Five minutes with … |

Five minutes with …

Post Independent/Bobby MagillAlex Beeler, a seventh-grader at Carbondale Middle School, receives some help from CMS vice principal Patti Present Thursday.

Carbondale Middle School Assistant Principal Patti Present is no stranger to running into famous people on the job. She works part time for SkyWest Airlines, and just last week checked-in former presidential candidate and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

Every educator has a story to tell, so last week we spent five minutes with Present to discover hers.

Birthplace? Manhattan ” right behind the New York City mayor’s house.

What did you teach before you became assistant principal? I was the counselor at Carbondale Middle School.

How many years were you in education prior to becoming assistant principal? This will be my 33rd year.

How many years have you been with the Roaring Fork School District? This is my eighth year.

What was your favorite academic subject in high school? English, writing

Why are you so passionate about education? Because of my own educational background. I am passionate in the fact that school to me was my favorite place to be. Every time, I felt safe there, I felt interested there, it’s where my friends were. Everything about the school building, this whole place, was great. And my passion is to make that experience for all kids in all schools all over the world.

How do you feel about local schools’ obligations under the No Child Left Behind Act? It’s complicated. I understand, and accountability’s a good thing. But we also have to take in so many other factors in today’s schools, and unfortunately, the funding is not there and you’re not going to get the job done if there’s not the funding.

Who was your role model while growing up? My mom. Still is. She’s the best!

What is one very interesting thing that your students don’t know about you? Most of them know I work at the Aspen airport … but most of them don’t realize how exciting (it is) and some of the people I have met and have been able to incorporate into my life.

What advice would you give students who would like to have a successful career after graduation? I think they have to know how to make connections, how to connect with people from all backgrounds, how to actually introduce themselves and how to start a conversation.

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