A Thank-You to Mr. Katz!

A Thank-You to Mr. Katz!

By: Hudson Hsieh & Ethan Mathew

This year, Mr Katz celebrated his last year of service, which marks his twenty-second year working in the Carle Place School district. To gain insight into many of his achievements and accomplishments during his career, me and Ethan had to do some research to better understand who he is as a person and administrator. We were ready to learn more about our assistant principal and the middle school in general, and we are excited to share the result of our research throughout this article.  

Before Mr. Katz’s career started in Carle Place, the Middle School was in a tricky place; it lacked the individualized identity that set it apart from the other schools in the district. At the time, the Middle School was simply an addition to the high school, but with the help of many students and faculty, Mr. Katz gave The Middle school its own identity.

When he was hired, Mr. Katz knew changes had to be made and he entered the job with a strong plan. He started off by introducing major changes to make the Middle School stand out. Alongside Mrs. Russo, the former director of the fine and performing arts, Mr.Katz was able to introduce music during the moving up ceremony. Also, with the help of the students, he oversaw the introduction of the Middle School yearbook, commemorating and documenting the students’ accomplishments of graduating Middle School.  Some elements that make the students love the yearbook is how the middle schoolers themselves are able to control how it is designed. It gives them freedom of choice regarding how they want their yearbook to look. I think we can all unanimously agree that receiving the yearbook at the end of the year is an integral part of the eighth grade graduation! 

Mr. Katz, with the assistance of faculty, organized the creation of multiple middle school clubs. This is important because before these clubs were founded, the only way middle schoolers could participate in extracurricular activities would be to join high school clubs. Some examples of popular clubs in middle school were Lego robotics and the Middle School Builder Clubs. He also created the middle school government which gave students an integral role in making important decisions that would impact the whole grade. Mr. Katz also made the school dance into an activity night that all students could enjoy and participate in. By introducing middle school clubs/associations, he made the middle schoolers feel like they had their own, dedicated after-school activities. These “clubs” are so instrumental to the middle school experience that I couldn’t imagine a scenario where the middle school didn’t have any clubs.

Mr. Katz also made a lot of changes behind the curtain. One way he did this was by introducing dedicated weekly meetings. These weekly meetings are where middle school teachers come together and discuss things like how to help students who need help, and plan events/activities for the grade. These meetings also made it easier for teachers to come together and form stronger bonds, which helped in planning lessons and tests around each other. The meetings also helped them work better together, to create the ideal learning environment for students.

Mr. Katz is also an avid sports fan, and a huge Mets supporter. He’ll support his teams no matter what, even when they are not doing so well. You can see this reflected in how he views his students, because you don’t have to be the one hitting the “home runs” in order to get noticed by him. If you work hard and do the right thing, he’ll support you no matter what. He’s quick to discipline but not punish, because all he wants to see is his students succeed.

Overall, the main objective in his career was to make the middle school more than just a group of students, and that’s the legacy that he’ll leave behind. He made the Middle School what it is today, a school within a school. He made that possible by introducing revolutionary changes and running an outstanding middle school program. He is highly respected by his peers/fellow educators and they all hold him to a high degree of standard.  During the interviews we conducted, you could see this level of respect by the way many teachers and educators spoke of him. They all clearly respect him immensely as a person, not just as a principal. They used words like passionate, professional, and respectful to describe him. Another message that was echoed throughout the plethora of interviews we conducted with teachers, was: “Collectively, as a school, we are going to miss him”. We hope that Mr.Katz has a safe, healthy, and restful retirement and we hope to carry on the legacy that he leaves behind.  

*Miscellaneous quotes we heard in our interviews that we liked

– “Mr Katz will be greatly missed, and we hope in his retirement that he won’t wear a tie” (Mrs.Palma) 

– “Mr Katz is caring and considerate. He wants to instill strong values 

and a love of learning in all students” (Mrs. Lorandini)


Mrs. Lorandini gave us a good amount of information that contributed to the article immensely, me and Ethan appreciate your help.

Mrs. Palma was a pleasure to interview, and gave us tons of information and her quotes were instrumental for this article. Thank you for the help.

Mr. Santoro also gave us a good amount of quotes that made it into this article, we thank you.

Mrs. Foraker for allowing us to use her room to brainstorm ideas for this article. We appreciate your kindness.

Thank you to anyone who helped us with developing questions for the interviews, you know who you are. 

Links: Thesaurus.com: Synonyms and Antonyms of Words