By Terry Wong
Kai Dwyer always wanted to become a school administrator. She started her educational career as a school counselor, and working toward a position as an administrator was part of her five-year plan. “I worked at Wood MIddle School, Lincoln MIddle School,” said Dwyer. “And I was a student counselor at Concord High at Concord and at United for Success (middle school) in Oakland.”
Before Dwyer got master’s degree in school counseling and African American studies, she also has a bachelor’s degree in T.V production. She went to San Francisco State University, Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Temple University in Philadelphia.
Dwyer joined the Alameda High School community as the new dean of student services this fall. One of her main goals here is to get the positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) system more widespread on campus. This is evident in the multiple references to the Hornet PRIDE system around campus.
Dwyer also deals with students or teachers who need help with behavior issues, supervision issues, and parent meetings, as well as attendance issues. Dwyer says she is “busy, all these students, there is always something happening.”
In addition to working with her new team at Alameda High, Dwyer also interacts with many students whom she knows from Wood Middle School, which has enjoyed. “I just think that you guys are lovely little adults in the making, and it’s just nice to be around you guys,” Dwyer said. “This is a really nice campus, a clean campus, a quiet campus, so I’m excited to be here.”
Making the right decision for the right reason is the most stressful aspect of this job, Dwyer explained. Which student gets which consequence? How severe should a consequence be? What will best serve any students involved in a particular situation? These are questions she asks herself daily.
“It’s like we have this big menu of options and I have to choose what is the right option for the students and the situations,” Dwyer described.
The most rewarding experience about this job, Dwyer said, is laughing with students. She likes how she can relate to many students about their feelings, identify and help out with their emotions. “You guys have so much spirit and I appreciate that,” said Dwyer with a smile.