After Sarah Maba walks across the stage to accept her master’s degree in educational leadership on Saturday, she will step into a new job as upper school assistant principal at Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale.
It’s a dream realized and the answer to prayer for Maba, who earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 2008. Maba is in the first cohort to graduate with a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from PBA. The online program can be completed in one year.
“This has helped me move forward from classroom teacher to school administrator,” said Maba, a Westminster Academy alumna. “It’s very special to do it at my alma mater.”
Maba has been working as director of outreach for Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, which established Westminster Academy. She’s also served as a substitute teacher and math tutor. Over the last year, “God really put it on my heart to grow as an educator,” she said.
Maba began to research public and private programs and was drawn to PBA because the school is faith-based and has a good reputation, she said. Her coursework has strengthened her understanding of a leader’s role to rally all the stakeholders around a shared vision for a school. She also appreciated the focus on the importance of social and emotional development for students, as well as faculty and staff, she said.
The program is rigorous to prepare candidates for meaningful service as school administrators, said Program Director Dr. Marcia Bedasse, who has been devoted to public education for more than 25 years. She’s served as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, school administrator and district instructional specialist.
With this being Bedasse’s third year teaching at PBA, she brings recent knowledge of the public school system, she said. As a “fierce proponent” of public schools and also a follower of Christ, she prepares her students for the mission field of education. “I’m grateful for the infusion of a Christian worldview at a time when that’s not popular,” Bedasse said.
Because the program is fully online, it has attracted students from Palm Beach, Broward and Pasco counties, and as far away as Illinois and the United Arab Emirates, Bedasse said.
Among the distance learners are Diana and Tim Greenier, both principals at different campuses of the Dayspring Academy charter school in Port Richey, Florida. Diana is an elementary school principal, and Tim is principal at the high school.
The collaboration with other working educators, mostly teachers, from public and private schools was invaluable, Diana Greenier said. The faculty also came from diverse backgrounds and were open to making adjustments to the course based on students’ workload at their day jobs. The one-year program was “perfect” for their busy schedules, Diana Greenier said.
The couple’s pursuit of higher education is all part of their commitment to lifelong learning for the good of their students, Diana Greenier said.
“It’s expanding our horizons to benefit the underserved kids in Pasco County.”
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