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CAS Graduate Study Success Stories

New Perspectives

DaQuall Graham '00 MAT, '03 CASGS Educational Leaderships

Graham works as an academy leader at the New Boston Pilot Middle School in Dorchester

As a child, DaQuall Graham decided he wouldn't settle for the cards life dealt him. "Growing up as a boy without a father and being conscious of that void can be difficult to brave. But God blessed me with a strong and supportive mother, a godfather who was willing to mentor me, and grandmothers who offered to guide me along the right path. I took advantage of any and all positive opportunities, and decided I would make a difference with my life."

After securing his undergraduate degree in education from American International College, Graham came to Simmons for his MAT and continued on to obtain his C.A.G.S. in Educational Leadership. "I'm never satisfied with what I've learned; I'm always aspiring to learn more, and Simmons provides that kind of environment."

Graham says the faculty and his fellow classmates in the Educational Leadership Program were extremely intelligent. "Through our classroom discussions, I gained new perspectives and lenses through which to view education and other aspects of life. I was exposed to different leaders and leadership styles. It was truly a great experience, and a lot of fun."

Now Graham works as an academy leader at the New Boston Pilot Middle School in Dorchester, which opened in September 2003. The school houses four autonomous "academies," or small learning environments. At the school, Graham oversees three sixth-grade classes, two seventh-grade classes, and two eighth-grade classes, as well as one language based learning class, gym, art, and a class for the physically handicapped. "As an academy leader, I serve as a principal for the faculty and staff that comprise these classes. My goal is to be a positive example inspiring a sense of responsibility, ownership, and accountability among our students and teachers, and to serve the whole needs of these children — mind, body and spirit."

Graham credits Simmons with preparing him to be an effective administrator. "Through my coursework at Simmons, I was able to hone my leadership, communication, and managerial skills and gain the competencies I need to address today's educational challenges. My work at this new pilot school is exciting and rewarding, and the opportunity to attend Simmons helped me get here."