Find out more about the educational path this alum pursued.
Meet Kindra Fox,
As a teacher, Kindra Fox liked seeing the light bulbs go off over children’s heads as they learned.
Now she sees the light bulbs go off over the heads of teachers and principals. As the director of the curriculum and instruction department at Washoe County School District, she still knows she is positively affecting students. That's the most rewarding part of Fox’s job. "Just making a difference in kids' lives," she says.
Fox knew in the fifth grade that she wanted to be an educator. That's when a teacher inadvertently inspired her when she punished her for talking too much in class. "In order to get me to be quiet, she gave me more math to do. And I loved it," she laughs.
She fulfilled her childhood dream of teaching math, but then rose to the challenge of teaching other educators as a regional trainer. Fox’s career goal was to transition to working in administration but she knew this required specific qualifications on her license. “I didn’t want to have any doors closed to me because I didn’t have the right credentials,” she explains.
Fox's transition to administration went hand-in-hand with a return to college. She already held a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Education, but she didn’t have administrative credentials on her license, so she couldn’t apply for administrative positions. She decided to enroll in the Master of Arts in Education/Administration and Supervision program at University of Phoenix.
Now she is responsible for many facets of learning in her school district: she oversees core curriculum, high school accreditation, textbook adoption and professional development for teachers and administrators. “We really feel our job in curriculum instruction is to provide teachers with resources and learning to help them do their jobs well,” she explains.
Fox says the program taught her skills that are directly applicable to the workplace.
“There was a lot of hands-on learning through the internship classes where I used to go and work directly with a principal to learn and so I learned everything from student discipline to FERPA law, to testing, to making a schedule for teachers,” she explains.
Another class involved a lot of role-playing around conflict resolution. “I am, by nature, one of those people that likes to be happy and likes to make everyone else happy. Conflict is not something I seek out,” Fox explains. “In my job, I encounter conflict every day. I learned strategies in that class to diffuse it but also to try to calm the situation and make it better.”
“I don’t think if I tried to read about it or listen to someone talk about it that it would have been as empowering as sitting in front of my class and role-playing that experience,” she continues.
But the most beneficial part of her program? Human resources skills, she says. That was especially important after she was promoted and was suddenly supervising colleagues and friends.
Fox is still benefiting from her degree in an indirect way: through the relationships she built with her co-graduates. Many now work as administrators in Fox’s school district or the neighboring one. It’s an informal support group that she can run ideas by, she says.
Education gave Fox an ever-at-the-ready toolbox. "There are just pieces and parts I learned in my program I pull out every day," she says.
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