2013 JIU Commencement Speaker
Dr. Toni Hull
Dr. Toni Hull always knew she wanted to be an educator. She says it’s her calling and her story proves it continues to be a source of passion that helps drive change across the nation.
Toni‘s grandparents immigrated from Italy and as a boy, her father sold shopping bags and shined shoes to help his family. As a result, he did not graduate high school. He was determined and hardworking and eventually earned his high school equivalency and continued schooling to become an X-ray technician. His drive and passion motivated Toni to work hard and value education as a benchmark for opportunity in life. He wanted her to have the educational opportunities that he did not, thus igniting a spark that would light her educational journey.
Toni Hull received her Bachelor’s from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching from Colgate University. Toni became “Dr. Hull,” when she graduated with her doctorate degree in K-12 Educational Leadership from Jones International University. With her terminal degree in hand, Dr. Hull is blazing a trail in the education field, with a recent Teaching Ambassador Fellows appointment for the Department of Education.
“My role as a US Teaching Ambassador Fellow will be to facilitate discussions with teachers for better understanding of policy so that they can provide their expertise and their unique front line perspectives from the classroom. I am so excited about this selection because it allows me to serve as a connection between the work of the federal government and the classroom teachers,” Toni said.
Toni feels her experience in the JIU doctorate program prompted a higher, more refined level of writing, which ultimately gave her the confidence to apply for the Teaching Ambassador Fellowship. This year’s 12 fellows were selected from 625 applications. Much of the selection process focused on writing. Toni’s final appointment speaks volumes to what can be achieved with the appropriate level of hard work, dedication and passion.
Dr. Hull has always used the skills and knowledge gleaned from her own educational experiences to enhance the lives of others – be it her own classroom or peers at the district and state levels. With the right tools in hand, Toni now has the opportunity to help improve teaching processes and influence educational change across the entire nation.