By: Brianna Kalina & Alix Berman
Congratulations again on your new role as an assistant principal. What was your initial reaction when you first found out/ accepted the position?
I was overjoyed – a little overwhelmed – but completely overjoyed. I see the transition as something that is natural at High School East as I started my career here. When I first graduated with my masters degree, I student-taught in the district, had leave replacements, and eventually became a full time teacher, so it was a natural progression. It was an awesome experience to be hired as an administrator.
Do you miss teaching already?
I miss having a more one on one contact with the students in my classes, but I still have contact with students as an administrator, so I do not miss anything just yet. I think as long as I’m in the building I’ll have that contact with the students, so it’s still kind of teaching, just a little removed from the classroom.
As a kid, did you ever see this job in your future?
No actually, I did not. I didn’t even think I was going to become a teacher. I didn’t have any interest when I was in grade and high school. Originally, I had gone to Stony Brook University as a pre-med student, and as I was applying to medical school, I realized I was in love with teaching. As I gained more education, it just became the natural progression for me to go further in my career as an administrator. Kind of like an extension of teaching with a larger picture ahead of you.
What’s your favorite netflix series?
I don’t really watch TV that much. I watch docu-series on HBO Max sometimes. Since I just had a child, I don’t really have time for TV so much. I recently watched something called Chernobyl which is about the nuclear power plant in what is now Ukraine but was Russia at the time.
Do you think your transition to assistant principal during the middle of the year was more challenging?
I think there definitely are challenges coming into the job mid-year, but I think it is different for me because I already know the building and I already know the students. I think for an outside candidate it would have been a little more challenging but for me, personally, I felt that it was a very smooth transition – especially since I knew a lot of the seniors because I have had them as my own students.
What made you want to take change in your career path?
I started to pursue a degree in Education Leadership which allowed me to get this position when I realized some of the changes I want made to the educational system, and that is the overall system- not just in this district. I would like a push for more equity because I believe that since we have a larger school we have a broader picture of what needs to be changed, and as an administrator I have the ability to make those changes.
If you could change one thing about the educational system what would it be?
I think I would change the curriculum and change what we do in school to focus on developing the nature of students. I believe that character building is extremely important. I think we do a fantastic job in our educational system to make sure our students are prepared for the AP exams and the content is really forefront, but I think there has to be an emphasis on creating good individuals, and kind people. Ultimately it’s character building, teaching people how to sympathize and empathize with others is what it going to make a better society.
What are you most looking forward to in this position?
Honestly, to have the ability to make the changes that you want in the system. Both at the state and federal level there are all these expectations that are put on school districts, so to make changes is sometimes difficult but while society changes we have to acclimate to that. So, making the changes that reflect our current society is something that I am really looking forward to.
Some last words…
“I am very excited to be here, and I am very excited I was given this opportunity, and I am thrilled that this next stage of my career is still at High School East.