Leadership and Administration Alumnus Tyler Cook '20 is a Published Author and Elementary School Principal
Meet Tyler Cook '20
- Job Title & Employer
- Principal, Klein Elementary School, Harbor Creek School District
- Leadership and Administration-Ed.D.
- Erie, Pa.
- High School
- Fort LeBoeuf High School
- Now Living In
- Erie, Pa.
"Point Park finds the perfect balance of theory, application and real-world experience. The Ed.D. program is scaffolded in a way that develops your understanding of leadership theory and then empowers you to apply it to your everyday life in a practical and impactful way."
Describe your career path.
I taught for six years before transitioning into educational leadership. I have always had a passion for leadership, growing healthy cultures and developing the greatness in those around me. I am in my 10th year as a principal, where I have spent time at both the high school and elementary levels.
What inspired you to pursue your Ed.D. in Leadership and Administration at Point Park?
I believe there is such value in being a lifelong learner. I wanted to continue developing my leadership capacity, and I was drawn to not only the quality of the program that Point Park offered but also the care, attention and wisdom of the Point Park faculty.
How did the program foster your professional growth?
My time in the Point Park doctoral program was integral to my growth, as it surrounded me with a cohort of other leaders who were equally as passionate about developing their leadership capacity and impacting the schools and organizations they lead. The curriculum of the program challenged my thinking and stretched me to reflect on my leadership practices and apply them to my everyday life. I found myself leaving class each week eager to apply the new leadership principles I learned, and as a result, I was able to better lead my school and impact my community.
Describe the book you published. What do you hope readers learn from it?
I was captivated by the focus on authentic leadership during my coursework at Point Park and pursued it further for my dissertation, for which I researched authentic leadership development in K-12 principals. It is from this inspiration that I wrote my book, "Building Authenticity: A Blueprint for the Leader Inside You" with my friend Todd Nesloney. The book is a call to living and leading with authenticity in every area of our lives. It explores the foundations of authentic leadership development, such as:
- Understanding your core values
- Increasing self-awareness
- Building relational support systems
- Welcoming feedback into your life
- Fostering growth within those you lead
- Prioritizing your life
- And much more!
There is greatness inside of every person, and my hope is the book serves as a blueprint for others to become the leader they were meant to be in every aspect of their life.
What makes Point Park’s approach to leadership and education distinctive from other universities?
Point Park finds the perfect balance of theory, application and real-world experience. The Ed.D. program is scaffolded in a way that develops your understanding of leadership theory and then empowers you to apply it to your everyday life in a practical and impactful way. I felt that each class was not only meaningful but integral in my leadership development.
What advice do you have for students pursuing careers in education?
Never underestimate the impact that one relationship can have on the trajectory of someone’s life. Education and leadership are not for the faint of heart and certainly have their challenges. However, the ability to change someone’s life and awaken them to their full potential is not only worth it but one of our greatest callings in life.
Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?
Point Park doesn’t simply care about who you are in the moment. They care about who you will become in the future. The faculty sees the potential inside of you and are willing to believe in you, invest in you and challenge you to grow into the leader you were created to be.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
One of the quotes that has stuck with me since my time in the program at Point Park, which is embedded throughout my book is, “Who you are is how you lead.” Our world needs healthy leaders, and leadership development truly begins with personal development. This core value of Point Park’s doctoral program is one that I aim to live by each day and also instill in those around me.
Point Park now offers two start dates for the Ed.D. in Leadership and Administration program.
Our summer start date is May 5, 2024. Our fall start date is Aug. 25, 2024.