This post was written by summer intern Michael O’Neill.
New Assistant Principal Cari Berman brings her experience with specialized education planning and student management to Melrose High School’s administrative team.
Berman has been working within the Melrose school system since 2001. For ten years, she was a special education teacher at Melrose High School. “I loved teaching from the first moment I started,” she says, emphasizing her enthusiasm for designing different educational approaches to meet the needs of different students. During this time, she received her master’s degree in special education and a certificate of advanced graduate studies in school administration, both from American International College. She became the special education administrator for the middle and high schools in 2011, a position she held until her appointment as assistant principal this year.
While her new job is obviously very different, Assistant Principal Berman believes many of her skills will carry over. “I’ve had a lot of experience with discipline and helping students in crisis, so I think that experience and that expertise will help,” she says, “and I look forward to helping all students to grow and reach their highest potential.” She will be working especially closely with the 9th and 11th grades, so her duties will include helping ease the transition from middle school to high school for this year’s new freshmen.
It helps that she has already forged relationships with the other new school administrators. “The team itself has not changed,” she says. “As a whole, the members of the administration are willing to listen to each other and cover all areas of expertise. In particular, Mr. Merrill and I have a similar educational philosophy both in the academic and the social/emotional world. I partner with [his] views in terms of creating a safe, welcoming learning environment for all students.”
Assistant Principal Berman plans on following through with that philosophy by providing guidance and other student services and by forming relationships with students. She has already started working to memorize every student’s name and match it with their face. “That’s my first and foremost goal,” she says, “getting to know the students and having them know me and feel comfortable talking to me for whatever reason they need to.”
In conclusion, Assistant Principal Berman says she is excited about her new position and particularly about seeing her students grow from day to day, month to month, and year to year.