Each year, faculty in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) come together to select an outstanding student in their program to receive the honor of being named as their program award winner. Students selected for this award embody the very best of their program: they excel in their studies; they demonstrate leadership in classes and internships; and they have a genuine and tenacious passion for their discipline.
This year, faculty in the Education Leadership program have selected Nathaniel Hoffa as the Outstanding Student in Education Leadership. Congratulations, Nathaniel!
Q & A with Outstanding Student in Education Leadership, Nathaniel Hoffa:
What academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
Passing the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA) exam. I put in a lot of time and commitment on preparing to take the SLLA exam. It was challenging learning all the information needed for the assessment while trying to keep my personal experiences from clouding my judgement. I learned that my experiences as an educator do not always reflect correctly according to the standards. I recommend that those who take the SLLA exam to attend the review session offered by Mason as well as find and use any sort of review material offered online. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for it, take practice assessments, and read lots of practice test questions.
What organizations/affiliations have you been involved with while at Mason?
I was a student-athlete for Mason. I played for the baseball team during the 2011-2014 seasons. We won the Atlantic 10 conference tournament during my senior year, which earned us a spot in the NCAA tournament.
What are your plans after graduation?
I have been a 3rd grade teacher at Occoquan Elementary in Prince William County for the last 5 years. Currently, I am interviewing for an administrative role in the county.
What is your favorite memory in CEHD or your favorite part of being a CEHD student?
This is so tough! I had many great experiences during these past two years with my professors as well as the SLLA review session with Dr. Biggs and the coffee breaks in the leadership office chatting with folks. If I had to choose one memory, I really enjoyed having Dr. Anthony Terrell as an instructor. He always started class with an interview question and had us type up a response to it. Then he would ask for a volunteer to share. This experience was quite insightful and gave me great ideas on how to respond to common interview questions.
What advice do you have for fellow CEHD students (especially those that are not graduating yet)?
Take the time to build a friendship with your professors. They all have vast knowledge and experience in leadership, and you should seek advice from them. Pick their brains on any topic and share your successes with them as well!
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I’m still going back and forth with the idea, but once I have a year or two under my belt in the role of an administrator, I may seek further education in a doctorate program.