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Staff Spotlight: Get to Know Kamillah Dawkins, Farragut Middle School's New Assistant Principal

Kamillah DawkinsWelcome to Staff Spotlight featuring members of Hastings' faculty and staff, some of whom are new to the District this year!

In this first installment, get to know Farragut Middle School's new Assistant Principal Kamillah Dawkins. 


Why did you pursue a career in education? 

I am the oldest of eight children and so, naturally, I have always played the role of caretaker by helping my siblings. My dad is one of 10 children, and my mom is one of eight children, so I have 30 first cousins. I have a big family that is always supporting and backing each other. 

My original plan was to be a lawyer. I started out as a political science major at St. John’s University, and as part of a two-pronged program, I had to dedicate a certain amount of time to public service while also interning at a law firm. For the public service piece, I ended up working in a school and really loved it; being around kids, being able to shape their thought processes and give them different perspectives and working with teachers and parents was a path I had never thought of, but as I got into it, I knew I wanted to stick with it.

After that, I changed my major to education. Down the line, I became a social studies teacher at Uniondale Senior High School in Long Island, New York. I was at Uniondale for 11 years, left to become a Humanities Chair in the Bronx for one year, and then returned to Long Island to Valley Stream Public High School as an Assistant Principal. That journey led me here to Hastings. 


What do you love about your job? 

I believe that when I became a parent, I became a better educator. Now, as an administrator, there’s a level of joy I have working with parents and teachers to help children. Being able to build bridges together and support every child so that they can reach their fullest potential brings me great joy. 


What is one goal you’d like to achieve this school year?

My goal is to provide the best support possible to all of Farragut Middle School’s teachers and staff who work tirelessly every day to serve our children. I am a big proponent of work-life balance. In order to best serve our children, we first must love ourselves, and I’m hoping to infuse this mentality into the Hastings culture by continuing to remind my colleagues that making the most impact on the Hastings students means putting yourself and your family first. The rest will follow. 


What is one fun fact about you? What do you enjoy outside of work?

As a self-care advocate, I developed an interest in esthetics, specifically skincare. My idea of self-care is learning how to give myself and others a facial. I’m constantly educating myself about different skincare products, oils and teas that are known to have real healing benefits. Let me know if anyone would like some recommendations!  


What is a quote or mantra that you live by?

In stressful moments, I say these two phrases to myself: “just breathe,” and “this too shall pass.” I think that in high stress moments, we just want to immediately find a solution. Sometimes, it helps to find one if we can simply remember that the moment is temporary, take a step back, and look at the bigger picture. This helps me stay grounded and then move forward.