A new doctor in town ... assistant principal Benjamin Feeney earns his doctorate

After successfully defending his dissertation on September 22, Lampeter-Strasburg High School assistant principal Benjamin Feeney was proclaimed a doctor.

“I would say that it is still pretty surreal to me when people are coming up to me and saying, ‘Congratulations, Dr. Feeney’ or ‘Hey, Dr. Feeney.’ It’s definitely taken a little getting used to,” the new doctor says.

Feeney seems at ease and very excited to be talking about his accomplishment, especially since it is for L-S News. Dr. Feeney remarks about how he loves to read the articles and get a student’s perspective. He wants to get to know the student body, and this is a great way to reach out to them.

Being friendly with the students holds great importance to Dr. Feeney. He taught social studies for seven years at Conestoga Valley, so he is used to interacting with teenagers in a kind, yet authoritative way.

And the students are noticing. Most high school pupils have nothing but nice words to say about Feeney. When told this, he exudes pride and happiness.

“That’s what I aspire to right there,” he says, beaming with joy.

Dr. Feeney can be seen around school talking to the students by name, and asking them about activities in which they are involved. It is evident that he takes his job seriously, so obviously, he wanted to take the next step in his career.
Dr. Benjamin Feeney, Assistant Principal, Lampeter-Strasburg High School
Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Anne Harnish
Four and a half years ago, Feeney first applied for the doctorate course. It was an arduous process, full of classes and coursework. The work took about three and a half years for Dr. Feeney to complete, and then he had to take Oral and Written Comprehension exams.

"If you pass both the written and the oral comprehension piece, you are promoted to doctoral candidate,” he explains. “Then, you begin writing your dissertation, which I spent about a year writing. This past year on the 22nd, I was asked to defend my research in front of a panel, and the panel accepted my research, and then, I was named a doctor.”

A lot of work went into making Dr. Feeney’s dream a reality, but he says it is absolutely worth all of the hours that he put into it. Now, Feeney has a doctoral degree in education, specializing in Educational Administration and Leadership.

When Dr. Feeney’s future plans are brought into conversation, he lights up, but he also seems almost overwhelmed by all of the possibilities within his grasp.

“That’s somewhat of a loaded question,” he says with a smile.

Obviously, Feeney will not stop here, at this achievement. He wishes to continue to set goals and accomplish more. However, he is content… for the moment. “I really have enjoyed my experience here, and I want to continue to see where my career path takes me, and I hope it’s here at Lampeter-Strasburg. I’m very comfortable and happy where I’m at now, in the current position I hold. Eventually... I think I would like to aspire to a principalship and then to an assistant superintendency or superintendency down the road…”

And all of this would not have been possible, in Dr. Feeney’s opinion, without the constant support of the people around him. Lampeter-Strasburg accepted Mr. Feeney a year ago with open arms, and he shows his appreciation for all of the warm welcomes extended to him from the faculty and student body. He thanks his family and friends who stood by him when he fought tirelessly towards his goal.

“Everybody has been very supportive, very helpful to me throughout the process, whether they were giving advice or just offering a pat on the back when I needed it as I was working through,” Feeney reports.

After all, a house cannot be stable without a strong infrastructure holding it up.

At the end of the course, Dr. Feeney felt relieved that he had actually achieved his doctorate and excited for the new roads ahead. However, it was also a bittersweet graduation, as Feeney said goodbye to all of the familiar faces with whom he had spent his years in the program.

As Dr. Feeney says, “I absolutely am [passionate], and that’s what was kind of a big push for me... Loving what I do and aspiring to be better and continuing to grow and learn. I think that learning is a continuous experience. There’s not a beginning and end point. I’m always trying to learn every day.”

On a personal note, the LSNews.org editorial board would like to extend its congratulations to Dr. Feeney on this remarkable accomplishment. -- BP

--By Lillian Murr, LSNews.org School News Editor

Edited: BP

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