Edoho-Eket Sets Sights on Inspiring Educational Leaders with Practical Book for Administrators

| Alumni

Rachel Edoho-Eket headshot

For Dr. Rachel Edoho-Eket, a doctoral program experience at Trevecca has been the difference between serving as an effective principal at her own school and helping aspiring administrators everywhere as a successful author.

Edoho-Eket recently published The Principal's Journey: Navigating the Path to School Leadership. This practical book on leadership for school administrators has found remarkable success, ranking third on Amazon’s education leadership book list.

While the book’s contents draw extensively on her years of experience, the confidence to complete a manuscript came from the process of writing her doctoral dissertation in the Doctor of Education program. 

Inside The Principal’s Journey 

“In the book I talk about having a mentor. I talk about resumes and give sample interview questions,” Edoho-Eket said. “Then I talk about the first year of the job and what to expect. I answer questions like how do you set a vision for your school, how do you build relationships quickly with people and how do you have hard conversations.” 

She hopes the book will help principals and future administrators have a realistic idea of the job and have the support they need to thrive in their position. 

“The job is extremely challenging but it is doable when you have the right people in place around you. I don't do anything by myself and I talk about that in the book,” Edoho-Eket said. “It's a team effort. If you're going to lead a school, you need the help of your staff, you need the community's input and you need your students to do it well.”

Leaving a Legacy 

She got her start as a kindergarten teacher, where she put her passion for helping children learn and grow into practice. She then became a stay at home mom after having twins. However, an unexpected opportunity changed her trajectory.  

“I got a call from one of my previous schools saying that a teacher had left in the middle of the year and asking if I could take over her classroom,” Edoho-Eket said. “I came back to work and soon after had the opportunity to be a part of opening a school right around the corner from my house.” 

As she began teaching in the new school, her principal became a mentor and began to ask if going into administration was something she had considered. Edoho-Eket was hesitant, but she loved her job and students and was continually invited to participate in school life in new and significant ways.

“My principal would say, ‘Hey, can you organize this for the school?’ Or, ‘I'm going to a professional development meeting, why don’t you sit in with me?’ And so I really learned about leadership by watching her model,” Edoho-Eket said. “Finally I decided to go back to school to get my certification. Right after that was over, I applied for assistant principalship and was promoted.”  

Eventually, she took a job at Waverly Elementary School in Maryland as assistant principal. During that time, she discovered that she wanted to go farther and was inspired by her family to pursue the highest levels of education. Her Ed.D. helped prepare her and four years after starting at Waverly, she was promoted to principal. 

“I lost two grandmothers in the same year in 2016 and just listening to them and learning more about their life triggered in me a desire to leave a legacy like they did,” Edoho-Eket said. “They were both educators. So I made a personal goal that day. I really want to get my doctorate and that's when I began researching programs.”

Finding the Right Fit 

She looked at leadership doctorates around the country but was drawn to Trevecca’s convenient online format and Christian emphasis. 

“At the time, my twins were in first grade, so I thought logistically about what I could manage. I am an assistant principal and I work a lot of hours. I'm married with two young kids, so for me online made the most sense,” Edoho-Eket said. “My father was a minister, and Trevecca has that faith-based part of it too, and that was a unique aspect that the other programs didn't offer.” 

Throughout the program, Edoho-Eket received support from her cohort and professors that has carried far beyond her degree. 

‘I'm still in contact with my cohort members. The caliber of the people that I learned with and that I'm continuing to learn from has been amazing,” Edoho-Eket said. “The support of Dr. Ryan Longnecker, Dr. Kristen Bledsoe and several others have been instrumental in getting me through and helping me promote the book.”

Making Plans to Inspire 

She hopes to write more books in the future, encouraging other leaders to go further in their careers.  

“The success has been so unexpected and I'm just extremely blessed that people are talking about the book and that I'm getting it out so that more people can benefit,” Edoho-Eket. “I've got some ideas for future books. One would be around time management. I would also consider writing about women in leadership, but right now I'm going to focus on being a principal and helping bring other aspiring leaders into the fold.” 

The Principal's Journey: Navigating the Path to School Leadership provides a helpful and practical blueprint for educators to follow as they transition into new leadership roles and serves as an essential guide for those who are interested in learning more about school-based leadership. Copies of the book are available for purchase through Amazon