POTW, Alyse Consiglio, Warren John F. Kennedy Catholic School

Each week, the #SpanningtheNeed podcast will present an “Inspirational Person of the Week’ and have a “Q & A” with one of its many gifted individuals and/or groups who are willing to go out of their own way to help others. This week’s featured is Alyse Consiglio from JFK Catholic School. 

Nominate/Read More: https://spanningtheneed.com/

Name: Alyse Consiglio
Position: Principal
School District: John F. Kennedy Catholic School Upper Campus
Bio: Alyse is a p
rincipal at JFK Catholic School (grades 6-12) and was the Former Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor and science teacher. She is also a wife, mother, Disney fanatic and reality TV enthusiast.
Blog : behatchedorgobad.blogspot.com

What made you want to go into the education field?
Interviewing a few doctors when I was a pre-med major! After hearing their experiences, I felt like the education field was a better fit for my professional and family goals. It was not just a better fit, being in secondary education (as a teacher and principal) has been my calling and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful in education?
In the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, I have “no chill”. I am constantly looking for a better way to do things, another opportunity to give my students, another event to attend to support them, answering a student email at 9 pm what the dress code is the next morning. I make myself available to our families and I try to be the hardest worker in every room I enter. Luckily, I have a very supportive husband who accepts how hard I work and I believe I am setting a good example to my daughters on how to be a wife, and a mom, and have a passion for my career.

What is the biggest professional mistake you made along the way?
Letting male bosses or coworkers make misogynistic remarks and I took them instead of calling them out. While the majority of teachers are female, the majority of principals are male (especially at the high school level). Ranging from “you’ll never be a head coach because you’ll start having babies and want to stay home” to “no one wants to hire a woman as a high school principal” and the worst, “why don’t you just get me a coffee” in front of my peers; I really wish I was confident enough to say something to them in that moment. Also, my current male boss was none of those people….he knows my worth and that’s part of what makes this job better.

What was the hardest decision you ever had to make in education?
Leaving coaching was the hardest decision because I have a passion for girls athletics. I left because I knew I was going to pursue a job in administration. Since that year (2014), I did start to coach club volleyball again since my daughters have become old enough to play! 

What is the best advice you can give future educators or the public?
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work (Steve Jobs). When I decided to leave public education for this position at Kennedy, financially it didn’t make a lot of sense. However, the fulfillment from being a part of the Kennedy family and in Catholic education makes me happy and gives me a lot of joy. Find a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. 

If you could start all over again, what would you do differently regarding your profession?
I don’t think anything- I wouldn’t want to take the chance I didn’t end up where I am today!

What song best describes you or is the soundtrack to your life?
I am completely obsessed with the Hamilton Soundtrack and how the story of Alexander Hamilton is told in that production. There are not many situations in life I cannot compare to some quote from the musical- and often do. On long road trips that is the only radio choice and my 7 year old was the youngest patron at Playhouse Square when we got tickets in 2018. 

What is your best accomplishment/experience in life?
Hearing people sincerely compliment my children gives me a lot of joy, knowing that I am raising good humans for the next generation. My best experience is helping to raise thousands of children over the past 19 years in education. What an honor it is for parents to trust our decisions, especially at Kennedy where we help develop the mind, body, and spirit through Catholic education!

Who is your role model and Why?
When there is a time in my life that I reflect on needing someone to look up to, I always go to the Blessed Mother. Very Catholic answer, I know, but Mary had the ultimate faith and sacrifice. She was a mother and caregiver and there is no better role model for someone who is entrusted with children (her own or hundreds of others at a time). Anytime I am uneasy or afraid or unsure, you can guarantee there are about a million “Hail Mary’s” going through my head.

If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present, who would it be and why?
I would love to get a drink with Tina Fey. Her book “Bossypants” should be read by every working mom who wants to laugh, cry, and be inspired. 

A favorite quote that you live by?
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for a bird to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” – CS Lewis


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