News from the Aurora University community

Doctor of Education graduates prepared for leadership positions in area school districts

Posted by on June 9, 2014

Melissa Kaczkowski, EdD ’13, had an impressive career before she began the Doctor of Education program at AU. She previously worked as a special education teacher and held a variety of administrative positions, but was encouraged to think about her future career path during her time as an elementary school principal.

“I found the AU doctoral program to be challenging, yet manageable for a working educator,” said Kaczkowski. “In addition to the skills and theoretical content addressed in the program, I learned how to be more collaborative and disciplined. I learned a great deal from my instructors, but also learned many valuable lessons from my cohort colleagues.”

In the Doctor of Education program at Aurora University, expert faculty, with a wealth of experience as administrators and professionals, are committed to teaching the most relevant and current curriculum. And students work alongside like-minded peers to share experiences, challenges and success stories.

Kaczkowski will step into a new role as superintendent of Roselle School District 12 in July 2014. “I feel confident in my ability to tackle the new responsibilities and challenges that I will face,” she said. “I may not have all of the answers, but the program taught me the importance of knowing how and when to network and seek the support of experienced colleagues. The coursework provided me a practical and theoretical foundation in which to ground my decisions. It is now up to me to put that into sound practice.”

Kaczkowski is one of many EdD graduates who are applying their AU education to high level educational administration positions in the Chicagoland area. Mike Moan, EdD ’14, will begin his role as superintendent of Woodstock Community Unity School District 200 in July 2014.

“The AU program provided great insight from outstanding educators. Current superintendents became mentors and offered valuable experience to prepare me in a practical way,” said Moan. “It was a rigorous program, but working with people who challenged and supported me was a great experience. I felt prepared for the next stage of my career, and that is really the only thing you can ask for from a program.”

Aurora University offers three strands within the degree program: Leadership in Educational Administration, Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction, and Leadership in Adult and Higher Education. In all three strands, the doctoral program aims to develop better practitioners through melding theory, academic study and practice in course readings, assignments and dissertations. Students come from school districts, colleges and universities, organizations and corporations across northern Illinois, and work together to find solutions to educational and professional issues that they face each day. You will find graduates serving in top positions throughout the region.

Below is a list of EdD graduates who have been recently hired to serve as superintendents beginning July 1, 2014.

Melissa Kaczkowski – Roselle School District 12
Mike Moan – Woodstock Community Unity School District 200
Michael Popp – East Aurora Public School District 131
Kevin Russell – Chicago Ridge School District 127 ½