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Student Success Drives Executive Director of Instruction & Community Relations

 

Dr. Amy Watkins has a passion for instruction and helping students thrive. That’s why she chose to join Millbrook as the executive director of instruction and community relations.

Her experiences as a classroom teacher, building administrator, district curriculum coordinator and mom all combined to make her a great fit for this role.

“Living in Dutchess County has allowed me the opportunity to build relationships within our community to find ways to deepen our students' understanding of the local region while supporting their post-secondary goals,” she said, adding, “I am also the mother of a 24-year-old son who was born with Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited genetic disorder. Helping him navigate his learning as a mother has allowed me to have an invaluable perspective as an educator.”

Watkins and her husband were married in Millbrook 28 years ago and have remained connected to the community. She appreciates the relationships that can be developed in smaller districts.

“Everyone is part of the process of doing what is best for students,” she said.

In her role, Watkins will support all four schools and their principals as the district transitions to Eureka math, Branching Minds (a social-emotional learning curriculum) and literacy programs.

Her goal in her first year is to spend time getting to know our students, staff and  families.

“I was a teacher first and walked in teachers’ shoes. I have respect for the heavy lift they have to support student learning and I want them to see me as someone who can support them in their work,” Watkins said.

She also wants parents and the community to know she welcomes feedback and is happy to answer any questions they have.

“It is important to hear how community members are feeling and what needs are being addressed and what may need more attention. I welcome these conversations and the opportunity to see things from other perspectives.”

Watkins expects that monthly Coffee with the Cabinet meetings with Interim Superintendent Caroline Hernandez-Pidala and Assistant Superintendent Elliot Garcia will facilitate learning about community needs.

Watkins will work on the district’s strategic plan, to help identify what is most important to the community and develop a plan to focus on those areas.

Outside of her job, Watkins enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and baking treats for family and friends and workouts using her Peloton.

“I got my Peloton during the pandemic and it truly helps keep me grounded. From cycling to strength training, devoting time for workouts helps keep me focused and relaxed.”