By Raquel Kanner
Throughout this past year, BHHS has had the privilege to welcome Ms. Dubak, one of our assistant principals, to the Byram community. Whether seeing her in the hallway or running into her before or after school, Ms. Dubak was always eager to learn about our community and about student life. Although she leaves at the end of this year to become the new principal at Croton, Ms. Dubak truly left an impact here at BHHS, and her presence will never be forgotten. I took some time to sit down with Ms. Dubak and talk to her about her experience at Byram.
When asked about her favorite memories, Ms. Dubak mentioned that the highlight of her days are when she “greet[s] students and teachers every morning as they enter the building. Even though many of them are half asleep, it is really nice talk to people as they enter the building. People tell [her] about their sports season and other extracurricular activities. It is a really nice way to start [her] day on a positive note.”
Ms. Dubak will truly miss greeting students at the door in the morning, , and she further recalls two specific memories that she will never forget during her time here. She said, “One of my favorite memories from this year was when one of my students, who I worked really closely with, wrote me a hand-written letter and gave it to me before they left for internships. I spent a lot of time with the student, and it reminded me how important relationships are. When I saw it all written out, I realized how impactful relationships can be. In addition, another one of my favorite memories was at an Acting with Integrity meeting earlier this year. At this meeting, we were brainstorming ideas about an upcoming project. I was sitting there and listening to the group, thinking about the change in the level of conversation since the beginning of the year, and I was in awe of the quality of conversation and thoughtfulness. It was really inspiring, not only because the conversation was student-run, but because more than half of the people in the room were underclassmen, and to hear these students think about how change can be made to the school while being so thoughtful and respectful without assistance was one of those special moments where you step back and realize how special one’s job can be.”
Ms. Dubak mentioned that one thing she will carry on to future schools is the idea of building a community and forging relationships. “I think these ideas are what makes Byram really special compared to other places where I’ve worked. People really care about each other, whether between the faculty, staff, and even the students. This year, more so than ever in my career, I’ve had students coming to me and asking for help and advice, and I think that’s something really special that doesn’t happen everywhere,” she says.
Even though the shift from assistant principal to principal seems like a challenge, Ms. Dubak feels as if her current role at Byram has prepared her for the future. “It’s going to be challenging, of course, with a new role, new school, and new people. What keeps me grounded is building connections with students. I don’t see that changing in my new role, and if I can keep doing that, the shift won’t be challenging and too dramatic.” We will truly miss having Ms. Dubak as part of Byram, but in her new role, she hopes to “get to know another new group of people, learn a new community, and help guide their path to the future.”
Ms. Dubak ended her responses saying that “[She] will now have this amazing community here that’s sort of like a partner.” After listening to what she said, it is clear how personable and friendly Ms. Dubak is, whether speaking to the faculty, staff, other administrators, or the students. Her presence at Byram will truly be missed for future years. On behalf of everyone at BHHS, we wish Ms. Dubak the best of luck as principal, and we look forward to seeing what she does next!