I've spent the last two years as Department Chair and Science Teacher in a Title 1 school for at-risk students in Chicago. Without a doubt, my time in the IAS program at UW Bothell prepared me well for the leadership position I hold now. Reflecting on my university experience compared to recent graduates from other institutions, I realize the opportunities I had available for collaboration across disciplines, to participate in community based issues research and service, and the accessibility of the faculty to students was unique. UW Bothell faculty and staff modeled best practices that I have brought to the classroom and colleagues. The positive results show up in great relationships I have with my colleagues and students, and department data showing dramatic academic gains for our students. On a personal level, I successfully earned a Masters in Secondary Education in June of 2013. I believe my experience at UW Bothell has truly given me a competitive edge by providing a rigorous academic program grounded in the 21st century skills needed in any workplace or advanced program.