For April Beuder, principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Hermosa Beach, the people in her life – from her family, colleagues, students and their families, to her professors and classmates at Loyola Marymount University – have inspired and motivated her to teach and lead in Catholic schools.
A graduate of the School of Education’s Catholic Archdiocesan School Teachers (CAST) (Catholic Archdiocesan School Teachers) program and the Catholic School Leadership Academy, Beuder holds two master’s degrees from LMU as well as elementary and administrative California credentials. Before becoming a principal, she taught in numerous Catholic school settings, including preschool, kindergarten, third, sixth and eighth grades, and has also served as a vice principal.
Beuder began her education career as a volunteer in her parish’s Sunday preschool program when her first child entered kindergarten. “I was drawn to teaching because I love to plant those seeds of faith and watch them grow,” says Beuder.
As she moved into a full-time teaching position, she wanted to ensure that she was offering her students the very best in teaching practices and methodologies. She chose LMU to further her studies based on strong recommendations from colleagues and support from her husband.
When asked about the value of the program, Beuder says, “My time and energy were well spent because the program is academically rigorous and fit well with my busy schedule. It challenged me to articulate my personal vision statement, which has helped me when faced with tough decisions and inspired me to push forward despite the challenges facing our Catholic schools today.”
She has particularly embraced the SOE’s focus on leading by serving, saying that, “The course readings, assignments and opportunities to dialogue helped me articulate our school’s mission, specifically our mission towards Christian service learning.”
As principal, one of her first goals was to bring the principles of servant leadership to her school. The school is now in year two of its growing Junior High Servant Leadership Program, which is helping to build her students’ understanding of leading by serving.
Reflecting on her time in the program, Beuder says, “I am proud of my accomplishments and definitely know that it was all worth it. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and study with the amazing LMU SOE faculty and for the many friends I gained along the way. Having the support of my LMU cohort was a tremendous blessing.”