When Jill Havens returns to Cohoes Middle School this fall, instead of walking to her classroom in the sixth grade wing where she has taught for the last 18 years, she will head to the main office, where she’ll settle into her new role as Dean of Students.
How does that make her feel? “It’s kind of a different feeling after spending so much time in one classroom,” said Ms. Havens. “But I’m excited about my new position; it will be a mind shift, but it also will encompass things I did every day as a teacher.”
Ms. Havens is eager to jump into her new role as dean, which is a grant-funded position. She aims to have a positive impact in the school community by providing support to meet students’ needs and involving families.
“Family involvement is a key component of student success and it takes all of us working together to help kids find that success,” she said. “We want to make it a good environment for all.”
She plans to reach out to families before school starts and lend support to those who may need it. “We want to get our students on a track to success.”
The “we” Ms. Havens is referring to is the team beside her – the principal and assistant principal, social worker, psychologist and school counselors, teachers and support staff.
“CMS has a really strong staff,” she said. “We are in a good position to be able to pull together resources and help students.”
Though she won’t be providing educational instruction, Ms. Havens is confident that her experience has prepared her for this role.
“I’m here to support students, teachers and families in any way they need.”