A Hobbs Municipal Schools administrator will earn her doctorate in education from New Mexico State University on May 8th.
But it’s likely that Hobbs High School principal Ann Lynn McIlroy won’t attend her own graduation ceremony. Her son, HHS senior Kameran McIlroy, is first baseman for the baseball team and she’s hoping to instead be in Hobbs for the first round of state baseball playoffs.
McIlroy says it’s a minor sacrifice given the things her family has given up as she spent the past several years doing research and preparing her doctoral thesis. McIlroy will earn her Ed.D degree in educational leadership. A key component of the degree was the dissertation that McIlroy researched and wrote, then defended in front of a committee of NMSU professors earlier this month during a two-hour review.
"When a decision has been reached, the faculty advisor asks the student to rejoin the meeting," McIlroy said. "The first indication that your research has been accepted is the faculty advisor coming out of the room and asking, ‘Dr. McIlroy, will you please rejoin us?"
McIlroy went to work for HMS as an elementary counselor in 1994. At the time, she had a master’s degree in counseling and human development from Hardin-Simmons. She continued her education – earning an administrative certification from College of the Southwest – as she moved to counseling positions at Heizer and Hobbs High School. She then was Alternative Learning Center principal for a year prior to assuming her current assistant principal duties in 2006.
In addition to a supportive family, McIlroy said the HMS tuition assistance program was key in obtaining her doctorate as was the support of co-workers.