Knowing that education promotes social justice, alumna Kyna (Williams) Hogg ’10 gravitated to the teaching profession and then to Chaminade University. Now she serves as principal of Gatewood Elementary in Seattle, Washington, a school where “we believe that changing the world is possible.”
“I always knew that I wanted to work with children,” said Hogg, who earned a Master of Education degree. “And as I learned more about the education system in the United States, I became more and more interested in thinking about how education intersects with social justice.”
This realization prompted Hogg to join Teach for America after receiving a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Before long, she “simply fell in love with working in education” by teaching sixth graders at Kamaile Academy, a charter school in Waianae.
Hogg said she was attracted to Chaminade’s Master of Education program because its flexible schedule allowed her to earn a degree while working full time at Kamaile.
“It was a terrific experience for me to be working as a teacher while, at the same time, I was learning how to be a better teacher through coursework and collaboration with other educators who were in similar situations as I was,” Hogg said.
“Not only did Chaminade help me build a variety of skillsets through participating in readings, coursework and collaboration,” she continued, “it also provided me a level of confidence in my work as an educator.”
Although Hogg had a busy schedule during her Chaminade days, she still found time to play the role of “Marian the Librarian” in a campus production of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.”
When reminiscing about her Division of Education professors, Hogg said she’s grateful for the strong relationship she built with Mary Pat Sjostrom.
“She truly cared about me as a learner,” Hogg said. “But more importantly, she cared about how my own students were doing. She offered resources and opportunities to learn and was always available to answer questions and to simply talk about challenges that were going on in my own classroom.
“After completing my master’s program, I knew I still had a lot to learn about education,” Hogg continued, “but felt like I had a foot in the door to ask more questions and to continue to learn more from the colleagues around me. Ultimately, it was my education at Chaminade that provided me the opportunity to begin to pursue educational leadership, my current field of work.”
Following this new career path, Hogg became assistant principal at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., where she facilitated teacher engagement programs, oversaw a teaching residency program, taught math and science and tutored literacy skills.
She later became an assistant principal at Green Dot Public Schools Washington State in Seattle/Tacoma, and then served as the founding assistant principal and eventually principal of Destiny Middle School in Tacoma.
When Hogg applied for the principal post at Gatewood, hiring committee members were impressed with her commitment to social justice and experience with school culture building. She was hired effective July 1, 2017.
Hogg said Gatewood is focused on developing student academic progress and social emotional growth “while at the same time fostering a love for learning.”
“Our families, students and staff are all aligned towards doing what is best for our students,” Hogg said, “which leads to a welcoming and warm environment for everyone.”
While carrying out her leadership duties, Hogg follows one of her lessons from Chaminade, which is to stay in a learning orientation, “no matter where you are in your own journey of learning about education.”
“There is always room to grow,” she said, “and it is important that you are vulnerable and reflective enough about your own practice that you continue to ask questions.”
Chaminade’s Division of Education offers a Master of Education program with concentrations in Educational Leadership, Teacher Leader, Instructional Leadership, Child Development and Montessori Emphasis.