Columbia High School Science Teacher Sarah Hoffman was appointed as the new assistant principal of Howard L. Goff Middle School in June. She started the new position on July 1, joining Principal Jill Barker and Assistant Principal Michael Neumann on the school’s administrative team.
Ms. Hoffman has taught science at Columbia for 15 years. She also has administrative experience, serving as chair of the Science Department for four years and interim assistant principal at Columbia in 2016-17.
We sat down with Ms. Hoffman this week to discuss her new role and responsibilities.
Q: What are some of your duties as assistant principal?
A: I will be working with the 6th and 7th grade students, and will be responsible for scheduling, discipline, teacher observations and assessments. I will also support our teachers and work with the administrative team on implementing and supporting new initiatives in the building.
Q: How, if any, will your approach change from working with middle school students as opposed to high school students?
A: I am going to be mindful of the differences between students who are in middle school as compared to high school, especially those students who are entering 6th grade and are coming from the five different elementary schools. For those students, this is a big transition for them and it’s important that they, and all students, feel safe and welcome in the building. Overall I will work to be supportive of students to help them be successful at Goff.
Q: What made this position a good fit for you?
A: After working at Columbia for 16 years, I know what is expected of high school students and can bring that experience to the middle school to help students become better prepared for that next stage of their education.
Q: How has your teaching career and your administrative experience prepared you for this position?
A: As an interim assistant principal, I was able to work with the 9th grade students and help them with their transition to the high school from middle school. So I can use what I learned from working with them and bring it to the middle school students so that they can be prepared to enter high school. My work as a department chair has helped me build relationships with teachers at Goff as well as develop strong working relationships with the 6-12 department chairs. My teaching career has helped prepare me because I have experienced teaching students at four different grade levels, 9-12, and learned that what works best for one grade level may not for another.
Q: What are you most looking forward to this year?
A: I am looking forward to joining the administrative team with Mrs. Barker and Mr. Neumann, working with the students and supporting the outstanding teachers and programs at Goff Middle School.