I was first exposed to new ideas, concepts, and educational methods in my doctoral program,” said Boone. “I am constantly using skills first learned from my research classes in my current projects. I pretty much use the skills I learned there most every day now.”

Randall Kay Lunt (’95) said his EdD helped him become a better teacher. “The many wonderful principles of learning and administration that I gleaned in my doctoral studies made a significant impact on my personal teaching and learning philosophy and quickly influenced my teaching and learning style. The impact was immeasurable.”

Earning her EdD in educational leadership helped Huili Tang (’17), a business school faculty member of Xi’an International Studies University located in Xi’an, China, appreciate the hard work necessary to become a leader in education. “It has broadened my horizon and understanding in many ways, especially the real meaning of education and the devotion and commitment that a scholar has to demonstrate.”

David Cassani (’99), CEO of Alta Vista Education Center in Orem, Utah, said the skills he learned while earning his MEd have increased his capacity to learn by the Spirit. “Graduate research skills empower me to see beyond poor research methods and be more discerning. Associations with professors that the Spirit confirmed to me helped me keep centered or see key peaceful foundations within myself for leadership—not getting pulled into the trends of the world in leadership.” By learning through the Spirit, Cassani said, his mind is more open to learning new ideas and unlearning old concepts.

Eric Lynn Woodhouse (’10), a K–6 supervisor said that the principle of servant leadership is a skill he is always looking to use. “‘Servant leadership’ really resonated with me, and I have tried to practice that ever since. I also learned how to be a reflective learner from the program, and that benefits me as I find areas to improve upon.”

Writer: Cameron Hussein

Contact: Cynthia Glad (801) 422-1922