Principal Farr earns doctorate from Gonzaga University

By Kelsey Cook

Principal Farr of Tamalpais High School— now Dr. Farr— began his journey to earn a doctorate in education (also known as an Ed.D) in 2019. Hundreds of hours of hard work later, he earned his Ed.D from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. An Ed.D can be earned by educators looking to sharpen their educational leadership skills. He attended in-person classes for a month in the summer of 2019 before moving to virtual learning due to COVID-19 shutdowns. 

Farr was inspired to earn his Ed.D to validate his own educational beliefs. “This is going to sound silly, but I wanted to validate what I knew; I wanted to push myself to be the best student I could be, ” Farr said. “I wanted to show my family we were capable of doing anything, so I really did this to honor and celebrate my parents and grandparents for all the sacrifices they made in helping me become the person I am today.” 

One exceptional aspect of Farr’s achievement was that he chose to prioritize his role as principal over his pursuit to earn his doctorate degree. “For Dr.  Farr, earning his Ed.D was a long process due to distance learning and being the principal of the school. He didn’t have a whole lot of time, but you know, he did it,” secretary to Mr.Farr, Laura Keaton said. Keaton describes the biggest challenge she witnessed for Farr being “that he couldn’t get to both parts of the journey equally. Being principal always came first.” In order to do this, Farr dedicated his weekends to his Ed.D and weekdays to his principal position, hardly leaving any time to rest. “I probably would spend 20-25 hours a week dedicated to school on Saturdays and Sundays. Also a few hours at night on weekdays,” Farr said. Throughout his time-consuming academic journey, Farr remained motivated by his goal of inspiring and influencing others. “I will continue in education. I want to continue to grow and expand my influence and to use what I’ve learned to support students.”

One member of the Tam High community who Farr has already inspired is secretary to the assistant principals, Jenny Poster. “He had to work super hard, every free moment he had was spent doing work and continuing his studies,” Poster said. “He inspired me because he just stayed so focused and always had time for students. I think he had fun, but he didn’t allow himself many extras. He conquered everything and knew when to do it.”

After all of the hard work Farr put into earning his degree, he prefers to go by Dr. Farr. “Oh man, I probably want to go by Doctor after all this work. You just want to be acknowledged for it. It’s surreal. I never really saw myself as being a doctor or being able to accomplish this.  I’m just happy for myself and my family.”

Though earning a doctorate degree was difficult, Farr was able to validate his knowledge and show up for his family every day by working to be the best person he could be. “To be honest, the real reason I needed to do this was just to authenticate everything my family did for me and the support I received no matter what,” Farr said.