Beth Costa, Assistant Principal, Monticello High School
What has been the most challenging aspect of becoming an administrator?
I was a division administrator for several years before moving to Monticello HS. I love that I am part of a school on a day to day basis and I can build relationships with teachers, students, and parents in a very different way than before. I continue to be challenged by all there is to do in a day, finding the balance between instructional vs. Management tasks, and turning off the work once the school day ends.I thoroughly enjoy everything I do, so disengaging from the work is hard. I am always thinking about it.
In what new ways do you support student learning?
I work with 9th graders, so that transition element of high school is a huge part of what I do on a daily basis. Our teachers and I work really hard to help students transition from middle school smoothly and adjust to the differences in their social, emotional, and academic life.
What are you doing to engage the community at your school?
We work to communicate with parents proactively, so that we have an established relationship with them. Many of our parents work more than one job, so we try to do our best to communicate about their students in ways that help them feel connected to their child’s education. We use social media and traditional forms of communication, trying to find the sweet spot between enough and too much information. We want it to be helpful, not overwhelming.
How will you respect your school’s history and culture while making the decisions necessary to educate young people for their future?
Monticello is, by most standards, a young school, established less than 20 years ago. We are a very diverse school with a population of students who work together and get along beautifully. Many of the educators who opened our school walk these halls and have the vision of MHS still in their hearts and in their practice. These individuals, one in particular, speaks to new teachers every year about why MHS exists and all that we do to impact young people differently. MHS is an amazing place and I am lucky to have found a place there.
For the next few weeks, to learn about the transition out of the classroom, Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Meet Your Educator profiles will feature new administrators.