POUGHKEEPSIE – Kaylin Marrero-Nieves started work Nov. 6 as Poughkeepsie High School’s new assistant principal for climate and culture. She desires to build relationships with students and teachers and see them succeed.
Home is where the heart is for Marrero-Nieves, who chose to work in PCSD partially because the area is reminiscent of her old neighborhood of Fordham in the Bronx. She thanked PHS staff and Principal Dr. Phee Simpson for making her feel welcome. “It always felt like home, because it reminded me of home,” Marrero-Nieves said. “I feel blessed to be here.”
While Marrero-Nieves’ most recent job was working as a 5th-grade math and science
teacher at P.S. 159 in the Bronx, she has always desired to work with older students, even though it made her mother worry. “She was like, ‘They’re going to eat you alive, those kids are big,” she said of her mother. “I want to work with them because my passion is helping students find their way in adult life.”
Marrero-Nieves’ goals for the year are supporting her students so they can get to college, encouraging teachers when they need it, and building relationships with the community by attending school sports events. She wants students to know that she is here to stay for the long term. “I want to be able to build the trust and be embedded in the community,” Marrero-Nieves explained. “If I know the community, I’m able to touch and support the students that live in the community to the best of my ability.”
Another goal for Marrero-Nieves is to visit classrooms frequently where she can help students with their math work if a teacher needs a break and de-escalate problems when they arise.
“At the end of the day, I’m still a teacher at heart,” Marrero-Nieves said. “I hope students feel comfortable calling on me when they need to.”
Marrero-Nieves holds a master’s in special education from Concordia College and another master’s in School Administration from the College of Saint Rose. While in high school, she was heavily involved in the Jeter’s Leaders Foundation, which promotes healthy lifestyles and achievement.
“That’s what prompted my passion for working with the youth,” she said.
Outside of work, Marrero-Nieves loves watching movies and TV shows, as well as playing sports with her three sons. She also loves cooking authentic Puerto Rican food, which her boys love best.