Darlene Howald M ’14

Major: MAEL
Job Title: Assistant Principal

Hometown: North Canton, Ohio

Employer: North Canton City Schools

I am an associate principal in a middle school with approximately 1,100 children in grades 6-8. Although some of my job responsibilities include the management of our school staff and building, I aspire to be an instructional leader who influences the educational environment in which I work.

MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY

Why Mount Union
I chose Mount Union because of the reputation of the university as well as the rigor the MAEL program offered. I was not just looking for a degree, but rather an experience that would both challenge and enrich me as a professional educator.

Unique Graduate Program
I liked the online aspect of the program, but I was not willing to complete an entire program online. It was the combination of the summer institutes and the fall/spring online courses that really helped me to make my decision. I would recommend the program because it is diverse, well balanced, relevant and responsive to the needs of aspiring educational leaders. 

Connections with Professors
There is absolutely no way to pick a favorite professor. They are an amazing team and their individual talents complement one another. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work with and learn from each of them. Although my first year as an assistant principal was quite busy, I was able to stay in touch with the professors. They have shown a genuine interest in my career advancement and they have invited me to share my experiences with the students who are currently in the program.

Internship Project Experience
The internship project that was completed during the second year was an excellent opportunity to develop a project and work it through all the layers that make up a school district. My internship project involved establishing an after-school STEM program. From start to finish, the project required collaboration with teachers, parents, students, school administrators and the larger community. I learned a great deal about my own leadership strengths, and it gave me the confidence to pursue an administrative position upon graduation.

An Investment in Education
I know that having completed this program I am a better educator and instructional leader. I am not sure I can put a price tag on that, but it has great meaning to me and I hope that there is a direct impact on the children I serve.

A Rewarding Career
I love having the opportunity to mentor teachers, and in turn have an impact on student learning and growth.  

Career Goals
I am quite interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in education. I am starting to hone in on an area of research that inspires me.

I know that having completed this program I am a better educator and instructional leader. I am not sure I can put a price tag on that, but it has great meaning to me and I hope that there is a direct impact on the children I serve.

Fun Facts

Who is your hero?
Recently I attended the funeral of a man by the name of Jack Frient, whom I consider to be a great hero. He lived the gospel in his words and actions – a humble man who was the hands and feet of Jesus.
In a meeting with your peers is your phone on the table, in your pocket or purse, left at your desk or in your car?
My phone is tucked away in my pocket, but I wear a smart watch so that I can be alerted if there is an urgent problem. The smart watch allows me to be updated without disengaging from my peers.
What is your favorite movie?
Hands down, my favorite movie is Star Wars. I can’t wait to see the new film!
What is your usual bedtime?
I try to be in bed by 10 – my alarm goes off at 5 a.m.. My smart watch keeps track and lets me know if I am falling behind on my sleep!
What was the occupation you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Growing up, I wanted to be a nurse. I think I have always been drawn to caring professions.
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