From Dallas to Delco, Assistant Principal Heather Piñero brings her unique experiences to HHS

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Beginning this school year, Haverford welcomed its new Assistant Principal, Heather Piñero! She came to Haverford from the McKinney Independent School District in McKinney, Texas, where she had worked as an Assistant Principal and Interim Principal at McClure Elementary School. We want to welcome her to the school and, through an eight-question interview, get to know a little more about her.


The Fordian: “What do you do here at Haverford as Assistant Principal?”

Piñero: “Although I work primarily with 9th and 10th graders, Assistant Principals do a variety of different things. We attend meetings, we are present at lunches, we respond to the many things that happen around campus, and more. Students can see us both in and out of their classrooms.”


The Fordian: “Where did you grow up? What high school and what college did you go to?”

Piñero: “I actually grew up in South Jersey; I went to Ocean City High School. It was fun, because we were right on the beach. I didn’t grow up in Ocean City –  I grew up in Upper Township just outside of Ocean City, more outside of Sea Isle. I did choir and band, and when I got into high school I started rowing. Through rowing, I was recruited by a couple of different schools and ended up choosing a Division II school down south in Fort Lauderdale – Nova Southeastern University. I went there on an athletic and academic scholarship. I graduated from college and moved to Daytona Beach for a little while, and then I moved to Texas for work. I lived in Texas for the past 8 years before moving back north!”


The Fordian: “What was your favorite subject in high school?”

Piñero: “My favorite subject was probably Algebra because I felt like once I understood a concept, I could just apply it continuously; it kind of fed into the next thing and the next thing. And I loved Psychology! When I did AP Psychology, I thought that was what I wanted to do long-term. It’s interesting because I use psychology now in education in a different way. When I talked to the psychologist who was at my school, he said  Do you wanna go to school for the next seventeen years? And, you know, being in high school, I thought, No, I just did that! But I loved learning about the brain and how different things affect our brain over time.”


The Fordian: “What made you decide to go into education?”

Piñero: “I was doing Business and Psychology when I first started [college]. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered whether I wanted to be in a practice seeing patients, or could I use some of that same learning and be making a difference in kids’ lives? I started to think about education and decided let’s try some education classes and see – and I just loved it. I loved that psychology was still so relevant, and I loved getting out of school and being able to jump right into the field, which a college graduate is not always able to do. Sometimes a profession requires internships or additional coursework and degrees before you even begin.  I liked that [with education] you can get started right away!


The Fordian: “What do you like about Haverford? What makes this a school where you wanted to be an Assistant Principal?”

Piñero: “I was an administrator at an elementary campus before I came here. One of the things that I always thought would be so cool about being in a high school is the school spirit that goes along with it. You guys as students are able to be involved in so many different things; you have sports teams, all different clubs and activities, and I thought that being in an environment with that would be exciting. As much as I loved being in school and being in college, I thought that it would be helpful to provide that experience for other people. I had heard such wonderful things about the community at Haverford, and  I felt honored to be able to even interview for the position, much less have the opportunity to be here with you every day.”


The Fordian: “How is the experience of working here at Haverford different from what you’ve done in the past?”

Piñero: “Well, of course, being in elementary school, I had a different set of demands. High schoolers are much more independent. You have the opportunity to lead a lot of activities, and that’s really exciting. Way back when I first started teaching, I taught Kindergarten, and then I went on to the 5th Grade. I was thinking ‘ten-year-olds are different… how do I talk to them?’ But then I started to work with them and I realized that I can have really good conversations about literature with 5th graders, and they really catch onto different math concepts. Experiencing education in a high school is different because the students are much more independent and you’re such a big piece of your learning. When we have meetings and sit down, it’s you and your parents and me, and that’s not always the case in primary grades. I really like that high school students are able to have a voice in their own schooling.”


The Fordian: “What is one thing that you think Haverford can do better?”

 Piñero: “I feel like we need to continue to showcase all the good things that we’re doing, on all the different platforms. We have so many cool things happening here. Being new, I’m learning something new every day, and I hope that we will continue to share that more. We’re so proud of all the things that we’re doing, so let’s continue to share that with people outside our school community.”


The Fordian: “What’s one thing that you want the students to know about you? A fun fact, or just one bit of information that you think people should know?”

Piñero: “Oh, I don’t know, I’m not that fun! I hope that [students] can tell that I’m approachable and that I care about you all as people. I hope that over time, relationships will form where you will come and chat with me as you get to know me. Someone in the cafeteria today asked me, “ Where were you the last two days, I missed you!” And I said, “You made my heart so happy, you don’t even know how happy that made me!” In elementary school, a principal is like a superstar; in high school, a principal is not like a superstar… students think you’re so cool when they’re little! But I hope that you see me as somebody who can help you get to wherever you need to be, or can help you in bad situations or good situations, … that’s what I hope you know about me!”

Welcome to Haverford, Assistant Principal Piñero!

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