Meet Rensselaer Park's New Assistant Principal: Alexandra Nelson!
July 26, 2023
Join us in welcoming Rensselaer Park Elementary School's new Assistant Principal: Alexandra Nelson!
Ms. Nelson started as Rensselaer Park's Assistant Principal last week, but with it being the summer, it will be a bit before many meet her. We checked in so you could learn a bit more about her before everyone returns to school in September. We look forward to more Lansingburgh students, families and faculty/staff meeting her soon!
Tell us a little about your background. How did it bring you to Lansingburgh?
I grew up in the Capital Region and I attended the College of Saint Rose for my undergraduate, graduate, and administrative degrees. I’ve been in the classroom as a 5th-grade teacher for the last six years and last year I took on a new role as an adjunct professor at Saint Rose. That has been a gift to support the next generation of teachers and there's the bonus of being able to give back to the college that supported my dream of impacting the lives of students. My passion for supporting students has always been a driving force. It has evolved into a focus on empowering teachers to create the best possible learning environments and outcomes for students. I truly believe together we can make a significant impact on the lives of those we teach.
I love working with small, close-knit communities that come together to support one another. That is what has inspired me about Lansingburgh and brought me here: the welcoming atmosphere and strong sense of community.
Outside of the formal education path, I’ve also been a coach, both as a JV Cheerleading Coach, and a Fitness Coach, helping adults with their health goals, as well as developing a Kids and Teens Program at my husband’s previous wellness center.
What specifically drew you to the Assistant Principal position at RPES?
After hearing wonderful things about the Lansingburgh Community, I was immediately drawn to the opportunity of being Assistant Principal at Rensselaer Park. Positive feedback about the leadership team and the supportive environment for teachers and administrators intrigued me. As someone who is passionate about empowering educators and fostering a collaborative atmosphere, the prospect of being part of a place that focuses on supporting its employees in their roles felt like a natural fit.
Moreover, the school’s commitment to student success resonated with me. Throughout my career, I have always strived to create the best learning environments for students and to ensure they have the resources they need to thrive. The emphasis on student success at Rensselaer Park aligns perfectly with my goals and dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of those I serve.
Overall, the combination of a supportive leadership team, the opportunity to support educators in their growth, and the school's unwavering focus on student achievement make Rensselaer Park an ideal place to be on my professional journey.
Since you've started in the summer, what are some of your goals before school starts? What about during the first few weeks after everyone returns?
Before school starts, my primary focus is on building relationships. When we are all focused on the same goals, and know how to properly support each other, great things happen. From building a positive and collaborative relationship with my principal, Mrs. Santarcangelo, to the office staff, the administrative team, and the faculty, it is crucial for us to have effective teamwork and communication.
As everyone starts to return for the year, I want to get to know all our students and teachers. Our teachers are the ones who work the closest with our students on a daily basis and will have the most direct insight into their individual needs, so I want to learn how I can best support them in that.
I also want to begin the process of developing strong bonds with our school families, so I plan to actively engage with our school community, both in and out of the school. You’ll be seeing me at community events and actively participating in our school's activities. I look forward to seeing you there!
What's something about your workstyle you want your new RPES colleagues, the school families and the students to know about you, right off the bat?
The two key traits of my workstyle are fostering a fun, positive school environment and building relationships outside of the classroom. I have a genuine love for my job and having fun is an essential part of creating a positive school environment. I believe a supportive and enjoyable atmosphere creates better learning experiences for both students and educators.
I place great importance on building strong family-school relationships. Collaborating with families is vital in nurturing a supportive network that benefits students and their overall development. In doing so, we’ll create a school community where everyone feels valued and connected.
Finally, what's life like outside of work for you?
Outside of school, I enjoy a fulfilling life with my husband and our adorable dog, Tyson (Ty).
Staying active and healthy is a priority for me. I love working out and discovering new delicious and nutritious foods to try! I adore all things coffee, especially iced, and you will often see me with a cup of it in hand!
During vacations, you can find me at the beach with a good book in hand. On weekends, I cheer on my favorite football team (the New York Giants) and explore local restaurants. I love exploring new places and experiencing diverse cultures as it broadens my horizons and creates lasting memories.