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National Principals Month - CHHS

National Principals Month Great Schools Have Great Principals

October is National Principals Month! We conducted brief interviews with each of our three fabulous principals to help get to know them a little better. Here’s what CHHS Principal Laura Dubak shared.

Q. When did you decide that you wanted to be an educator?
A. I am one of those people that has always known they wanted to be a teacher. When my mom would ask us what I wanted for Christmas or birthdays, I always asked for a trip to teacher supply store so we could get the “real” report cards, workbooks, and “teacher pens.” As a got older, I started realizing that a lot of what I loved about teaching was not just my content area - English - but how much I enjoyed working in a school with teenagers. I also realized how much I loved working with teachers and learning about policy and the broader context of education. So being a principal is really my dream job because it allows me to do all of that at the same time.

Q. What was your favorite subject as a student? And is there a particular assignment or lesson that resonated with you?
A. I loved everything about school, but English was always my favorite subject. It was rare to find me without a book growing up. I have some many wonderful memories and assignments like my 7th grade poetry anthology project. But I think the assignment that resonated with me the most was a math test in 4th or 5th grade on which I did poorly. I remember that to this day, not because of the grade, but because of how my teacher helped me to understand that it was ok to fail sometimes. She told me that it was more important to learn and to move forward, which I did, and not stay focused on what happened.

Q. As a high school principal, what do you think is the most important lesson or skill for students these days?
A. Self-advocacy and voice. I think that learning the skills to be your own advocate and an advocate for others is one of the most important things for students. There is a lot of pressure on high school students, more now than ever, and it is so important for students to focus on what success means for them - as an individual - and develop their own voice and passion.

Q. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy?
A. I have vivid memories of reading and teaching texts by Toni Morrison and one of my favorite was said by her: “As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”

Q. In addition to being a principal, you are also a wife and the mother of two young girls. How have you been managing through this challenging time?
A. This has certainly been an experience! My older daughter turned five-years-old in March, just a couple days after our school buildings closed, and my younger daughter turned three-years-old in July. It has been amazing to see how close they’ve become but, of course, that comes with some arguing, too. They have also attended more than their fair share of my Google and Zoom meetings with my husband and me! But even though it is not always easy, I am so grateful for the time that we are spending together. We take daily walks with our dog and have also been enjoying some family hikes.

Q. Do you have one 'escape' that helps you relax and take time for yourself?
A. Someday I’d like to have an escape! I’m currently working towards my doctorate, so my “free” time is often spent on that. But when I do have some relaxation time again, I’ll enjoy trying new restaurants, reading, and playing tennis. For now, I am content waking up an hour before the kids so I can have coffee and read in peace!