Monmouth U.’s first cohort of educational leadership doctoral students graduate

By Emily Bader
Long Branch | Aug 30, 2019 at 3:00 am

Monmouth University announced Wednesday it has given out six doctorate degrees to its first cohort of educational leadership students.

The distinctions were awarded at a commencement ceremony which celebrated students who completed their degree requirements in July and August.

The two-year, 54-credit program was launched in 2017.

The inaugural class included:

  • Stephany J. Hesslein, an education technology specialist at Middletown Township Public Schools;
  • Meredith Ann Riddle, a history teacher at Long Branch Public Schools and alternate route teacher certification coordinator at Monmouth University;
  • William Thomas Smith IV, a superintendent at Point Pleasant Beach School District;
  • Thomas M. Toohey, principal at Lawrence Township Public Schools;
  • Ronald Thaddeus Wardell Jr., a math and science supervisor at Monmouth Regional High School District; and
  • Evelyn Cruz, principal of Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design in Denver.

“The educational leadership program at Monmouth allowed me to learn from a network of professors and colleagues who lead transformative change in the education field,” Toohey said. “Earning my doctorate has been a rewarding, profound experience and one of the highlights of my professional career. I look forward to designing and implementing innovative strategies I learned through this program to increase student learning.”