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Successful Ed.D. Dissertation Defense: Sharon V. Davis-Elenis

Morristown, N.J. (April 5, 2016) – Sharon V. Davis-Elenis, of Fort Lee N.J., has completed the Ed.D. program in educational leadership from the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J., and will formally graduate in May 2016.

Davis-Elenis is currently serving as vice principal at the Dr. Frank Napier School of Technology in Paterson, N.J. She began her academic career earning a B.S. with a double major in business administration and fine arts and a minor in mathematics from Rutgers University. Upon graduation, she entered the fashion industry as a department manager and later as an assistant buyer for Bloomingdale’s and a regional coordinator for a major jewelry company.

Davis-Elenis had a strong desire to work with children and opened a privately owned and operated childcare facility. During that time, she returned to school to earn a M.Ed. with principal, supervisor, elementary school teacher, and reading specialist certifications from Saint Peter's University. She was later certified as a school business administrator.

Davis-Elenis sold the childcare facility after 13 successful years to work in an urban setting educating tomorrow's leaders. She began her education career in the public school sector in Paterson. In her position as a kindergarten teacher, she nurtured young minds for seven years before assuming the roles of literacy teacher mentor, language arts school-based supervisor, and her present position as vice principal.

"CSE's Ed.D. program's expertise and experience of the faculty, advisors, and staff was pivotal in my success in the program," says Davis-Elenis. "The one-to-one support provided by the advisors was instrumental in determining my specific needs and goals and establishing a clear and achievable plan in successfully completing the three-year program."

Davis-Elenis' action research study was The Impact of Servant Leadership Practices in an Urban Focus Elementary School. Focus schools are the lowest performing schools or schools with significant achievement gaps between the general education population and the identified subgroups, such as special education, bilingual or English as a second language. Servant leadership principles (listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community) foster and create the framework for a shift in leadership styles.

This study confirmed servant leadership is a viable leadership style for an urban Focus elementary school. It provides the conceptual framework for others aspiring to implement servant leadership practices in an urban Focus elementary school, in order to address the daunting challenges of educating urban youths.

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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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