Alumni Spotlight – Asif Padela



Asif Padela – Principal, Harlem Children’s Zone: Promise Academy Charter School

Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy

Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy

Happy first day of school, everyone! In honor of the first day of full classes, we’re posting an exciting alumni success story. We recently spoke with the new Principal of Harlem Children’s Zone: Promise Academy Charter School, Asif Padela. Asif is an alumnus of our Educational Leadership Master’s Program through the College of Saint Rose in partnership with CITE.

Hi Asif. Please tell us what degree you earned with CITE and the College of St Rose?

I was with Cohort 27. Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Were you working while you took classes with CSR/CITE?

Yes, I was an Dean of students and became an Assistant Principal once I received my SBL

Why did you choose the College of St. Rose in partnership with CITE?

I choose the program because it allowed me the flexibility I needed while I was working. Additionally, it was an accelerated program and expedited graduation.

Tell us about the instructors and the program.

There were a lot of great instructors. Dr. Hawkins was probably the most influential because he really pushed you to think your position through.

One of the key things the program does is emphasize the administrative mind set you need. You are geared towards looking at problems from a team perspective and creating solutions based on best practice.


Did you find this helpful in your new job?

I was able to transfer a lot of the theoretical parts of the program into action.

A person taking the leap into administration has to realize that they need to stand by the courage of their convictions. Ideally you will be surrounded by a supporting staff and community, but there are times when you have to learn to lead alone. You will have to guide the ship and keep the crew’s faith in your abilities; being a leader is a choice.

I really appreciated Dr. Hawkins’ advice in class. He would often dole out little sayings that encompassed years of wisdom. Often I recall him saying, “You have to go slow to go fast.” As an administrator these caveats are really helpful in reminding one of the bigger picture.
Thanks for talking with us, Asif! Have a happy start to your year. We wish the same to all of our alumni!

For updates on alumni, resources for the new year, and news about upcoming courses and educational trends, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. If you are a CITE alum with a success story (new job, great performance review, new education business), we’d love to hear from you. Email us at  with your story!

Get your Admin Degree! Click for info

Get your Admin Degree! Click for info

 *** We would like to remind Admin students that we are running a referral offer! If you refer someone who signs up with us, we’ll give you a $50 VISA gift card. Please remind your friend to give us your name and the code “FB” when they call. Thanks!