Terra Ward ’11 chose Shenandoah University for its cohort program, which allowed her to pursue a master’s degree while continuing work for Culpeper County Public Schools. Although she never set foot on campus as the cohort was entirely online, she says she “always felt supported as everyone at SU was only an email or phone call away.”
Ward obtained her master’s with a group of colleagues, who kept her on track and motivated. She completed her studies at Shenandoah in two years with a 4.0 GPA. Ward credits her high quality professors for her academic accomplishments.
Ward is the assistant principal at Yowell Elementary in Culpeper, Virginia. She supervises teachers, paraprofessionals, custodial staff and students. Additionally, she oversees bus arrivals and dismissals. She sees herself as a problem solver and enjoys working a fun job that allows her to laugh every single day.
“Discipline is a big part of my job, however I try to explain to students that my former job was to teach kids how to read and now my current job is to teach kids how to be problem solvers,” said Ward. “My hope is that approaching students as someone who can help them take responsibility for their actions while also learning replacement behaviors in the process, will make them feel more successful.”
Prior to serving as an assistant principal, Ward taught first grade for six years and third grade for eight years. She also worked as a reading interventionist for five years. “I love the relationships I have built with students and their families. It is so rewarding to see students grow up and become successful,” said Ward.
Ward’s advice to current and future students is to gain field experience in the classroom. She says that although the academic portion of education leadership is important, actual experiences with kids will “teach you everything a book cannot.”