July 17, 2014
My name is Garret Zakahi and I will be serving as Temporarily Assigned (TA) Principal at Jefferson Elementary School. My previous experience as a school leader includes 1.0 years as ACE Vice Principal at Farrington High School, 3.75 years as Vice Principal at Central Middle School and 0.25 years as TA Principal at Central Middle School. I hold a Masters Degree in Educational Administration, a Professional Diploma in Secondary Science Education, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Sciences, with an emphasis in aquaculture.
My educational philosophy revolves around “building, maintaining, and establishing positive relationships with the internal and external members of the Jefferson Elementary School ohana”. I am looking forward to working with the dedicated faculty and staff at Jefferson. I am also looking forward to meeting our parents and students. I will continue to work with our community partners. I see our school as the “hub” of our community, a place where we can all come together to support student learning. As an aside, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Principal Parker for his work and dedication to Jefferson Elementary School for the past four years.
This school year brings with it adjustments to the Educator Effectiveness System (EES) and your administrative team will work with you as we flow through the process, together. Our focus has and always will be on student learning. If we keep that at the center of everything that we do, then we know that we are headed in the right direction. We should embrace this opportunity to grow and expand, both individually and as a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More).
I would like to share a personal story that is related to the “craft” of being a teacher. While eating dinner one night at a Chinese Restaurant, I opened a fortune cookie containing the following Ancient Chinese Proverb “Tell me . . . I forget. Show me . . . I remember. Involve me . . . I understand”. I quickly tucked it away in my wallet and thought nothing of it. Upon entering the field of education, over 20 years ago, the Proverb really made sense to me. I involved my students in the learning process and allowed them to make sense of the content that I was teaching. I believe that my role shifted from teacher to a “facilitator of information”.
I continue to believe in the proverb as an administrator. Everyone will be involved in the State, complex area, and school initiatives, so that we may all understand the 6 + 1 strategies that are being carried out (Educator Effectiveness System, Academic Review Teams, Data Teams and Formative Instruction, Comprehensive Student Support Systems, Common Core State Standards, Induction and Mentoring and STEM).
TA Principal – President Thomas Jefferson Elementary School