Na Pueo

Passamonte reflects on first weeks at Mid-Pacific

High School Principal Paul Passamonte meets with high school students.

High School Principal Paul Passamonte meets with high school students.

Staff Photographer Payton Antonio

Staff Photographer Payton Antonio

High School Principal Paul Passamonte meets with high school students.

Payton Antonio, Staff Writer

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The beginning of the school year is often marked by what’s new: new friendships, new clothes, even new school supplies. This year, Mid-Pacific started the year with new high school principal Paul Passamonte.

Passamonte entered Mid-Pacific with 15 years of administrative experience at schools abroad such as in the Philippines, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.

Passamonte sat down with Na Pueo editor-in-chief Payton Antonio to outline some of his plans for his first year at Mid-Pacific.

What has it been like working with the Mid-Pacific staff & faculty?
It’s been only a couple months now, and so far it’s been great. Just getting to know everybody and understanding who they are as individuals and what they’re passionate about. I am making my way through meeting with every faculty member to get a sense of what it is that we do well here at Mid-Pacific and some things that we can improve on, but I’m also doing that with students. Once I meet with all the high school officers, we’ll be doing other activities to give  students a voice. With regards with the faculty, we have a very talented group of people who bring many expertise to their positions. Some of them are teachers, but many are coming from outside the teaching world and bringing their skills to Mid-Pacific.

High School Principal Paul Passamonte meets with faculty. Photo by staff photographer Payton Antonio.

How has working at Mid-Pacific been different or similar from your previous job experiences?
I’m coming from the international education world, and there are a lot of similarities. They’re both educational institutions and we have the same goals, which is to look at how we can best prepare students for a future that is unknown.
Where the differences come in is that in an international school, you have different clientele and a lot of different perspectives. Learning what it is to be in the United States and how things are done here is new to me. I see the laws and the various aspects of schooling in the United States as the main difference.

Do you plan on making any changes with the school?
I am one to gather my data first before making any major changes. Other than that, every school has goals. One of the things we are working on this year is our assessment guidelines and how we can use best practice assessment strategies.
We’re also looking at how we unpack and actualize our learner profile that we’ve now had for two years. In many ways our teachers know what it is, but do our students know? That’s the question that’s on our minds right now. We have a learner profile for our students, and we know what a graduate is to come away with at Mid-Pacific. We also want to take a look at it from a professional standpoint: what is it that we are? How do we identify ourselves as Mid-Pacific teachers and faculty?  What are the expectations of us?

How are you finding out what’s important at this school?
A lot of observations. I’m also doing several walk throughs in the classroom. With this, you get a sense of what goes on in the classrooms, what is being done and what people place importance in. If you walk through Weinberg or through your MPX class, obviously there is a lot of emphasis on problem based and hands on learning. Then you walk outside and see students filming and students dancing in the hallways. You saw people dropping egg parachutes off of Hartley, and you don’t necessarily see that that first week of school anywhere else. Just by the first week of school, it was evident what’s important to Mid-Pacific.

About the Writer
Payton Antonio, Editor In Chief

Payton Antonio is a senior and a second-year journalist for Na Pueo. She is also the Editor in Chief. In her free time, she enjoys playing basketball,...

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Passamonte reflects on first weeks at Mid-Pacific