She Helps People Make a Difference; Stephanie James Is Director of Educational Leadership at JU

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Byline: Tracy Jones

Stephanie James has always had a love of learning.

For the past three years, James has shared her enthusiasm for education with students at Jacksonville University as director of educational leadership.

The Jacksonville native and former teacher has expanded the educational leadership program to include the instructional leadership and organizational development concentration.

Skirt! recently talked to James about the program and the future of women in education.

What sparked your interest in education and leadership?

I've always been interested in leadership and organization and how leaders are so important to the environment. And it was just a natural fit for me.

Who enrolls in the instructional leadership program?

It's very much an education degree. We've pulled a cross section of people. We have people in the nonprofit world, we have people who come from postsecondary education, we have K-12 teachers who come into it.

Where does your love of education come from?

Just loving to learn myself, and then being able to assist people on their personal journey and help with all those "a-ha" moments and letting them realize their full potential. Leadership is one of those things, it's always that question - are leaders made or are they born? You certainly can learn those skills. It's not necessarily about your position. You can assume leadership, you can impact your community, you can make a difference, you can have purpose from wherever you sit, and that's exciting to me.

Which area of interest in education do you like best?

I love the whole idea of institutions and community collaborations. …