Head Uses Specialist Education Degree to Improve Leadership and Connect with Students

| Alumni

Cynthia Head poses for a photo at Trevecca's iconic bell tower on graduation.

Cynthia Head’s desire to deepen her impact in education led her to the specialist degree in accountability and instructional leadership (Ed.S.) at Trevecca. This degree is specifically designed for those who are looking to become dynamic leaders as teachers, instructional facilitators and administrations.

Head initially started down a very different career path, but eventually realized that a career in teaching would be a perfect fit for her and her family.

"I got a degree in mass communications and worked in television for several years," Head said. "But when circumstances led me to relocate and seek a more family-friendly career, I found myself drawn to teaching."

This shift marked the beginning of a decade-long tenure as an English teacher, followed by a return to her initial area of expertise in media through teaching digital arts and audio visual classes at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

When she had the chance to pursue her next degree, Head chose Trevecca for its affordability and the recommendation of colleagues who had successfully completed their programs.

“I compared Trevecca with a lot of other programs in the state of Tennessee and I was surprised at how affordable it was,” Head said. “I also had several coworkers who had gone through the Ed.S. program, and I learned about their experiences.”

She also had another connection with the school: Her husband is Trevecca golf coach David Head. With all of these factors in mind, she settled on Trevecca’s online Ed.S. program, and found the flexibility she needed as a mother, wife and teacher with many commitments.

"Balancing coursework with other responsibilities requires focused effort," Head said. "But the online format allowed me to manage my time effectively while continuing to fulfill my roles at home and in the classroom."

Reflecting on her experience in the program, she believes the way it broadened her perspective on educational systems was extremely significant.

"I gained a deeper understanding of how processes operate at district, state and even national levels," Head explained. "This knowledge has been invaluable in my role as an educator, helping me to better navigate and contribute to the larger educational framework."

While many Ed.S. graduates use their degrees to move into administrative roles, Head’s passion lies in the classroom, where she has applied her learning to serve her students more effectively as a leader and mentor.

"I find fulfillment in directly impacting students' lives," Head said. "The program's insights into educational leadership have enhanced my ability to contribute meaningfully to my students' educational journeys."

Head has worked to create a supportive learning environment, helping students to engage with their world and the constant barrage of media and technology in healthy and constructive ways.  

"I see teaching as a way to shield students from negative influences and empower them to confidently navigate the world," Head said. "Through teaching digital arts, I also strive to equip students with skills to responsibly express themselves in today's media landscape."

Looking ahead, she plans to continue teaching while leveraging her Ed.S. degree to increase her efficacy and potentially explore roles in media support at the district level. She also welcomes the more tangible benefits of her growing success and education.

"The program has already facilitated a salary increase, which is a welcome recognition of any educator's efforts," she noted. "It's rewarding to see my commitment to education acknowledged in this way."

Her journey from the world of television to education is a testament to the diverse pathways that lead to impactful teaching careers–and the ability of advanced degrees to equip teachers for their calling and future goals.