The Principled (Assistant) Principal
Brooke C., Ed.D, Education Leadership and Learning
“We discussed issues in academia, examined how challenges and opportunities manifested within our institutions and studied the best practices for leadership behavior.”
“I want to help others grow. I want to develop my leadership skills, so I can help others achieve their potential. It is my passion.”
Brooke Cooke turned in her dissertation in May of 2018 for her Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning degree with a specialization in Education Administration at Aspen University. Less than one year later, she accepted a position for an assistant principal in her district. She credits Aspen with enhancing her writing and communication skills which were key components that helped her land her new job.
Before earning her EdD, Brooke was an accomplished 8th-grade teacher in Forney, Texas, with ten years of experience. She wanted to advance her career as an education administrator, so she went back to school for a graduate degree in secondary education followed by a principal certification.
Brooke’s higher learning journey eventually lead her to Aspen University where she enrolled in an online EdD program.
Brooke connected with the Ed.D. courses. She cultivated her leadership skills and applied them to her own institution. She explored the challenges of building a strategic plan and implementing positive institutional change.
Through spirited online discussions, Brooke explored the main components of building and managing successful educational organizations and developing creative problem-solving strategies. “We discussed issues in academia and examined how challenges and opportunities manifested within our institutions. This gave us an opportunity to study the best practices for leadership behavior.”
Those discussions proved to be the impetus for her dissertation. Title I Elementary Principals and Their Perceptions of the Retention Process: Does RtI* Play a Role? The dissertation focused on elementary principals’ perception of how the RtI* process and data is utilized when grade level retention decisions are made.
The dissertation chair proved to be a great support system for Brooke. “Writing a dissertation was such an immense undertaking. The research and writing process was long and tedious. It was good to have someone to talk through ideas — the back and forth — who not only mentors you, but walks you through the process and encourages you along the way.”
Brooke appreciated the flexible online schedule, and she was able to integrate the courses into her life easily. “We have two kids, and I was a teacher at that time. I appreciated the flexibility of the program because I needed to be available to my family and my students.”
“It’s my calling to find innovative ways to build capacity for teachers…finding ways for them to reach their best educational potential so they can help students do the same.”
*Response to Intervention’ (RtI) is an emerging approach to the diagnosis of Learning Disabilities that holds considerable promise. In the RtI model, a student with academic delays is given one or more research-validated interventions. The student’s academic progress is monitored frequently to see if those interventions are sufficient to help the student to catch up with his or her peers.