I was so excited to find out last spring that I had been accepted into the Ed.D. Program at VCU. I had longed to go back to school for quite sometime and had been waiting for the program to begin a new cohort. The program model was exactly what I was looking for. I plan to continue my career in the elementary school setting until I retire. I love being in the schoolhouse where teaching and learning occur in its most basic form. A practical verses philosophical program was exactly what I was looking for. My joyful excitement was short lived. Soon after being accepted to the program I discovered my principal was leaving to go to another district. It was the unspoken expectation that I would then pick up the reigns to continue to guide my school on the road of success. With a great deal of trepidation, I accepted the position of principal. So not only was I starting an Ed.D. program but I was also going to be a first year principal. I did contemplate passing on school but after all it was something I really wanted to do for myself. I decided to move forward in both ventures. In fact, I have found that the VCU Ed.D. Program is serving as a good resource and training program for my 1st year as a principal. I truly believe the program as equipped me with skills that have allowed me to successfully navigate through situations that most first year principals would bumble through. This program has allowed me to side step many of the pitfalls that I believe first year principals would naturally befall. I have learned a lot this first year and I look forward to continuing to grow as a student and a leader.