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Dover Post
  • Castillo takes over as principal of McIlvaine Early Childhood Center

  • Brook Castillo took over as principal of McIlvaine Early Childhood Center on July 1, following former Principal Sherry Kijowski’s move to Caesar Rodney High School. The Dover Post caught up with Castillo to talk with her about her new position.
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  • Brook Castillo took over as principal of McIlvaine Early Childhood Center on July 1, following former Principal Sherry Kijowski’s move to Caesar Rodney High School. The Dover Post caught up with Castillo to talk with her about her new position.
     
    Q How have you spent your career in education?
    A I worked at William Henry as the planetarium director. I spent half my day in the planetarium and half my day in the computer lab. When I was in the computer lab, I taught every single kid at William Henry. It got to a point where I wondered, ‘How do I have some connection with 800 kids?’ That led me to go back to school for my master’s in counseling. I took a job teaching second grade at Allen Frear. I was looking for a change. Then the guidance counselor at Frear retired. I applied for that job. That’s how I came into counseling. That led me to the next step, which was getting a certificate of leadership. At that time, I was being asked to lead meetings because I have a background on how to find certain services for parents and students. I felt the next step was to get an education on being a principal and an administrator in a building. I came to McIlvaine five years ago as a counselor and then, when the Sept. 30 unit count came in, [the school] earned an assistant principal position. In 2009, I started as assistant principal here.
     
    Q You went from being a counselor to being an assistant principal in about three months, how did that happen?
    A When McIlvaine opened, I said ‘If they have a school counselor position, I’d love to be a part of that school.’ I love working with kindergarten students. I applied and was a successful candidate. There was no assistant principal when McIlvaine opened. Through the Sept. 30 unit count, which counts how many students are in a school and how many teachers you can have, [the school] qualified for as assistant principal position. I applied for that position and got it. I find administration very interesting. I enjoy helping students and parents.
     
     
    What makes McIlvaine unique?
    A McIlvaine is all kindergarten students. A lot of schools don’t have that. There are a lot of districts that have early childhood centers that are pre-K through first grade. In the building, we have all kindergarten. It’s very unique. All of our students are coming here for their first real experience with school. They may have been in pre-k or have been exposed to camp, but this is their first real experience with school. We’re providing them with a unique experience. It’s rigorous and it’s an experience that is a lot of fun for them and it’s memorable for both them and their parents.
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    Q What are you goals for McIlvaine?
    A I want McIlvaine to continue to be the wonderful school it is. I want McIlvaine to continue to grow. Every year, we’ve added something to our programs, form immersion to winning a parent involvement awards. I want to continue to add to that. We’re getting a team together. Last year, our green team built an arboretum through a grant we got with Delaware forestry. We want to continue the green team. We’d like to be a green ribbon school.
     
     

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