MEd in Educational Foundations Student

Lorna Baniaga-Lee

“…becoming a student again and being surrounded by an amazing cohort of dedicated and passionate teachers renewed my purpose and zeal as an educator.”


Waipahu, Hawaiʻi


Educational Foundations

Related Degrees

  • MEd, Educational Foundations: Educational Leadership

What degree(s) do you hold?
I have a BEd in secondary English education and am a National Board Certified Teacher.

What is your current position? 
I am a 9th grade English teacher and lead mentor at Campbell High School.

How did you become interested in educational foundations and the EdLeads* program?
The structure of the program was very appealing. I could focus on my studies during the summers and continue to teach during the fall and spring while working on my research Plan B paper.

Why are cultural, historical, and/or philosophical perspectives in education so important?
These perspectives build an imperative foundation for becoming an effective teacher. Learning the impact that I have on my students as a cultural being is eye-opening. Learning the historical and philosophical perspectives validates my dynamic philosophy in teaching.

What is your philosophy of teaching?
Relationship before relevance and rigor. I believe that building a strong relationship between me and my students, as well as with each other, plays a vital role in creating and fostering an environment for a community of learners. Once that relationship is built, the relevance and rigor of the content will naturally happen. The success of my students and my teaching is based on that strong relationship we build with each other. It is the foundation of a thriving community of learners. The power in students finding value in their own education is my ultimate goal as an educator. This power is built when the trusting relationships emerge and grow.

How have the EDEF program and faculty/staff helped you along in your career path?
Being a part of this program is one of the greatest personal investments that I’ve made. As a classroom teacher for 20 years, becoming a student again and being surrounded by an amazing cohort of dedicated and passionate teachers renewed my purpose and zeal as an educator. The relationship built in the cohort plays a major role in my learning and personal discoveries. This program and my peers challenge me to see the many possibilities of my influence beyond the classroom.

What are your future plans?
My heart beats energetically in the classroom with my students:  challenging them, building a relationship with them, and learning from them. It is this excitement of being an educator that I want to impart to beginning teachers. I would like to continue to mentor beginning teachers to ensure that students will be taught by highly effective educators.

*EdLeads is a 30-credit graduate studies program, leading to an MEd in Educational Foundations. It is designed to enable educators to pursue a master’s degree without career interruption. With an emphasis on the exploration of educational issues from cultural, philosophical, historical, and international perspectives, the entire program may be completed in less than fifteen months (2 summer terms, 5 weeks each) through a combination of online work and on-campus classes. Meet EdLeads professor, Baoyan Cheng.

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