Contact Us

For more information regarding certification in school administration, please contact the program director:

Dr. Darlene McDonough
Plassmann B42
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
(716) 375-4026

To Apply

For application instructions and materials, please visit our site:

 Or contact:

Phone: (716) 375-2021


The SDL Advanced Certificate program is designed for candidates seeking to become administrators at the district level (superintendents). This 12-hour program includes coursework in negotiations, superintendency, and central office leadership. NY SDL certification requires these 12 hours and 60 total graduate credits.

The SDL certificate program is also offered in a hybrid format, with some class sessions and some online work. SDL classes meet three times each semester on Saturdays, alternating by semester between the SBU Buffalo Center and the main campus in Olean.

With the permission of the program director, up to three (3) credit hours may be transferred into this program. 

SDL program requirements

Admission to the program requires:

  • Master’s degree in education or a certification-related area, with a 3.0 GPA or better
  • Teacher or school counselor certification, SBL certification recommended
  • Three years of K-12 school experience

News, Publications & Research

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Get more information about our School District Leader Certificate program.

Kenneson, Paula

Titles/Responsibilities Program Director
Assistant Professor
Academic School
School of Education
Academic Department Adolescence Education
Contact Information Office Phone: (716) 375-2177
Office Location Plassmann Hall, B38
Courses Taught
  • EDL 535. Evaluation and Supervision of Instructional and Other Staff 
  • EDL 538. Designing Curriculum for Standards Based Education 
  • EDUC 524. Methods and Models for Special Subjects  
  • EDUC 524A. Secondary English Methods 
  • EDUC 524B. Secondary LOTE Methods 
  • EDUC 524C. Secondary Math Methods 
  • EDUC 524D. Secondary Science Methods 
  • EDUC 524E. Secondary Social Studies Methods 
  • EDUC 526. Managing Instruction and Behavior 
  • EDUC 528. Legal Issues for Teachers  
  • EDUC 533. Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Curriculum 
  • EDUC 540. Evaluating Learners and Learning 
  • EDUC 588. Secondary Student Teaching: 7-12 
  • READ 560. Literacy in the Content Area 
Academic Degrees
  • Ed.D., Educational LeadershipNova Southeastern University, 1999
  • M.S. Ed., Educational Administration and Supervision, St. Bonaventure University, 1979
  • B.S., ELED, St. Bonaventure University, 1975
Personal Interests/Community Involvement

My husband and I enjoy the outdoors, viewing wildlife and camping around the country. We have traveled as far away as Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana and Alberta, Canada; Colorado being my favorite. My daughter, son-in-law, and 4 grandchildren live in West Virginia where we camp in the beautiful mountains in the summer. My son lives close by and is an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman. We have two chocolate labs, Bailey and Nugent, who are our greatest companions.

I am still traveling the “good journey” to "becoming extraordinary.” Returning to St. Bonaventure University as a professor has been a dream come true. To have the opportunity to give back to the University for all it has done for me is humbling. To work with such bright and energetic colleagues and students is a gift I cherish. Giving back is a pleasure. Making friends before you need them is pure genius.

Other Education Certified Facilitator for Schools Attuned
Professional Background

I have served as Program Director for the Adolescence Education Program since 2008. My educational experience includes school administrator at the intermediate and high school levels in general and alternative education for 18 years. I taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grades at Little Valley Central School for 14 years prior to that.

My professional preparation includes a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.S. Ed. in Administration and Supervision from St. Bonaventure University. I completed my doctoral work (Ed. D) in Educational Leadership at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. While at Nova, I completed two practicum learning experiences at the Nova campus and at Uppsala University in Sweden.

My dissertation is titled, "Authentic Professional Development," and is listed in the ERIC listings of research in professional development. My educational interests include alternative education, behavioral management, and professional development.

Teaching Philosophy During my years of study, teaching and administration of schools, I have always believed that children are at the heart of all we do. I believe that everyone has the right to be treated with respect. Working with children and colleagues with kindness, caring and concern makes everything a win-win situation. I believe in practical application of skills and strategies. It is with the application of our learning that we find our useful place in world.

I also strongly believe that there are many avenues and levels of learning. As there are different styles of learning, there are also different styles of working. In respecting all learners, all workers are acknowledged: blue collar, white collar and academics. Thus, I support not only academic learning, but also learning in the areas of career and technical education. Teaching should be student centered with an emphasis on learning styles and applied knowledge and skills. Teaching with respect is the framework of my teaching philosophy.
Current Research Interests/Projects

My doctoral research is a study of professional development and its impact on student achievement. The dissertation, Authentic Professional Development, involved tracking the changes in attendance, behavior, and academic achievement in students when teachers were afforded real-time professional development opportunities that were authentic, pertaining to what they do or experience, as part of their daily teaching responsibilities.

The results of the study indicated that when teachers were able to study, practice, and reflect on a continual and consistent basis as part of their work day and expectation, student achievement improved. The study also showed that attendance and behavioral issues declined.

This proves that when students attend school and are engaged in the classroom their academic achievement will improve. This is due to teacher engagement and focus on improved and correlated teaching processes and practices.

The full text of the study, Authentic Professional Development, can be found in the Educational Research Information Center (ERIC) listings. 

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