This article was first published on SEU website.*
Morristown, NJ (January 21, 2022) – Shortly after successfully defending her doctoral dissertation at SEU, Marielle Ojentis sent a text to her extended family informing them of her accomplishment. It was the first time any of them had even heard that she was even pursuing an advanced degree.
“I didn’t tell anyone I was going to school because I don’t like the spotlight,” explains Marielle, who earned her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in 2021. “I didn’t want them to focus all their attention on me.”
While her extended family may not have known about her educational pursuits, her parents always believed she would become a doctor. While they hoped that their daughter would join the medical field, Marielle knew that was not a fit for her.
“I earned my bachelor’s in biology only to get my master’s in education twelve years later,” explains Marielle, who also serves as a family ministry director for her church. “I actually became a teacher by accident.”
After her husband graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, she relocated to New Jersey, and the only position that Marielle could find was a teacher’s assistant at a pre-school. In this role, she developed a deep love for education that has continuously motivated her to become a better teacher.
She even wrote her dissertation on the impact of transitional bilingual education on reading skills for students in kindergarten through second grade. As an immigrant herself, Marielle did not learn how to speak English until she moved to the United States from Haiti at the age of 14. Currently, a bilingual teacher for the district of Irvington, she hopes to make changes to the educational programming to improve her students’ ability to learn more effectively.
Through the strength of God, Marielle firmly believes that a person can accomplish any goal, regardless of how difficult or impossible it may seem at the time. While she doesn’t work in a hospital, and it took her several decades, Marielle finally fulfilled her parent’s dream for her to become Dr. Marielle Ojentis.