With a daughter who was valedictorian at Excelsia College for the Bachelor of Dramatic Art, Tracey Deal had big shoes to fill when she enrolled in a Master of Educational Leadership at Excelsia College in 2017. Tracey had been working as an educator for many years and felt it was time to do further study to better equip herself for higher leadership positions within a school environment.
The course’s emphasis on a Christian biblical worldview and the flexibility of being able to start her studies at any point also appealed to Tracey. ‘I have known a lot about Excelsia College from a long time ago when it was Wesley Institute and being creative arts focused it was relevant to my life as a music teacher.’ Tracey is also passionate about developing students to reach their potential and she closely aligned with Excelsia College’s mission and ethos of making lifelong learners. ‘It is a friendly, dedicated and Christ-centred environment,’ says Tracey.
Tracey was one of only three students when she commenced her studies and was able to complete her whole course online even before online delivery became mandatory at the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns. ‘As I did my whole course online, I didn’t really have a lot of in-person interactions, but I found the lecturers for the course extremely helpful. I also enjoyed getting to know new people from all over the country and world online.’
Tracey has been able to apply what she’s studied to her leadership-based role as Principal of Penrith Christian School, a role she commenced in 2019, a year after graduating. ‘I believe God taught me to consider relevant and contemporary issues through a biblical world view, rather than just in a school setting. Studying at Excelsia College gave more meaning to the subjects I did as I was at a Christian school. I believe studying at Excelsia certainly helped me attain my goal of becoming school principal.’
Whilst advancement within one’s career can be a daunting task, Tracey felt led by God and took comfort in her favourite Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5–6, which says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ Tracey has certainly learned to trust in Him as she reflects, ‘The words of the verses from Proverbs have been an encouraging and a gentle reminder daily that my calling to educate is not fulfilling unless it is through relying on God at the same time.’
Excelsia is proud of its graduates, including Tracey, who have gone on to be leaders within their communities. If you’re in the educational sector or are interested in upskilling, why not explore how the Master of Educational Leadership can help you achieve your career goals?