Kristie Edwards

Kristie Edwards Headshot
Ed.D. Student

Kristie Edwards DaughterWhat made you choose Marymount University for the pursuit of your Doctorate?

I chose Marymount University for a few reasons that I found impactful—not only for my current learning but for learning beyond. Marymount came highly recommended by one of my colleagues who knew they wanted to pursue a doctorate while continuing their career. 

Through research and questioning I was able to find the following advantages to attending Marymount University:

  • There was an opportunity to complete the courses fully online.
  • The cohort is small and personal. The deans and professors have done a great job selecting individuals to become a part of this doctoral program. I have instantly created a new family of educators who I can lean on and glean from now and in the future.
  • The program of study aligned with my future goal of becoming an innovative leader in a school district as a superintendent.
  • The opportunity to engage with the leaders in the education department made it more personal and exciting to see the investment in future participants.


What do you hope to accomplish by earning an Ed.D. degree?

I hope to accomplish the instructional capacity to lead the next generation of innovative leaders and have the wherewithal to see the strength in those who have the skill set to change what the current field of education looks like and become disruptors in the process. This course will provide the skills to tackle policies, mindsets and leadership skills that will be the North Star for future leaders.


What are your long-term professional and personal goals?

My long-term goals would be to become a leadership coach and actively train current and prospective leaders to be change agents. To intentionally infiltrate the world of academia with a heart open to empathy, a hand extended to serve and feet to move with urgency to change the way education is viewed in low-performing areas. 


Tell us a bit about your background up to this point – personal and/or professional.

Personal: I am a mother to an amazing seven-year-old by the name of Significant. I was the first female in my family to pursue higher education. This included receiving my BA from Shaw University, a Masters from the University of Phoenix and certifications from Harvard. The accomplishments I achieved have not been for me but to set the stage for those to follow in my family and for them to see that we can accomplish things beyond what is in front of us.

Professionally: I have been in education for 22 years. I began my career as a special education teacher in Wake County Public Schools located in Raleigh, NC. I continued on my instructional path by becoming an instructional coach, assistant principal, principal and mentor principal in the District of Columbia Public Schools.


What motivates you to complete an online program?

What motivates me to complete an online program is my desire to push myself to new levels. Knowing that completing this program will open new doors for me as I continue to be impactful in the field of education is exciting. 

Additionally, the flexibility of being able to continue working and implement what I am learning from the program is an ideal way to put into practice what I am being taught.


What do you think of the Ed.D. program so far? Do you have a favorite topic or moment?

I absolutely LOVE this program at Marymount University. The introduction—from meeting the dean to the support of the professors is something I will forever be grateful for. To know that you have people who are supporting you and want you to win is a big deal and a motivator in itself to get you to the finish line. 

When thinking about my favorite topic I would have to choose our course on "Effective Leadership." As a current principal, the tools I received to improve my craft are priceless. I was able to immediately see a change in my conversations with my staff and the feedback I was providing them.


What is the biggest highlight of your experience with the MU Ed.D. program?

My biggest highlight would be the sense of community in Cohort 2. The group chats, words of encouragement and overall support have been a game changer. The faculty has been nothing short of supportive. To have professors that do not just see you as a registered student but as a vital part of the learning community has made pushing me towards the finish line that much more important and attainable.


Anything else that you’d like to share?

I am thankful for the opportunity to share my experience and would love to pay it forward by supporting those coming after with the same energy and affirming notes to stay the course.


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