September 6, 2022 | UHCL Staff
“All my experiences and my education have aligned to prepare me for what I’m doing now,” said Clear Creek Independent School District Interim Superintendent Karen Engle. “I have moments where I see that I’m still applying what I learned in my business and education classes at University of Houston-Clear Lake.”
Engle began her career in education in 1981 teaching government and economics at Friendswood High School, then moved into school administration in 1998 after completing her principal’s certification through the College of Education at UH-Clear Lake that same year.
“I had already received my Master of Arts in Teaching College Business at UHCL in 1987, and I loved teaching economics in high school, but after I started taking educational leadership classes for my principal’s certification, I knew I was really drawn toward administration,” she said. “I was considering getting an MBA, but I wanted to stay in education because I knew I could still use my business skills as a school administrator.”
She said her business classes as well as her educational leadership courses created a solid foundation for her to perform in her current role as interim superintendent, particularly a principalship class.
“In that class, we listened to speakers and had panel discussions, and I learned so much from listening to those voices in the field,” she said. “Many of them went to UHCL as well, and those who came back and shared their experiences with us. That was a very impactful class, and other than my leadership internship at Brookwood Elementary, it’s what I remember most. They did such a great job of bringing us experts to listen to and learn from, and that’s what guided me toward wanting a job in administration even more.”
Engle’s career in educational leadership includes an assistant principalship in both Santa Fe I.S.D and Clear Creek I.S.D., a principalship in Pearland I.S.D., followed by principalships in four different high schools in Clear Creek.
In 2018, she became assistant superintendent of Secondary Education in Clear Creek I.S.D., then was named interim superintendent in July following the departure of superintendent Eric Williams.
“Clear Creek I.S.D. has so many connections to UHCL, and so many strong connections with school leadership,” Engle said. “I chose UHCL because I am a product of Clear Creek I.S.D., and the courses fit my interests and my schedule.”
She said the most powerful factor in her education at UHCL is its deep ties to the school district and the entire community. “I believe UHCL prepares you, not just academically, but by providing great relationships, mentoring and networking,” she said.
“That’s what made the difference for me—I was engaged by professors, and as we graduated, we saw people from UHCL in district positions all across the community,” she said. “There are so many teachers and administrators who have received their education from UHCL. It’s an integral part of who Clear Creek I.S.D. is.”
For more information about UHCL's Principal as Instructional Leader certification, go online.