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ACE Alumni Spotlight: Ivin Gunder

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Welcome to the ACE Alumni Spotlight, where we highlight alumni members and share what they are up to.

Growing up in the inner city of Jacksonville, Florida, Ivin felt the odds were stacked against him. Fortunately, he had caring teachers who put him on a productive path. His career in education is his way to honor what was given to him by his teachers. Ivin taught for 12 years before transitioning into administration as an assistant principal and then vice principal. He became principal for the first time during the 2019-2020 school year. Ivin has in M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from ACE.

ACE: What’s your current job? Tell us a little about what you do.

Ivin Gunder (IG): I am the principal at Orange Park High School in Orange Park, Florida, right outside Jacksonville. I oversee all the day-to-day activities within the school, from instruction to student safety, by establishing positive relationships with everyone in the building, as well as outside stakeholders.

ACE: When and how did you know you wanted this to be your career?

IG: I never thought about being a principal. I was a classroom teacher for 12 years, and then my principal told me he thought I would be a great administrator. I leaped at the feedback and, five years later, I became a principal. I have always thought it would be fascinating to give back what was so freely given to me by my teachers.

ACE: How did you hear about ACE?

IG: In 2011, a colleague of mine said they found this tremendous, affordable college online that they thought would be great for me to start my master's program.

ACE: How were you able to complete your online degree successfully? What tips would you share?

IG: You have to be very diligent in your approach and discipline. What helped me was I set aside time every week to make sure I got all of my readings, quizzes, tests and assignments done without interruptions. It was a sacrifice but a great one.

ACE: How has your ACE degree helped you in your career?

IG: My ACE degree has helped me in my role of leadership. First, I wouldn't be able to apply for an administration job without it. Secondly, the discipline in my course work has helped me be intentional with the relationships and work that I do daily.

ACE: Personally or professionally, what are you loving right now?

IG: Professionally, I love my job. I was fortunate to influence 100 or so students a year in the classroom. Now, I can help influence over 2,000 yearly.

If you’re thinking of doing another program, ACE alumni can come back and save $250 to $1,250, depending on the program, plus you won’t pay an application fee. See details here.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.

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