VHHS staff are furthering their education


Courtney Randle

Courtney Randle works on thesis film, A Mind of Its Own, for her masters degree in Film and Television Directing.

High School students are usually the ones learning to obtain a degree, but lately, so have teachers. Last year, many staff members at VHHS went back to school to obtain their masters degree or receive special certifications.


Ms. Randle, an english teacher, just received her second masters degree in Film and Television Directing. Along with this degree, Randle has an undergraduate degree in English education and her first masters in human computer interaction.


“At the end of my first master’s, I had to take an elective. And I took a class about the hero’s journey, … And I talked to the professor and he was like, ‘Yeah, you could move out to California and just start working on your film career. Or you could get another Master’s from DePaul,’” said Randle. 


These degrees have taught Randle new skills she can use in the classroom. 


“People close to me know that I hate slides that just have a white background with just some words on it. So I always am really extra about my design when it comes to my lessons and making sure they’re visually appealing.” said Randle. 


Randle is also currently working on her thesis film called A Mind of Its Own


Randy Sundell, director of Concert band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic band, and Symphony Orchestra, has recently received a certificate for youth mental health. 


“I was asked to do it. I had been working with Mrs. Dillon for several years on different programs” said Sundell. “ It teaches you to look for students who are at risk, then if they need to talk to you, you listen, non-judgmentally, … , encourage appropriate professional help and encourage self help,” he said.


Human anatomy teacher, Ashley Antony, unlike other staff members, is currently thinking about going back to graduate school. 


“The program that I’m looking at is different. I call them areas of concentration. So right now I’m just trying to look at which of those areas kind of appeals to me,” said Antony


Antony is interested in the psychological aspect of learning.  She is planning on starting classes this fall, like current VHHS seniors, but with intentions of getting her Doctorate in Education, as she currently has her masters in science education. 


These certifications and degrees have helped teachers in the classroom in both noticable and unnoticable ways. The ambition within VHHS staff is one way the DARING mission is spread through the school community.   


Jenna Posluns and Abigail Karl contributed to this report.