Pentak-Cohen began her teaching career at the former Green Meadows School, and spent the last 25 years at the WSSU working as a behavior specialist, and helping to create and coordinate the Alternative Learning program along the way.
Pentak-Cohen says she’s ready to get back into the school, and combine her administrative background with the hands-on education that is at the heart of her profession. “This position as a teaching principal will allow me to be back in the classroom for a bit and I really feel that that’s an important aspect for me when I think about education overall. With special education, I enjoyed the parents, and learning about the students, but I didn’t have that day-to-day interaction and experience that goes on in the school.
“Stepping into this role I’m afforded the best of both worlds.”
When asked what parents can expect from her, Pentak-Cohen said that accessibility would be a hallmark of her leadership. “I like to form relationships with students and families and learn about how we can all move forward in learning, because learning is ongoing for all of us. To me it’s all about getting back to community roots.”
Not only will students have an accessible principal, Pentak-Cohen said that students will see how much she enjoys overseeing their development as learners, and identifying and fostering their creativity.
Pentak-Cohen is especially excited about working with the school’s kindergartners, helping them get their foot in the door and discover what education is from a young age.
On the other end of the spectrum, Pentak-Cohen said it is just as important to help students through the 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-grade levels. She sees this as a critical time in ensuring that students take the next step in their education, while making an informed decision on which path to take.
Pentak-Cohen noted that while the change from an administrative position to principal will be a leap, a proven staff of leaders, who consistently help their students achieve high AYP scores, teach at Halifax, and will make the transition much easier.
“I’ll be new to many here but this staff has been highlighted in the work they’ve done, especially in math,” said Pentak-Cohen. “They have a structure and framework to move forward and tackle whatever comes along and it’s a privilege for me to see how that works and to provide leadership and continued direction.”