Early in my career I was a hospital nurse and worked in the pharmaceutical industry after getting an MBA. My children were students at Packer when the Nurse encouraged me to return to nursing. I had never considered it as a career choice. Much to my surprise, it has been the career in which I spent the most time and has been the most rewarding.
Working in the healthcare industry can be extremely demanding, and I took the position of school nurse at Packer as an act of selfcare. I am an alum of Packer, and I loved the idea of returning to this nurturing school. I never would have imagined that I would make new best friends, and even after 9 years, I am still learning new things from students and teachers every single day.
My favorite moment I’ve had thus far is the open house we held last Fall where over 500 families explored Packer. It was incredible because we had students, faculty, staff, and current families all welcoming new faces and putting the spirit of the school on display! Every prospective family left raving about how amazing our community was, and it was so memorable because it took many different people in our community to put on such a successful event.
During my time in school, no teacher really had the impact on my life that many of the teachers at Packer have on students now. My wife, however, is a teacher, and she has undoubtedly been the greatest influence on my life. Over the years, she has shared many stories about her experiences as a pre-school teacher, and these stories have translated into my work at Packer in my interactions with students and their families.
Working at an alternative high school in Boston early in my career and hearing about the experiences of my students really opened my eyes to the importance of equity in education. They taught me that I didn’t always need to know what to say, but listening to them and allowing for their voices to be heard was what they needed and deserved. I learned to be myself, be present, and develop authentic relationships because students can sense if adults aren't being real.
As a counselor I am constantly learning how unique each students perspective is, no matter how common the issue. The more understanding I have about each student's outlook, the better I can help them along a path to success.
Whenever I'm asked about influential teachers, I think of my 5th Grade teacher Ms. Capuano. I remember my friends and I were having some classic 5th grade drama, and she kept us in from recess and made us sit in a circle and talk it out. It's the first time I can remember a teacher focusing solely on our emotions as kids––not because it was affecting us in the classroom, but because she truly cared how everyone was doing. I believe that in order for a kid to be successful in school, they need to feel supported emotionally, and she demonstrated how to do it!
I was born in Trinidad, and although I moved here when I was three years old, I grew up listening to soca music. Soca music is my happy place. When I am stressed or frustrated I can play soca and immediately smile. My mind becomes flooded with the best memories of dancing in the street during Trinidad Carnival, celebrating at my wedding, Saturday mornings with my family, and dancing with my beloved granny (who is no longer with us but knew how to move when soca was playing). As someone who has moved around quite a bit in life, soca has always provided me the comfort of home no matter how far away I am from my loved ones.