niles romero

(Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series recognizing some of the best educators who make a difference. Today we feature Niles Romero, Principal,  Jefferson Island Elementary School.)

Q: How long have you been an educator or a staff member within education?

A: 15 years

Q: What positions have you held? For how long?

A: Classroom Teacher 6 years Crowley Middle School

Literacy Coach 1 year J.H. Williams Middle School

Assistant Principal 3.5 years Delcambre Elementary

Principal 4.5 years Jefferson Island Road Elementary

Q: What is/was your favorite position as an educator?

A: My favorite position is certainly as a school building Principal. It is an incredibly rewarding position that allows me to witness amazing professionals at work and help young children flourish.

Q: What changes have you noticed from your first year to now?

A: I entered the profession right as common core was becoming a thing, and I think the biggest changes have been in public perception. The teaching profession has evolved in its tactics and strategy over the years, but the goal hasn't. Our goal as professionals is to help our society by assisting young people become better and more knowledgeable thinkers. "How" we do that, and measure our successes, has changed drastically in the past 2 years, but that overall goal has not and I don't really see a time when it will change.

Q: What are your future plans? Retirement, promotion, etc.

A: I'm going to stay in education until I retire. However, recently I've become interested in policy and its effect on schools so I've been thinking about other positions that would allow me to help set policy.

Q: What advice would you give to a new teacher or to anyone thinking about entering the world of education?

A: My advice would be to start as soon as possible. Become a substitute teacher, get into schools that way, or contact a school and see how you could be involved. There are a myriad of ways to become certified as a teacher and the traditional four year education major is only one of them. Some of the most effective and best educators I know went through alternative certification programs.

Q: What is a moment from your career that you’ll never forget?

A: Just recently I interviewed a recent college graduate for an open position and about midway through she said, 'Did you teach at Crowley Middle? I think you taught me 7th grade Social Studies.' I realized at that moment that I'm old. So, I won't be forgetting that any time soon.