Student Profile: Randy St. Clair

Name: Randy St. Clair

Current degree program: Doctor of Education, Ed.D.

Previous degrees: B.A. (Print Journalism, N.C. A&T), Master of School Administration (MSA, East Carolina University), Education Administration and Supervision (Ed.S., East Carolina University)

Hometown: Orange Park, Fl. I grew up military so we moved around a lot but that’s where I graduated high school.

Hobbies/interests: I enjoy reading and writing. I also enjoy good competition. I’m athletic so I love sports, primarily basketball and track. I enjoy serving my local community through outreach programs that help families improve their physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being. I am wholeheartedly committed to the work of equity in every facet of life.

What drew you to pursue your current degree?

Educational leadership has been a part of my life for over a decade. In that time, I’ve learned that true and lasting change starts with great leadership. One of my goals is to lead a school district as superintendent one day and this degree helps to prepare me for that opportunity.

What made you decide to be an educator?

Education was not my first career choice. I was a journalist initially but had a desire to teach students to write and so I took a risk and decided to teach. I did not realize how much I would enjoy learning my students. It’s the best part of being a teacher. Education is much more than obtaining core content. The power of education is the ability to take the experiences of each learner and mold an attitude and mindset that values who they are and inspires them to want to be more. That’s why I’m in education.

What is your favorite thing about working in education?

My favorite thing about working in education is the ability to connect with and serve students and their families. We can never lose sight of who it is we’re responsible for helping.

What brought you to ECU?

ECU is a great institution, one that has a long and prosperous legacy of academic excellence. I’ve had the great fortune of making lasting friendships with the professors at ECU, who have all challenged me to be a better leader every day. ECU is an institution that makes clear its stance on issues that impact all people and works to ensure inclusivity of all.

Dr. Manning mentioned that you are a part of the LEED advisory council. Why did you decide to become involved with the council?

Being a part of the LEED advisory council has allowed me to lead in a different capacity. Joining with educators from the K-12 and Higher education sector to evaluate ECU’s educational leadership programs is an honor because those programs have helped define me as a leader and person. Aligning with the LEED department leaders who work with an equity lens is motivating. 

Do you have any advice for students looking to pursue a graduate degree in education?

My advice to anyone who is looking to pursue a degree in education is for them to understand that the work of an educator is transformative. The transformation must first begin within by having a growth mindset, by realizing that relevance and representation matters, and that the role of an educator is to break down barriers and help to increase access for all.

Any final thoughts on ECU or working in education?

I’m thankful to Dr. Ringler and the entire LEED staff that has had a hand in helping me achieve goals I only once dreamed of. To be a part of an institution and department that walks the talk is simply amazing.