MILLBURN, NJ - Monday night's Millburn Board of Education (BOE) meeting marked a coming-out-party for Millburn's newest educational administrator.
For Kate Diskin, who was announced as the new assistant superintendent this past April, the chance to get down to business in a major way was something she had been looking forward to. Diskin replaced Kyle Arlington, who was hired to the position of superintendent in Kenilworth.
After starting earlier this month, Diskin said that one of the first things she did was go around to the schools and listen to what administrators had to say.
"The thing that's most important is the ability to collaborate with others," Diskin said. "So one of my first priorities was to meet with all of the principals individually, and talk with them about how the office of curriculum instruction and myself can mee their needs and their students needs as well."
Diskin continued, adding; "So I've been spending a lot of time getting to know them and prioritizing that work, in terms of their needs. And so, when we took a look at everything and met with them, they talked about the need for their staff to be supported and their schools to be supported. And ultimately, that transfers down to the students."
Diskin also said that she was there to collaborate with the board to help maintain that support.
This is not her first rodeo in the district however. Diskin started as a fifth-grade teacher here in Millburn, before heading off to be an assistant principal in Montclair, and then becoming a principal in Middlesex for 16 years at an elementary school in that district.
"The innovation that is here [in Millburn] is something that is absolutely something that we're going to continue," Diskin said. "Speaking with the principals, they have lots of great ideas about things that we're going to work on...ultimately we're here for the students."
"I feel right at home," Diskin said, as she noted the district has already begun to work on the professional development side. She also noted that there were things that she and the BOE could do to help keep the school district highly regarded.
"We're going to look forward to a lot of the innovative projects that the staff has already come up with, and collaborating with them, talking with them about where they see their needs that need to be met. And ultimately, that's going to transfer to student success," Diskin added.
For Diskin, one of the biggest plusses about returning to Millburn is finding an environment that she describes as collaborative.
"Everyone listens to one another," Diskin said. "They take their ideas, and we move forward in a strategic way. Everybody's been very pleasant, and their ultimate goal is to help our students. So that's the academic fortitude that they have and the success that Millburn has. They clearly work towards those goals."