"A woman will rise as high and as far as she thinks she is willing and able; but the degree to which she thinks will determine the degree to which she will rise." --- Ayn Rand
Each time I reflect on this quote by the famous novelist Ayn Rand, I wonder if she was referring to cognition or self-confidence. Does a woman only need to think, analyze, and reason to be a success? Or does a woman also need to believe in herself, know herself, and be in touch with her needs, desires, and passions? It is safe to say, that educators know that both keen cognition, as well as a true sense of and belief in oneself is necessary to successfully impact our society. This beautiful quote is a motto that schools should use to summarize education's ultimate goal: to develop confident young people who can think critically, analytically, and creatively and who possess the desire to continue learning throughout their lives.
A school principal is a person who is fortunate enough to lead an institution of learning. The greatest service a school can provide is an environment where a student can develop the ability to learn. Isolated facts from various curricula learned as simply facts are not important. These facts are only meaningful when the young person appreciates the beauty of knowledge and the gift of education, and then understands how the facts can be used and applied. Technology has opened countless new ways of information acquisition. These tools have brought our young people into an age where the amount of information that they can learn is almost limitless. However, the extent of the information can almost be overwhelming. Skills that allow students to organize, assess, analyze, and apply this knowledge are essential for both success in college and for career readiness. Our schools need to move away from traditional thoughts on learning. School leaders need to create intellectual havens for students to acquire information , in conjunction with programs that use experiential learning to develop cognitive processes.
A principal needs to inspire the faculty of a school to exemplify love of learning. With this as a primary goal, the school principal needs to create a school culture where change and growth is not feared but embraced. A truly intelligent individual is not afraid to question, because it is only through questioning, thinking, and evaluating that new ideas can emerge. A school whose faculty continually re-evaluates the quality of instruction and examine whether the school is completely fulfilling the school's mission, will naturally produce dynamic, creative, critical thinkers who will see their education as a privilege. School leaders need to remind their faculty to be life-long learners who strive to instill that passion in their students. Teachers who love to learn, teach our young people that they should not approach their learning process with an attitude of entitlement, but rather with an attitude of gratitude and a desire to continue working throughout their education and careers.
Finally, a school leader needs to inspire the students of a school, especially young women, to know that education is the most important gift that can be given and that can never be taken away. Education is the way to becoming an empowered person who can have a voice for equality, justice, peace, and who can work towards being a global citizen ready to take on the complex world that awaits her.
Fontbonne Hall Academy,Brooklyn, NY (2013-Present)
St. Francis Preparatory School, Fresh Meadows, NY (1988-2013)
Chairperson- Science Department (2004 – 2013)
Director-Science Research Program (1997 – 2013)
Science Teacher (1988 – 2013)
School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) – New York State Certification
School District Administrator (SDA) – New York State Certification
Chemistry & General Science (7-12) – New York State Permanent Certification
Biology (7-12) – New York State Permanent Certification
EDUCATION & TRAINING:
Specialist Diploma in Administration & Supervision, Queens College, City University of NY, Flushing, NY
Master of Science in Secondary Education, Fordham University, Bronx, NY
Bachelor of Science in Teacher Preparation (Specializing in Chemistry, Manhattan College, Bronx, New York
Summer Research Program for Secondary Schools Science Teachers, Columbia University – July 1994
Summer Research Program for Secondary Schools Science Teachers, Columbia University – July 1995
Teacher of the Year, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium – April 2000
Recognition for Educational Excellence Award, St. Francis Preparatory School – May 1995
Award for Academic Excellence in Teacher Preparation, Manhattan College – May 1988
Brooklyn Power Women in Business Award - March 2017
Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS)
New York State Biology Teachers Association (NYBTA)
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)