Amanda Klopott is a new associate principal at the elementary school. She has a background in Spanish and prior to becoming an administrator, she taught English as a New Language.
Read more about Mrs. Klopott below, including what drew her to the Hudson City School District and what she hopes to accomplish in her new leadership role at MCSES.
What is your role here at the Hudson City School District, and where do you work?
I am an associate principal at Montgomery C. Smith Elementary.
What are your job responsibilities/priorities?
I am responsible for working with our Bluehawk team toward the achievement of our district’s shared mission and goals. This looks different depending on the day, however it means always doing what is best for our students and focusing on how we can support students both academically and socially. This also means supporting teachers and staff in order for us to provide the best education for our students and maintaining a safe and inclusive learning environment.
What made you want to work at the Hudson City School District?
I was first drawn to Hudson because of the diverse student population. When I began researching the district, it became clear that the Hudson City School District focuses on the district’s mission and created specific goals for growth, which included a focus on social-emotional growth, academics, and creating community partnerships. It was important to me that I joined a school that was a good fit where I could use my unique skill set. Hudson was a great match!
What goals do you hope to accomplish while working here?
I created an entry plan for my transition to an associate principal role that includes:
- Establishing and creating strong relationships with all stakeholders involved in the running of the school beyond the day-to-day problem solving;
- Learning the history, culture, values, and norms of Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School, and their effect on how the organization functions in the present and may function in the future;
- Assessing and determining concerns/issues in regard to improving students’ performance that needs to be closely examined and addressed;
- Setting clear expectations and goals for myself and others;
- Collaboratively formulating our priorities and a plan to accomplish them;
- Building a strong foundation for connection and communication with parents and the community;
- Establishing myself as an active, supportive, and decisive leader.
What do you like most about your job?
There are so many things I like about my job! First, I like how I have the ability to support children and their futures. This is an incredible opportunity and privilege. There are many different aspects of supporting children, which can be by supporting teachers instructionally, supporting families with resources and working toward our district’s goals and long term mission. I love that my role is dynamic and that each day is different. Most of all, I love hearing the success stories of our students and seeing their growth as individuals.
What is your background like – previous jobs, your education, etc.? How did that prepare you for this leadership role at HCSD?
I earned my B.S. in Business Administration with a Spanish concentration from SUNY Oswego. I earned a graduate degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Teaching English as a Second Language from George Mason University. I also hold an Advanced Certificate in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University.
I started my career in the business sector where I interacted with immigrant communities. I found that I really enjoyed the ability to interact and teach others about finance. This helped me discover my love of teaching and I endeavored to become an ENL (English as a New Language) teacher.
As an ENL teacher, I loved working with the families of my students outside of the school. I was able to build connections with families and help them connect with each other. I also brought in outside resources to our students by connecting them with college student mentors, for example, who supported our students both academically and socially.
I have combined my experience in business and education in order to create programming and supports for students with many different backgrounds. I have the ability to tap into our local resources in order to build community and relationships that will help our school family grow and thrive.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
While obtaining my master’s degree, I worked at a Spanish/English bilingual immersion school outside of Washington D.C. I also taught first grade Math in Spanish during the summer, which was a lot of fun and an opportunity to gain more Spanish skills.
Tell us a bit about your life outside of school.
I enjoy spending time with my three-year-old son, my six-year-old daughter and my husband. We love playing outside, watching movies, and reading books together. Lastly, I am a big foodie and love trying different kinds of cuisine; Ethiopian food is my favorite!
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
Progress not perfection! Don’t worry about being perfect, just keep working towards your goal. Making mistakes is part of learning, so make mistakes and learn from them! Keep making growth!
What is your motto or personal mantra?
Always persevere, try your best, and look at the positive of any situation.
Anything else you would like to share?
I am extremely excited to be part of the Bluehawk community! As I begin my role as associate principal, I look forward to learning about our community and how I can best support students, families, and teachers. I look forward to the opportunity to meet you and welcome ideas that you have for our learning community. I hope to work as a team in order to support our learning community.