School Building Leader Alumni Success – Akapnitis
We recently spoke with Andrew Akapnitis, the new Assistant Principal at Kings Park High School. Andrew graduated from Cohort 41 in the College of St. Rose / CITE School Building Leader (SBL) Program. We’re happy for Andrew’s success! Below, he shares his thoughts on navigating the job market, shaping school culture, and maintaining motivation.
Tell us about your experience on the job market
After completing the School Building Leader (SBL) course work, I continued on to complete my School District Leader (SDL) and the Master’s degree in Administration (MSED) program. I feel that the experiences in my program and my internship absolutely prepared me for the experience in facing daily challenges and qualities that school districts are looking for in a candidate. I was fortunate to be called in for several interviews during the spring of 2015. The interview process is one of variety and unique scenarios that candidates need to prepare to experience. I am proud and humbled to have been hired and am so excited to be working with my Kings Park family.
Any tips for someone completing their SBL?
The SBL program is a very planned and coordinated program that I would recommend for anyone looking to pursue a career move to administration. The wealth of knowledge that the professors are able to bring to the table offer students the opportunity to hear real-life scenarios, learn effective problem-solving techniques, and prepare students for the world of education we live in today!
Why did you decide to pursue your SBL?
As a counselor and working closely with administration throughout my career, I knew that I would one day look to make the move to school administration. The ability to have a real impact on change and improved student learning is something in which I have always sought to be involved. Administrators have the ability to be flexible in the ways in which schools work with all stakeholders and my experience so far has been tremendous!
What can you tell us about the opportunities you have as an administrator to affect change in a school?
As an administrator there are opportunities each and every day to affect change in a school. An administrator has the ability to provide support for each student, parent, faculty & staff member and the school community at large. By aligning practice with vision, the sky is the limit!
What motivates you?
First and foremost are the students! Coming to work each and every day offers new challenges, new experiences, and a new opportunity to be involved in one of the most rewarding and important career fields…education! We are helping to shape tomorrow’s leaders and to be able to live through those experiences, side-by-side, with my students is the best motivation possible.
Is there any particular educational issue that you feel strongly about?
I feel that school needs to be a place where students should be motivated to come and learn each and every day! The opportunities that our students have, and the ability to help grow their educational bounds should be on the forefront of the entire school community. Finding ways to help increase that student passion for learning through academic, extracurricular, athletic, and other aspects of school is something I seek to offer each day for our students.
What has stuck with your from the St. Rose / CITE program?
The immense sense of support from both the faculty and cohort students has been one of the most incredible experiences of my professional life. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner and the vision and mission of the St. Rose/CITE program has allowed me to grow personally, professionally, and scholastically. I truly feel this program is worth attending even if you may be unsure of making the move into administration at this time. The way in which the program allows you to become a better educator, on every level is worth the time and investment.
Are you in touch with anyone from your cohort?
My cohort and I speak and meet on a regular basis. My classmates have become like family, a professional support system in which we all support each other and encourage growth and promotion of one another. The systemic approach of the CITE program allows for built-in support for a lifetime to come.
Any additional thoughts?
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Andrew Akapnitis is the new Assistant Principal at Kings Park High School, and a graduate of the St. Rose / CITE School Building Leader (SBL) Program.
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education . For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Literacy, Special Ed, Grad Courses, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Online PhD) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, and Long Island.
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