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Houston’s growing educational sector is full of public, charter and private schools. For many educators, they find the flexibility of a private school more to their liking, and have made the switch. Educator Candace Brawner talks about her education and how it has helped her join the administration at a private school.
What degree program did you study?
“At Howard Payne University, I received a BA in English and minored in Education. After a few years as a teacher, I decided to return to school for an MLA degree from the University of St. Thomas. I am currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education at the University of Houston.”
What does your current position entail?
“As Director of Development, I develop and execute the annual and long-term fundraising plan of the school including capital projects, events, institutional development and overall direction of the school’s communication internally and externally. My weekly routine includes serving in various capacities in service to the community through the Chamber of Commerce, attending meetings with architects regarding the campus expansion, participating in planning events such as an annual fundraising gala and meeting with potential donors to share the school’s vision for the future.”
“Although being a Director of Development is not the career path I initially envisioned, I find it extremely rewarding. I particularly enjoy the fast pace and constant change requiring me to think on my feet as well as become incredibly flexible. Many nights are spent during the week doing everything from meeting with board members to cheering on the team at a volleyball game.”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?
“Task management and project organization are the two most valuable skills I learned in my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Certainly, a teacher must first be a master of their subject matter, but truly, teaching requires much more.”
Have you participated in any form of continuing education since beginning this position?
“Continuing education is invaluable to the educator. Public and private schools alike require their faculty to remain knowledgeable in their field; however, I found the networking and troubleshooting process to be one of the most important experiences in my continuing education programs. Developing a web of contacts with whom to confer professionally is essential to every good teacher and administrator.”
Do you have any advice for people who would be interested in pursuing a similar career?
“Education is an exciting and invigorating career. There are so many avenues to pursue within the industry. From school counselors and nurses to teachers and administrators, everyone has the opportunity to make a true difference in the school community and more importantly in the life of child.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.