Carl Marano, Santa Fe High School

By Harvey McGuinness

Question: Why did you want to become a principal?



Answer: My dad was an educator and my mom worked for the schools, so during summer breaks, I had a job with kids in the recreation department. I really found a liking to it, and after my second year of college, I changed my major to education. I started teaching once I finished my degree back in 1998. I love teaching but was encouraged to pursue my master’s and become an administrator. Although there are days I miss the classroom, I really enjoy being an administrator.

Question: What is the best and worst part of the job?

Answer: The best part of my job is the students; the worst is the adults.

Question: What would you change about the school or school system?

Answer: I think we need to get away from A through F grading. It is really arbitrary; I can get an A and still not know what I’m doing, or I can earn a D in a class but really know the material.

Question: What do you do in your spare time?

Answer: I love the outdoors and spending time in the mountains by myself. I also enjoy golfing.

Question: Red, green or Christmas?

Answer: Red, definitely. You can put red chile on just about anything and it will taste good.

Question: What are your principles of being a principal?

Answer: The biggest thing that I have learned is being visible, accessible and having the energy to bring your best every day. Ultimately, I always put students first.

Harvey McGuinness is a Senior at Santa Fe High School. You can contact him at harveymcguinness@yahoo.com.

Jim Leonard, Santa Fe Prep

By Aviva Nathan

Question: Why did you want to become a principal?

Answer: I was appointed head of school in 1998 while working with my wife at the Mountain School in Vermont, doing fundraising, leading faculty professional development and teaching. I wanted to test my capacities in those areas on a larger stage and at a higher level.

Question: What’s the best and worst part of your job?

Answer: The best part is interacting with kids and teachers. The unfortunate thing is you don’t get to do that as much as you’d like as a head of school or school principal. That’s why 11 years ago I asked the board if I could coach soccer in the fall and teach a senior English class in the spring. I stepped away from coaching a couple [of] years ago, but I still teach the English class. Having that daily interaction with kids in a learning environment is my favorite part of the job.

Question: What would you change about the school or school system?

Answer: I want to see students continue to take more responsibility for the life of the school. I think there is already a high degree of agency among students at Prep, and I think there can be even more.

Question: What do you do in your spare time?

Answer: Exercise is really important to me: mountain biking, road cycling and skiing, to name a few. I also enjoy reading for pleasure, although I wish I made more time for it. Then do things with Story [my wife] and Campbell [my youngest daughter].

Question: Red, green or Christmas?

Answer: I go for red more often than not.

Question: What are the principles of being a principal?

Answer: Listen more than you talk. Be a servant leader. Recognize that people within a school community are watching what you do, how you interact and how you treat people, so you need to act in ways that best represent the values you are trying to instill in folks within a school community. You also have to be authentic and keep school fun. It’s important to get a great education, but that doesn’t have to be un-fun.

Aviva Nathan is a freshman at Santa Fe Prep. Contact her at avivafnathan@gmail.com.

Faith Rosetta, Santa Fe Indian School

By Seneca Johnson

Question: Why did you become a principal?

Answer: During my time as a teacher, I became a grade-level team leader. I was encouraged by some of my colleagues, including my principal at the time, to pursue educational leadership. While I had never intended to become a principal, there were certain qualities and aspects of leadership I really enjoyed. I like being able to sit at the table and help make decisions for the school community. Being a principal isn’t really about being a principal for me, it’s really about being involved in making decisions about our Native American students and their education.

Question: What is the best and worst part of the job?

Answer: The best part of the job is being involved in students’ small and big successes, and being able to know them in ways I don’t think you get to know them as a teacher. The most difficult part, similar to being a parent, is knowing that you can’t rescue a kid from something — knowing they have free will and that when you can’t help them, they will have to live with the consequences.

Question: What would you change about the school or school system?

Answer: That’s really hard, because as a principal, as a leader, you’re constantly thinking about, “How can I make this better? How can I improve this experience for my students and our parents and our communities?” I would really like to see us become really outstanding in math and science. Also, because tradition and culture are so integral to the Indian School, I would like to see our students all enroll in an indigenous language course. It’s hard to promote Native languages at this level because it’s a secondary level, but I would like to give all of our students a bilingual seal.

Question: What do you do in your spare time?

Answer: What spare time? Because we’re a residential school, I have to plan transportation and numerous logistical things that other high school principals may not have to think about. Any free time I have, I spend with my family. As a mom, it’s really about being with your kids when you’re not at work. And cooking and cleaning.

Question: Red, green or Christmas?

Answer: I’m definitely a green, but I’ll do both.

Question: What are your principles for being a principal?

Answer: My principles for being a principal are to always call a parent back, no matter what; listen to students and listen to teachers; make decisions that are student-centered and teacher-centered.

Seneca Johnson is a senior at Santa Fe Indian School. You can contact her at senecasjo@sfisonline.org.

Ronald Geyer, St. Michael’s High School

By Gabriel Biadora

Question: Why did you become a principal?

Answer: After teaching science for 31 years, I wanted a change in my career. I already had an administrative license for a number of years, so when the opportunity came up at St. Mike’s, I jumped on it.

Question: What is the best and worst part of the job?

Answer: The best part is knowing I make an impact on the total school through hiring good teachers, evaluating teachers, building schedules, working with kids, trying to motivate youth and being involved in the discipline of the school. The worst part is that I sometimes have to be the bad guy. Still, as a disciplinarian, I try to be fair and consistent.

Question: What would you change about the school or school system?

Answer: While in public schools for 26 years, I wished there was more discipline within the entire school system. I also wanted teachers to have higher expectations of the kids. It seems like discipline-wise, teachers’ and administrators’ hands were tied.

Question: What do you do in your spare time?

Answer: I am very outdoor-oriented. I like to fly-fish, hike, bike, garden and be with family.

Question: Red, green or Christmas?

Answer: Christmas.

Question: What are your principles of being a principal?

Answer: In working with the kids, I strive to be fair, consistent and do my best to enforce the policies of the school. In general, I just try to make decisions that will better kids and teachers in their education process.

Gabriel Biadora is a senior at St. Michael’s High School. You can contact him at gob_152001@yahoo.com.

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