Educator Learns the Art of Leadership from School of Education Professors

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Lawrence Peoples (’17) Gains Skills for Next Step in His Career

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Lawrence Peoples (’17) of Greensboro, N.C., heard about Gardner-Webb from his assistant principal and decided to learn more about the Master of Arts in Executive Leadership Studies. “I was already a leader at my school and knew this program would be a natural progression,” Peoples reflected. “I knew I had to develop my skills in order to qualify for different leadership opportunities.”

A band teacher and principal intern at Welborn Academy in High Point, N.C., Peoples is working toward his goal of becoming a leading principal. He feels the program at GWU provides solid preparation for an administrative position. Not only has the course material covered the qualities of an exceptional leader, but his professors have demonstrated a variety of leadership styles.

Dr. Jim Palermo advised students to try new things. “He told us, ‘Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve always done, because you’ll always get the same results,’” Peoples recalled. “And Dr. Philip R. Rapp is always willing to help others reach their potential. He is always ready to give an answer to problems.”

Dr. Gerald Neal illustrated topics by sharing personal stories. “Dr. Neal shared so many interesting stories about leadership, drawing from his vast array of experiences,” Peoples noted. “The main thing I gathered from his experiences was you have to have an open mind … doing things ‘outside the box’ sometimes. Each situation could potentially require a different approach, but your foundational lens should always consist of your core values. Most importantly, hold people and yourself to a high standard of excellence.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).