New Principal Ms. Correa-Soto Places Focus on Safety, Normalcy

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Hailey Lanari , Managing Editor

In August 2022, Mrs Correa-Soto became the principal of Monroe Woodbury High School, returning after four years away from the district.

“I wanted to come home, and that’s what coming back here has been for me,” said Ms. Soto. 

Although Monroe-Woodbury now feels like home, Ms. Soto never intended on working in education. She originally had dreams of working in the NYPD, but when her Police Academy class was put on hold she had to re-evaluate. Ms. Soto has her masters in education from Long Island University and her masters in education counseling from The College of New Rochelle. 

Ms. Soto’s aunt, a teacher in the Bronx, encouraged her to pursue teaching. “She [Ms. Soto’s aunt] said she felt I was always meant to be a teacher, and I’m glad she intervened,” said Ms. Soto.

Ms. Soto likes to refer to her grandmother as her first student. “When I was younger, I would cut out phonics cards and little sheets for my grandmother who did not speak English,” Soto said. 

Once she became a Spanish teacher working in the Bronx, she quickly shifted to different positions in her career. After teaching, she became a middle school counselor, as she felt that would be the best way for her to help others. After a short period of time she was asked to apply to be an assistant principal at Monroe Woodbury High School by her principal who felt she would be the perfect fit for the position. She was the assistant principal of M-W from 2010 to 2018.

Ms. Soto later worked as a principal in the Beacon City School District from 2018 to 2021, and as an Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction in the Newburgh Enlarged School District from 2021 to 2022. 

“I have been lucky to have really great mentors. I probably would not be here without them. I think everyone needs guidance to go on the right path for them,” Ms. Soto said. 

Although she has only been back in Monroe for a few months, she is already making plans for the year—expressing a focus on school unity, safety, and sense of normalcy after the past years. 

“My biggest goal is to help kids, faculty, and staff really feel connected to the building. I think once people have that feeling of belongingness, we will be unified as a community,” Soto said. “I think that after the past few years we have been disconnected from one another in a lot of ways.”

So far, the “10 and 10” hall pass rule has been put in effect, and she plans on working with staff and teachers to improve the school.

Teachers, administrators, and staff have expressed their excitement about Ms. Soto’s return and have warmly welcomed her back to M-W.

“Personally I was very excited, she was an assistant principal with me for 5 to 6 years,” said Mr Yarmus, assistant principal, “She knows the place, it’s not like a brand new principal who has to learn what does and doesn’t work for a school. I’m excited for everyone, she’s engaging, she loves the school and the community and she’s coming back with great experience and knowledge.” 

“I think she has a lot of experience in various roles within school buildings which will enable her to help keep this building safe and welcoming. She exudes a sense of pride in being part of the Monroe-Woodbury school district and holds all to high standards,” said Ms. Puopolo, a Monroe-Woodbury science teacher. 

Ms. Soto can be found in the Main Office on A floor and is happy to hear from students with any questions or concerns.