Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Interview with Cheryl Kolano - Principal of Robert Shearer Preschool

Cheryl Kolano is the new principal of Robert Shearer Preschool and Gregory Gardens Elementary School which are on the same campus. Cheryl comes to us from Washington state where she was also a principal. I hope that this interview gives you some insight into why we are so fortunate to have her in our district.

Please describe your job and responsibilities.
My job responsibilities include ensuring our campus and programs offer a safe and healthy place for children, parents, and staff. That includes encouraging a culture that honors all participants, their concerns, perspectives and experiences so that each person can contribute to the educational needs of the students we share.

What inspired you to work in this profession?
My father was a teacher and later a principal so I grew up immersed in education. Following his lead was natural for me. Becoming a principal was an outcome of wanting to positively impact students, families, schools and our community through my role as an educator.

What is your professional goal?
My professional goal is to help build relationships among educators, parents, and students that will direct and expand opportunities for every student to genuinely move forward. I also hope to never stop learning. I don’t know where that may lead me – but so far, I’m delighted it has brought me here!

What do you like to do during your time off?
Spending time with our daughter and granddaughters is at the top of my list. I enjoy traveling with my husband, a retired social studies teacher. We've toured the western Civil War battlefields and will be on a Holocaust studies trip to Budapest and Prague this summer. I love to build simple home projects – another gift from my father and sewing and needle work, a gift from my mother.

What do you like best about your job?

Every day there are new opportunities to apply what we already know, and reminders of just how much more we need to learn! I also love celebrating our students taking those small but necessary steps leading to accomplishments – of every size!

If you could change anything about your job/services you provide, what would it be?
I would like to take the time to celebrate our successes more often than we do. I would also like to foster understanding among parents, educators, and other service providers in an effort to support a collaborative process that supports our students.

You can reach Cheryl Kolano at Gregory Gardens Elementary and Robert Shearer Preschool and Assessment Center 925- 827-3770 or kolanoc@mdusd.k12.ca.us
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