New Principal: Adrian Manuel
As many of you have noticed, the winds of change have been blowing rapidly through the halls. One of the biggest being; the new principal.
Adrian Manuel, a Kingston native (Was born across the street), actually attended this school, and had a couple of the same teachers as you.
Ever since he was a child, his father was his motivation to continue going, and to reach his full potential. His dad taught him to be a leader, more specifically, a humble one. The person, who really shaped his career, would be his father. Teaching him that education is what can really empower a person, and also, to fight for what he believes in.
His dad pushed him to push himself, showed him how to be humble, treating everyone as they are, equal, and to listen to what they have to offer.
Other people who have created inspiration in his life were men such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., & Nelson Mandela. Leaders who were able to do great things, without being a dictator.
“A leader should be respected” Manuel said. “They shouldn’t strive to be liked or feared, but respected for their leadership.”
A graduate of the class of 1996, looking back now, Manuel feels that he didn’t capitalize on all the opportunities available. Not because he didn’t want to, but because a majority of them were hidden from the students, and now that he is capable of seeing all the opportunities, he’s amazed at what students can do, and wants to make sure that they do take the advantages that he wasn’t aware of.
Before reciprocating, he taught Social Studies, and then moved onto becoming the principal of a Bronx middle school.
The unique opportunity to give back to his community is what drove him to return. People say that they think the school isn’t good, many students feel the same way, and he wants to rise in a time of challenge.
As principal, he’s set goals, “To make sure that every student has every opportunity and the support necessary to graduate, is number one.” Manuel said.
“When I was in high school, I saw some of my friends dropping out, and I don’t feel that they were pushed all the way.” He said. “They had no one to talk to about it, no one to change their mind.”
He also wants to develop small learning communities. This is a fairly large school, filled with a great amount of students, and kids can get lost in the crowd very easily. To make school more individualized for the students, and to provide for each one’s personal needs. So that the students who like similar things are in the same areas. And, to make sure each student has a good relationship with one or more teachers, so that they always have someone they can talk to.
Thirdly, he desires to bring the school into the 21st century. Since leaving in 96’, he feels that much hasn’t changed, while a lot has changed technologically. There’s so much out there that the school can benefit from by using technology, and it isn’t going to happen immediately, slow changes may occur, but it’s a future project.
From a working standpoint, Manuel is the kind of person that is open minded, he’s focused on building a relationship with everyone in the school, and is very passionate about education.
He’s also very approachable, he feels any student can talk to him about anything, whether that be a problem they’re having, ideas or concerns about the school, or just to talk about the previous night’s football game.
To use technology to help with work is a belief of his. This is not just to use it for education, but to communicate with the community. An idea of this is a Twitter account with the school called the, “Tiger Tweet” where news and updates about the school would be posted to create a connected community.
Manuel isn’t just the kind of person whose only care is their occupation, while he does love his job greatly; becoming a father is what he is most proud of. To be able to watch his son grow, and to give his son the opportunities that he wasn’t given, is a top priority of Manuel.
There is no plaque, no award, nor no certificate that Manuel feels is his greatest achievement. He believes that “Success is a journey, not a destination” and that if he helps those around him, that he’s dedicated to his career and lives to help the students, that his legacy would be his greatest achievement.
When asked how he felt about returning, Manuel responded by saying, “To come back to my old school, is priceless.”