GVSU master's program provides opportunity for longtime educator to move into administration
February 13, 2023
Rachel Anderson is the new principal at Lake Ann Elementary in Interlochen, part of the Benzie County Central Schools district.
While it's a new position, Anderson is a veteran educator and said the master’s degree program at Grand Valley State University’s Traverse City Regional Center has prepared her well for administrative duties.
In fact, Anderson said, it was a Grand Valley faculty member who suggested the educational leadership program, seeing the potential in her that she might have missed.
“I was thinking about a master’s degree in early childhood education, but Rick Vandermolen saw a leader in me even more than I saw in myself at that time, and he helped steer me toward the leadership program,” Anderson said.
Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in education from GVSU after getting a foundational start at Northwestern Michigan College. “I knew I wanted to be a teacher and I liked that a combination of NMC and GVSU could get me there,” she said.
After earning a degree in 2013, Anderson started teaching at a Forest Area Community Schools elementary building. She said she’s always had a heart for the youngest learners.
“I come from a big, blended family of eight kids. I was one of the older ones and always immersed in caring for my brothers and sisters,” she said. “Even as a teen, I wanted to be there for their milestones. I used to go have lunch with them at their elementary schools.”
Moving to administration gives Anderson an opportunity to make an impactful difference, she said. “Much like people did for me, I can help prepare other people for leadership roles and help them see qualities in themselves,” Anderson said. Grand Valley’s educational leadership courses were rigorous and Anderson said there was a great sense of community among students. “The faculty are so dedicated to your success. They work with you to make sure your success is sustained throughout the program and after the program,” she said.
by Michele Coffill
Educational Leadership Program - The GVSU master’s degree in educational leadership program can be completed in Traverse City. It provides aspiring educational leaders with clinical experiences, case methods of teaching, and pragmatic curriculum geared to the specific knowledge required for success in school-level leadership for pre-K through grade 12. This program is designed to prepare aspiring leaders with specific knowledge required for school level leadership success and impact