- Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School
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National Principals Month - CET
As we wind down National Principals Month, we hear from new CET Principal Dr. Kern Mojica who talks about problem solving, how sports taught him greater accountability and even how he managed to get his two children to take on a share of the family cooking!
Q. When did you decide that you wanted to be an educator?
I’ve known I wanted to be in education since middle school. I wanted to help children the way my teachers helped me, including getting through some difficult times.
Q. Did you have a favorite subject as a student?
My favorite subject was mathematics and Chemistry. I loved learning about cryptography (the art of solving codes) in college. I look at most challenges in life as puzzles that can be solved with deep thinking.
Q. What lessons did you take away from participating in sports?
Playing sports at a high-level developed my growth mindset. Also, being part of a team taught me how to be accountable to others and to trust them to help me be successful.
Q. Do you have a goal or philosophy that you've brought into your new role as principal of CET?
My philosophy is to continually ask myself how I/we can be better. I approach each situation as an opportunity to grow and develop and then reflect on it to see where improvements can be made.
Q. Do you have a role model or a person in your life who has helped shape the person you are today? Do you have a favorite musician or author?
Absolutely. The first is my mother. She taught me about the value of hard work and to never give up, and what a kind heart can achieve. Another one of my role models is Dr. John J. Russell, a mentor to whom I frequently look for guidance and reflection. My favorite musician is Buju Banton, a reggae artist from Jamaica. My favorite author is Malcom Gladwell. He seems to always be looking for different perspectives or approaches to problem solving.
Q. How has your family been managing through this challenging time?
My wife is also an educator and we have three children. Our oldest son is in 6th grade, our daughter is in 3rd grade, and we have a 3-year-old son. During remote learning we all took time to read to him when we weren’t at orur computers. This summer we frequented Teatown, the Valhalla Dam, and the Rockefeller State Park. We love being outdoors and when we were home we taught our older children to cook. They started making breakfast (pancakes, french toast, eggs, and matzo brei) for the family everyday and are now starting to step up their cooking skills with help from Hello Fresh.
Q. What do you do to relax or take time for yourself?
I ride a peloton bike and/or play sports with my kids everyday.