Graduate Alumni Spotlight | Johnathan Dunn

Johnathan Dunn

"The M.S. in educational leadership program has equipped me with the tools necessary to lead and serve school-based staff and students. In addition, I also learned how to navigate those challenging conversations that can frequently emerge between parents and students."

Johnathan Dunn, M.S. Educational Leadership

Program

  • Educational Leadership (M.S., C)

Department

  • Education

Johnathan Dunn is a recent graduate of the M.S. in educational leadership program at Hood CollegeJohnathan was the winner of this year’s Montgomery County Public Schools 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year Award. Currently a general/choral music teacher at Sherwood High School, he coordinates the "One Sherwood Cultural Celebration," serves as a mentor to students and staff, and musically directs the fall musical. Johnathan is a member of the instructional leadership team and serves as a Restorative Justice Coach. He is also a director of Sherwood's beloved "Rock and Roll Revival" production.

We spoke with Johnathan about his experiences in the educational leadership program and on winning the Montgomery County Public Schools 2022-2023 Teacher of the Year Award.

Why did you choose Hood College?

I chose Hood thanks to a partnership between my employer, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and Hood College. As a member of the MCPS Cohort at Hood, I learned from district leaders in MCPS about county practices, expectations and procedures that proved to be invaluable. Throughout this journey, I have been able to make connections with colleagues that will last a lifetime, and as a result, I'm in a better place because of it all.

How has it helped your career?

The M.S. in educational leadership program has equipped me with the tools necessary to lead and serve school-based staff and students. In addition, I also learned how to navigate those challenging conversations that can frequently emerge between parents and students. The assignments, coupled with the hands-on internship experiences, enabled me to put into practice a wide assortment of practices/theories that were then explored in real time.

Do you have a favorite memory?

Early on in my teaching career, I actually contemplated a career in law. As someone who devoted his entire childhood to the piano with the hope of becoming a concert pianist, I found during my undergraduate studies interests that I never had the chance to consider.

Here at Hood, my favorite memory was the School Law course taught by Mr. James Koutsos. His experiences as a principal in MCPS, coupled with his work at the MCPS Management level, were conveyed through thoughtful case analyses and role-play activities that literally placed us as students in the role of administrators. I enjoyed the experience and learned a great deal.

Congratulations on being named the MCPS Teacher of the Year! Tell us a little bit about the award process and what it means to you.

As this year's recipient of the 2022-2023 MCPS Teacher of the Year, I have to say that I'm deeply humbled by the honor. During a year such as the one we've been through as a nation, there are so many teachers worthy of recognition.

Having endured life in the classroom during the pandemic, and the end result which continues to profoundly impact our classrooms, students and families, I want to celebrate the commitment of educators across the region and the country for the amazing work, the difficult work done daily to support our students and families.

As an arts educator, I am also moved by the honor, as we are often overlooked for the contributions we make to the development, growth and/or learning of our students. Recognizing the personal/professional challenges I've encountered the past two years, I am grateful for the support of my beautiful wife Stacey, our four children, my parents and my sister for their encouragement along the way.

Special thanks go out to MCPS Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight, MCPS Board of Education (BOE) President Ms. Brenda Wolff and members of the MCPS BOE. Thank you to past principals and administrators, and with that said, none of this would be possible without the endless support of my principal Mr. Timothy Britton, my colleagues (both past and present), and the students and families of Sherwood High School where I teach General/Choral Music in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Inspired by Johnathan’s story and ready to #GOFURTHER in your career? Learn about Hood’s graduate programs, including the Educational Leadership program, by clicking here.