What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
I enjoyed all academics as long as I was challenged and the topic intrigued me. The teacher has always made the difference for me. To this day, I still remember my favorite chemistry teacher in high school because of her passion for the subject.
What is your favorite part of being a principal?
I love the daily interaction with our students. It is amazing to be a part of so many students’ lives and hopefully make a difference for many of them. Being a principal means that I never know what the day will bring. We are dealing with lives of so many students and it is my mission to make sure that we teach and reach every student in our school.
Why did you choose education as a career?
Learning is very important part of my life. I cannot image not learning something every day, so a career in education seemed to be the obvious option. Learning enriches our lives.
What were your first impressions of Maricopa, the community and the school?
We moved from central Phoenix specifically looking for a small community to raise our family. We love Maricopa, the small town feel, the safety for our children and the peaceful environment. When we moved to Maricopa, I started working at the middle school. I was excited to work in a K-12 district, a district where my children would attend.
Santa Rosa is one of the smaller elementary schools in our District. I was excited to be part of a small school community, where I can know all of our students and be closely involved in their daily lives.
What are the biggest challenges facing Maricopa students today?
There are always challenges for our students; lack of counseling at the elementary level (emotional support), new standards, new test, budget cuts. Unfortunately education becomes a part of the political game, it is important to remember that we are impacting human lives each and every day. We need to do what is best for our students with every decision we make.
What was the best advice you received about your own education?
My piano teacher told me (over and over) “You work hard when you are young and enjoy when you retire.” That work ethic has stayed with me. Coming to the United States as an immigrant child at the age of 12 did not stop me from completing AP courses in high school or going to college. There is always a way, but it is a personal decision to make it.
What advice would you like to give parents of elementary schoolchildren?
Be involved in your child’s education. Our students thrive and achieve when parents are involved and communicate with the school. Let’s us always know what we can do better.
What have your students taught you?
My students have taught me that we really “should not judge a book by its cover.” I strive to get to know in depth as many of our students as I can. I wish I could say that I know all of our students closely, but I do not. I will continue to work on getting to know all of Santa Rosa’s students. You cannot make a difference in a child’s life if you do not understand the child.
Hometown: Born in the Czech Republic
Education: M.A. in Administration and Supervision and Curriculum and Instruction B.A. in Elementary Education
Family: Husband, 6-year-old son attending Santa Rosa and a daughter who graduated from Maricopa High School
Teaching positions: Taught fifth grade in Phoenix , sixth and seventh grade science at MWMS, MUSD Academic Coach and ELL Coordinator and 21st Century Coordinator
Years in Education: 13 years
First job out of college: Teaching fifth grade
Hobbies: Spending time with family, skiing, vacations on the beach
First year with MUSD: 2007