Ms. Brandeis becomes assistant principal

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By: Nikki Ng, Yuri Choi, Victoria Oei, Kelly Jiang, Daniela Zavlun, Nejra Barakovic, and Shabab Ahmed, Staff Writers 

Creative Expression and special education teacher Georgia Brandeis is now the new interim Assistant Principal of the World Languages Department and Instructional Support Services (ISS). For several years, this position has not been filled by an official administrator.

In 2013, Dr. Lisa Mars, Assistant Principal of Languages, Art, and Music, abruptly left to become the principal of Laguardia High School. Afterwards, Principal Anthony Barbetta undertook the duties of this department, in addition to his other responsibilities. Under Interim Principal Rosemarie Jahoda, a temporary assistant, Amy Nash, was hired for this position. However, in her absence, these tasks were carried out by Ms. Brandeis. Ms. Brandeis was officially given the new title by Principal Brian Condon earlier this term.

As the new administrator, Ms. Brandeis is responsible for guiding the Language and ISS departments by making sure that Townsend Harris meets the needs of every student, whether it be through programming or creating unique learning environments.

Ms. Brandeis commented on her new role, saying, “The work of the instructional support services department is a huge workload, and it needed more attention and time.”

French and Spanish teacher Paola Sierra explained that as the assistant principal Ms. Brandeis has become “someone you can count on for resources, and not only material resources, but also [for] information and knowledge.” Although Ms. Brandeis may not be directly involved in the teaching of languages, she has a responsibility that will provide teachers with valuable support and instruction.  

After several years of being part of the world languages department while it lacked an official assistant principal, Spanish teacher Beatriz Ezquerra mentioned that she “always had the impression that there was something that was missing.” With that missing piece now filled, many language teachers are feeling a different sense of support in the language department. Ms. Brandeis commented, “I want to know what the world languages teachers feel like they haven’t had for all of these years, and I want to be able to support them and serve them in any way that I can.”

Stepping into her new role, Ms. Brandeis intends to “listen, pay attention, and learn from everybody.”  Although she was only recently made a new member of the administration, Ms. Brandeis is eager to expand the involvement of her department in school events, especially after the success of the language department’s award ceremony from the previous year. Such events include FON and honor societies, as well as the “Biliteracy seal,” which recognizes students who’ve attained proficiency in two or more languages.

Ms. Brandeis explained, “I think it’s very important that all of our students learn another language. I think it’s critical for the world today and for post-secondary jobs.” She looks forward to “working with the teachers to come up with some new things to invigorate languages” during this new school year.

“I’ve known Ms. Brandeis since freshman year. She has continued to be a support system for me,” said senior Matthew Neil. “When I’d need help, or I’m confused about something, she is the go-to person. Her new role as Assistant Principal of Language fits her very well.”

“She’s very competent,” Ms. Ezquerra added. “I personally, sensibly and spontaneously, have to say that I am very happy that she is an assistant principal and is our assistant principal.”