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Career Shifting: Elementary Teacher Steps into Leadership Role  

Portrait image of Dana Genatt

A master's degree in education leadership from Seton Hall helped prepare Dana Genatt to become her school's curriculum director.

Dana Genatt, M.A. '20, absolutely loves teaching. But after several years in the classroom, the ambitious, enthusiastic educator decided she wanted something more. Genatt zeroed in on school leadership. To reach her goal, she decided to pursue a master's degree in Education Leadership, Management and Policy, offered through Seton Hall's College of Education and Human Services.

"From a young age I knew I wanted to have a positive impact on children's lives," Genatt explained recently from her home in Secaucus, New Jersey. Helping her sister, who is 10 years younger, with homework and school projects turned out to be the start of her journey. "Both of my parents worked, so when I came home from school, I found myself looking forward to helping her with concepts or assignments that were challenging. At the same time, I was taking AP Psychology with a young, passionate teacher and I was inspired by her unconventional techniques."

Genatt attended Ramapo College where she studied psychology and earned a teaching certification in K-6 education. After graduating she began teaching 3rd grade at Robert L. Craig School in Moonachie, New Jersey.

This year, in the midst of the pandemic, she finished graduate school, had a baby and became her school's director of curriculum. "That sounds like a tremendous amount of responsibility and change in a short time," acknowledges ELMP program director, James Corino, Ed.D., "but Dana is equipped with solid teaching experience, an exceptional education, and abundant energy. If anyone can do it all, she can."

As an educator, Ganett's experience, both in the classroom and in her new leadership role, has given her a unique perspective on the pandemic's impact on schools and students. When schools closed, Genatt was engaged in distance learning with her third graders. "That was challenging," she recalls, "but my district was able to support families and help students learn in a new environment."

Currently, as the director of curriculum, Genatt says she sees the administrative side of education through the lens of the pandemic. "I am leading teachers through the obstacles of supporting families that have chosen to stay remote learners and ensuring the health and safety of those families that are sending their students to our school."

Genatt credits her master's degree with helping her feel confident in her ability to lead and support teachers and her community. Looking back on graduate school, she counts small class sizes and opportunities to work with experienced faculty, among the experiences she values most. "At the start of each semester I would speak with the superintendent of my school and tell him who my professors were for the next few months. He was excited and impressed when hearing who I was learning from because they were all extremely knowledgeable and experts in their field."

About the Program
The M.A. and the Education Specialist (Ed. S.) program in Education Leadership, Management and Policy program is designed for working professionals who are interested in becoming a superintendent, principal, supervisor, director, or a leader in a special education program, charter school, Catholic school or in bi-lingual education program. This accelerated, 39-credit, blended/hybrid program is offered through a cost-effective and convenient schedule providing weekend on-campus and online course offerings. Visit our web site to learn more, or email albert.galloway@shu.edu.

Categories: Alumni , Education

For more information, please contact:

  • Diana Minakakis
  • (973) 275-2824
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