Principal Katz: Excited For A New Cougar Year!


It is another new Cougar year, and Principal Katz is looking forward to a great school year! The New Dealer was lucky to get a chance to sit down with Principal Katz to discuss the 2019-2020 school year.

The New Dealer: What is your priority this school year, and what do you want to make sure is achieved by the end of this school year?
Ms. Katz: My priority this school year is to work with staff, families, and students to improve student achievement. This year, we have our new short vision, which speaks of student empowerment, equity, diversity, and persistence. The staff and I want to make sure that students are empowered, helped, and are responsible for their own learning. Also, another priority that I have this year is to focus on literacy. I want to make sure we celebrate cultures here at FDR, just like the English Department is already doing by reading different books from different cultures. In short, it is important that here at FDR, we have a culturally responsive education.

The New Dealer: This school year, what are some expectations that you have for teachers and students?
Ms. Katz: I expect that we will continue the excellent relationship between students, teachers, and families. Also, I expect everyone to continue working together and keep trying to do their best. Teachers also need to focus more on advanced literacy, in the forms of discussions, vocabulary, writing, and having a lot of different readings available for students.

The New Dealer: What advice would you give to new teachers, about how to make sure that they are doing their best, for their students?
Ms. Katz: My advice to the new teachers is that they should breathe. Teaching is wonderful, but it is not easy, especially in your first few years. Also, they should get to know their students. When I was still a teacher, I used to stand outside the classroom as often as I could, to greet my students. I am a strong believer that greeting someone with a smile, makes a really big difference.

The New Dealer: How do you try to involve parents in the school, to ensure the success of their kids?
Ms. Katz: I try to involve parents in the school by providing Pupilpath, because it helps them to monitor the activities of their kids. Also, in the school, we try to have different teachers who speak different languages, so that the parents can further understand what is going on in the school. With teachers that speak different languages, it is easier to relate with the parents.

The New Dealer: How did you come about the new school slogan, and what made you choose it?
Ms. Katz: It was definitely not all me. The teachers, assistant principals, and I came to the conclusion that the most important things were empowerment, equity, diversity, and persistence- like I have mentioned earlier. These things were so important that I had the English, ESL, and native classes work on them. We also worked on the slogan and discussed it in SLT, which consists of parents, student representatives, and staff members getting together to discuss school issues.

The New Dealer: What are some of the major challenges that you have had while being FDR’s principal, and how were you able to overcome those challenges?
Ms. Katz: The biggest challenge that I had was learning how to better understand the school, because there is a large staff and student population at FDR. However, I was able to overcome that by listening, asking questions, and learning from my mistakes. Also, there is a lot of adults (teachers) here at FDR, who care deeply about the students. I was able to learn how to work together with the teachers’ talents, to help students.

A special thanks to Principal Katz for making time in her busy schedule for us. We all look forward to a great school year!