Tim Phares, principal at Carmel Schools, is proud and grateful to be an educator today.

“When I look at education, from when I became an educator and when it started to where it is now, it’s vastly different,” he says. Ball State helped prepare him for that difference and allowed him to stay on the cutting edge of educational needs today.

Receiving his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Indiana Wesleyan University, Phares taught for several years before coming to Ball State to receive his Master’s in Education in 2007. He then continued his education anThe front doors of Carmel High Schoold earned a Specialist in Education in Educational Administration and Supervision in 2012 and later a Doctorate of Education in 2017.

Why Ball State?

A husband and father, Phares says that some of the main reasons he chose Ball State were its credibility as a university and its flexibility. Between working and being a husband, he needed something that could fit his busy schedule, and Ball State had just the right programs and offerings he needed.

A Helping Hand When Needed

Two professors come to his mind when thinking of who made an impact on him the most: Dr. Serena Salloum, who was the chair of Phares’s dissertation and a “constant support” for him, and Dr. Marilyn Quick, who he had “all along, through all three degrees.” Phares says Dr. Quick always gave sound advice, and whether it was taking courses or listening to a guest lecture from her, he’s grateful for her presence as he made his way through his career as a Cardinal.

Advice for Students

If there’s any advice Phares has for potential or current students, it’s one word: commitment.

“If you’re not making the commitment to study, to read, to write, to learn, it’s not going to go well,” he says. That commitment on his part led to him evTim Phares sitting at his desk in his office, turned at an angle, smiling at the cameraentually becoming the principal of Carmel High School, and he says that the rewards from that job are daily.

“It’s remarkable to see the work that our students do, to see where they are headed, the growth of a student. I’ve been fortunate to be a principal at the elementary, middle, and high school level, and I have several students, about 150 or so, that I will have been their principal for 11 of their 13 years [at Carmel Schools]. In some of those individuals, to see where they started as a kindergartener, to be able to see where they’re going to walk across that stage as a senior this year is pretty remarkable.”

Phares couldn’t give any specific students as examples but says seeing students mature is part of what’s most rewarding for him.

“Think of it like a plant maturation process,” he says. “There’s food, sunlight, water…like plants, it takes time for kids to grow. Seeing them mature, going from a shy kid to someone in a leadership role, or seeing them go on to university is wonderful, and that doesn’t happen alone. It happens with a lot of support along the side, so right now is an exciting time for me professionally.”