Dr. Linda Hippert, Visiting Professor of Educational Leadership, Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Program, Point Park University, PA

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Linda Hippert, Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Program

Come meet Dr. Linda Hippert, Point Park University’s Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Program, with a true love for her educator job.

What programs do you teach at Point Park University? What drew you to this field of study? What keeps you excited about it?

At Point Park University, I primarily teach in the doctoral program in leadership and administration and the master’s programs in education (school law). As a career educator, teacher, administrator, and now professor, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my knowledge with those who will be our educational leaders in the future, in the classroom, in the school buildings, in school districts and other educational venues. Our children and adolescents need quality educators at every level, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience to promote this level of excellence.

How will your program better prepare/equip educators for the current climate we’re in?

The Master of Education with Secondary Education certification will prepare those who are knowledgeable and passionate about their content:

  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies/Citizenship
  • English
  • Biology

This allows them to impart that knowledge and passion to those who love to work with adolescents. The coursework and field experiences will develop pedagogical skills and strategies that will enable them to be outstanding secondary educators and leaders in the field.

What attracted you to Point Park University to teach at? What sets them apart?

The reputation of Point Park University’s School of Education for providing innovative educational programming at all levels and being committed to taking students from where they are to reach their goals attracted me to becoming a member of the faculty.

Point Park University’s School of Education provides a personalized experience where all students get to know their faculty, and their faculty gets to know them, not only as students but as individuals. Our size and this commitment to personalization indeed does permit us to create an educational family.

What is your professional background as an educator?

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Point Park University, having served in the role since August 2018. Before joining the faculty at Point Park University, I served for nine years as the Executive Director of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. This educational service agency serves the 42 suburban districts in Allegheny County, as well as parochial, private, and charter schools.

Previously, I served as the Superintendent of Schools for 13 years in the South Fayette Township School District and the six years prior as the high school principal. Previous to my administrative work, I served as a high school mathematics teacher and mathematics department chair.

While serving the PreK-12 public schools as an administrator, I served as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University, teaching courses in organizational leadership and leadership theory for 15 years.  In addition, I designed and taught courses in the Letter of Eligibility program at the California University of Pennsylvania.

I remain active in PreK – 12 Education in the region, serving on the Remake Learning Cabinet, the Executive Committee of the Forum for Superintendents, the planning committee for the Tri-State Study Council Jean Winsand, Women in Leadership Institute, and the Education Committee of the Institute of Politics. I am also a lifetime member of the FBI Citizens Academy and the HOPE Initiative.

I earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in mathematics education, Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Pittsburgh, Principal Certification, Letter of Eligibility, and Doctorate of Education degree in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Duquesne University.

Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you become interested in education?

In addition to my world of work, I have two grown children – a daughter, Meredith, the clinical services coordinator for animal services, and a son, Rob, who graduated from Allegheny College, is married, and works for Henderson Brothers. I have one beautiful granddaughter, Reagan Mae, who is almost two years old.

In 2013, my husband passed away after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Through that experience I learned how important it is that we as leaders understand those we lead and are considerate to their needs, personally and professionally, every day in the workplace.

My interest and passion for education began many years ago when my seventh-grade mathematics teacher in the Chartiers Valley School District gave me the opportunity to teach a lesson to the class.  Both that teaching experience and my father sparked my interest to become a high school mathematics teacher.

I have had many wonderful teachers who served as role models as well. My continuing roles in education as an administrator were provided by individuals who saw my potential leadership ability and inspired me to continue my education and then hold administrative positions as a principal, superintendent, and executive director.

What would you tell prospective students considering your program about yourself? What’s something that students and colleagues should know about you?

I have always set high expectations for myself and others throughout my career. I believe in the importance of producing quality and work to achieve that in all that I do. When individuals are part of a high-quality program and work to achieve high levels of excellence, they are proud of their accomplishments and are prepared to excel in all they do.

Students who enter the program at Point Park University will be provided with the opportunity to be prepared for an outstanding career in education. Throughout the program and beyond, I will be available for the students as an advisor and a mentor to help them meet and achieve their educational and career goals.

What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing their educational leadership degree? How can people stand out in this field?

In the words of Kouzes and Posner: “Leaders are ordinary people who do extraordinary things.” Learning about leadership benefits you in every aspect of your career and your personal life. Though my positions have changed over the years, I have found that the skills you acquire and the leadership qualities that you develop can be utilized with you in every position you hold and every task you attempt, both formally and informally.

As you navigate your career in education, take every opportunity presented to you – to learn more, lead more, participate, and develop and grow. Even when you think you don’t have time for one more thing, consider saying yes. Those times provided experiences or opportunities to connect with others that had long-term benefits for my career.

Never be afraid to embrace change. With change comes opportunity; look at change with the glass half-full and not half-empty.

And finally, let me remind you never to lose your integrity. One of my favorite quotes is from John Maxwell, “Doing what is right isn’t always easy, but it is always right.” Throughout my career, I have attempted to follow this belief. As leaders in a world of challenges, we must step to the forefront and do what is right.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I can tell you that I have been fortunate to love every position I have held and, most importantly, to have chosen the field of education to pursue my career. To have the opportunity to prepare is humbling and can sometimes be stressful. The rewards far outweigh the challenges, however. For the opportunity I have had, I am forever grateful.