Danielle Romero DagounisEd.D. student
Educator growth and capacity building, with a specific focus on first year educators and those who have teaching experience but who are new to the district.
Danielle Romero Dagounis is a public school administrator in Morris County, New Jersey. She has served as the district Design & Technology (STEM) Supervisor, developing and building a nationally award winning, comprehensive K-12 integrative-STEM program at the School District of the Chathams and has transitioned in to the role of Director of Education, with a specific focus on educational/instructional technology and teacher innovation. She loves working with teachers and redesigning staff professional development and capacity building, as well as developing cohesive, authentic and relevant curricular programs and learning experiences for students across grades K-12.
Hobbies: Marathoner and triathlete who competes in half Ironman distance triathlons (70.3 miles). Avid traveler who loves national parks and anything outdoorsy.
Home Life: Husband is also an educator (high school biology). We also have a 10 lb. rescue pup named Chewy.
Why the GSE?
I had a great experience at the Rutgers GSE for my second Master of Education degree. The professional learning community fostered within the GSE helped me to grow as an educational leader and provided a safe space for us to learn from some of the best educators and educational leaders. It also provided me with an opportunity to engage in authentic class discussions and conversations that I could put immediately into practice. I look forward to once again having the opportunity to be a member of a collegial cohort that provides me with the energy and ideas to push me to be a better educator and a better school administrator as I continue my transition into this new role.Through this Ed.D. program with a concentration in the Design of Learning Environments, I hope to develop both the knowledge and skills to be an effective and flexible educational problem solver. If there is one thing we have learned over these past 18-24 months is that things can change in a matter of days and education as we know it can be turned on its head forcing us to be innovative and venture into uncharted territory. Every day is a new day with new challenges and I hope the knowledge, skills and dispositions I am able to gain through this program will enable me to be a flexible and adaptable school leader who is able to solicit input, observe the situation, and make sound decisions while keeping students at the forefront of all decision-making.This past summer, I was honored to take the next step in my career within my current district by stepping into the role of Director of Education with a specific focus on educational technology and teacher innovation. I am ready to continue my formal education to provide me with the skills, knowledge and current research practices necessary to design equitable, authentic, and engaging learning environments for all our students, as well as for our teaching staff. A large focus of my new position is educator capacity building and professional growth for both our new educators (those within our year 1 and year 2 new educator learning communities), as well as seasoned and veteran teachers. I hope this program will also help me look at both programmatic design, as well as the necessary ancillary supports and resources that can help educators make the pedagogical shifts necessary to support programmatic redesign and development.
Advice for Incoming Students
Take things one day at a time. Make sure to plan things out so that you provide ample time to complete readings and assignments. It is difficult to acclimate to working full time and taking the doctoral course load so give yourself some grace. You will get into a groove and things will get easier to manage and schedule. Best of luck and welcome!!