Please join us in welcoming our new Cairo-Durham Elementary School Assistant Principal, Ms. Danielle Czech! She served CDE as the interim assistant principal last year and was officially appointed to the position by the Board of Education in June 2018.
Here are a few things to help you get to know Ms. Czech:
What is your role here at Cairo-Durham Central School District, and where do you work?
My role here at Cairo-Durham is Assistant Principal of our Elementary School.
How long have you worked at Cairo-Durham?
I was hired as a Special Education Teacher in our Middle School in 2015. I taught in a self-contained classroom working with students from 6th grade to 8th grade. In October of 2017, I was hired to fill the role of Interim Assistant Principal at Cairo-Durham Elementary. As of June 2018, I am now officially the Assistant Principal of Cairo-Durham Elementary School.
What are your job responsibilities/priorities?
My number one priority is always and will always be “the kids come first.” What are we doing for them to succeed, how can we help them get where they need to go, and why do we need this to happen? My responsibilities vary from day to day but always include supervising staff and students to make sure they have a safe environment to learn, build relationships, and sometimes deal with difficult situations.
What is your background like – previous jobs, your education, etc.?
I was accepted into Queens College on a math scholarship for the TIME 2000 program, but, dancing was my passion (I have attended Dance School since I was 4 years old as well as Benjamin N. Cardozo High School for their dance program) and switched my major to Theatre-Dance with the hopes of becoming a dance therapist. During my last rehearsal for my final show, I had broken my foot and quickly realized I needed to have something else in my back pocket. I applied for the NYC Teaching Fellows program and was accepted into their Special Education program.
I began my teaching career in 2008 in New York City. I worked in a “District 75” self-contained school as an Art and Dance Teacher for 14-21-year-old students. I was the technology liaison for my old school as well. I love to learn, and although I LOVED my students and position in my school, I wanted more. I wanted to learn more, do more and interact with more people. I applied and was accepted into St. Rose’s CITE program for School Building Leaders and earned my certification in 2013.
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre-Dance, a Master of Education in Special Education/General Education grades 5-9, and a School Building Leader certification.
What do you like most about your job?
The kids! These children are so amazing. They pick up on your vibes almost instantly. I love the relationships they have allowed me to build with them, the conversations they have had with me and the trust they have put into me. As a classroom teacher, I was only able to be part of the students’ lives of those who were in my class, now, I am able to be part of over 500 students lives at a time.
What goal(s) do you hope to accomplish while working at CDE (short term and/or long term)?
I hope that my time at CDE will not be short lived. I would like to be a constant in the lives of these students, parents and my faculty/staff, building a positive culture while also focusing on our district wide improvement goals. I am a firm believer that everyone always has room to improve, and together we can make this happen. Like the saying goes…It takes a village.
Tell us a bit about your life outside of school.
Outside of school, I enjoy working around the house, going to the lake or camping with my husband. I love spending time with my nieces and nephews, our friends and family, cuddling with my dogs, taking care of my chickens, turkeys, rabbits and goats, and sometimes... just relaxing on my deck, enjoying the views of the mountain. In the fall you will probably catch me in a tree stand or shooting my bow. I would love to join a target league again, I used to be part of one before I moved up here. I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. I am very “artsy” and usually always in the middle of making something. I also run a successful makeup business. I try to always be positive, always lend an ear, and always be “that person” any of my friends know they can always go to when they need someone.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I used to work for an import/export company by JFK airport. It was pretty neat because I dealt with importing a lot of well-known companies’ products (L’Occitane, Rag and Bone) and ended up being the only person in the company one of our big companies from Ireland would deal with. It was always cool when a company would send your office leather pocketbooks (that you probably would never spend that amount of money on) or clothing. It was also neat networking and meeting people from Ireland and Italy. By the time I would get to work, they would be out to lunch and then heading home for a nap before they went back to work on the day before their “holiday” (who knew a “holiday” was their vacation…. I sure did not back then!)
What is your motto or personal mantra?
I am a firm believer in the Law of Attraction and manifesting your destiny. You receive what you put out into the world. If you put out negative thoughts, you will only have negative things come back to you. If you put out positive thoughts, you will see more positive things happening around you. This is not the easiest to do in today’s world, but once you start changing your mindset it is amazing what you are capable of.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
The best advice anyone has ever given me was, “when you have to make a big decision, flip a coin. If it lands and you are upset with the way it landed, you know the choice you need to make.” This advice was what actually made me accept my job as a teacher here in 2015. Change is a big thing, especially if you have been doing the same thing for a long time.