Paul Hidalgo, M.Ed.
"Time management was crucial during each 5 week course. Adhering to timelines and developing a weekly routine were key components to my success with this program"
Job Title and School District:
Secondary School Administrator, Midland ISD
How has this degree affected your professional outlook? What about personally?
I have always had professional goals of becoming either an AD/head football coach and/or school administrator; completing this degree program gave me the essential background knowledge and non-negotiables on school leadership. Also, within a year and half of completing this program, I felt confident enough to start and complete ESC 18's superintendent's program.
Personally, my wife also completed this program a few years later, and she easily re-affirms the effectiveness of this program being able to prepare us for our current school leadership roles.
What was your single biggest takeaway from the program?
The program was convenient, practical (yet rigorous) and affordable.
How much time per week did you spend on your studies?
12-15 hours per week.
Describe how having an online option made a degree more accessible for you.
As a 5A/6A high school biology teacher and varsity football coach, online accessibility made it convenient and easy to work on and complete coursework successfully without taking away from job expectations and most importantly, family time.
What was one of the biggest challenges during the program, and how did you overcome it?
Time management was crucial during each 5 week course. Adhering to timelines and developing a weekly routine were key components to my success with this program.
Why did you choose to earn your advanced degree from Lamar University?
Although I earned an undergraduate degree from SWTSU in 1994, and also continued to work in San Marcos at San Marcos HS for 13 years, LU provided more of an expedited method of achieving my educational goal(s), even with access to the Texas State System. As I have also discovered, I have been just as prepared to effectively perform my administrative duties as compared to those who have completed other similar graduate programs.
What advice would you give to a prospective student who is considering this program?
Once enrolled, I would advise a student to find a strong school leader as a mentor, find/build other professional partnerships (i.e. collaboration, networking, etc.), and for coursework, develop an organized routine that will allow you to grow professionally and get the most out of the program.
If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
After 22 years in public education and in self-reflection, this program fit perfectly into my overall professional growth and goals; the experience was challenging and beneficial.