Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program
New York, New York
Alicia Pérez-Katz is on leave as the principal of Baruch College Campus High School (BCCHS), which attained a 100% graduation rate and a 98% college entry rate. Prior to her transition to principal, Pérez-Katz was an English teacher and staff developer for Baruch College Campus High School. She also was Guest Practitioner and Co-teacher at Baruch College School of Public Affairs. Before working at BCCHS, she was a Technical Writing teacher at Hostos Community College, where she was awarded the Teacher of the Year award. Her career in education began at WINGS Academy in Bronx New York, where she taught 9th grade Humanities, Advisory & Journalism. She spent most of her childhood in Ecuador, South Korea, and Brazil, attending International Schools.
Pérez-Katz believes that community is the core value for developing a strong school culture. At Baruch College Campus High School, their advisory program has been studied by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a model to replicate nationally. The advisory program at BCCHS loops students with the same teacher advisor for all four years of high school. This gives students the safety net to navigate the “tightrope between adolescence and young adulthood.” Advisors confer with students individually, helping them monitor and set goals and take ownership of their own learning. Advisory also fosters community building and supports literacy, with advisors reading alongside their students weekly. Pérez-Katz also believes in small schools having the capacity to connect with families and students in a more intimate way. When students are known in school and form attachments to adults, they are able to succeed and take risks. Every child in the school is known well by an adult, and families have a key contact throughout their child’s high school experience. In order to support college readiness, Pérez-Katz believes that guidance counselors and a college office are critical. As a school serving a broad range of students in an urban setting, she funds a full-time college office, providing students and families with one-on-one college counseling, leveling the playing field for all students to have access to college, regardless of their families’ backgrounds. The college counselors work closely with teachers and advisors to provide linkage across all four years to guide students through the college process. Pérez-Katz believes that teacher development is at the heart of reaching the school’s Core Values of Rigor, Community, Real World Connections and Global Citizenship. Through dedicated mentoring, classroom intervisitations and in providing teachers the freedom to be creative in their planning, students are challenged to learn at the highest level, with scaffolding and supports in place to assist them in achieving their full potential. Lastly, partnerships with universities and community organizations provide students at BCCHS with the opportunity to engage on a broader scale. By seeking out opportunities to provide early college courses and external internships, students learn beyond the traditional classroom. Currently, students at BCCHS are earning up to ten college credits in partnership with Baruch College during their high school careers.
In 2007, Pérez-Katz was selected to be a Cahn Fellow for Distinguished New York City Principals. Under Pérez’-Katz’s leadership, Baruch College Campus High School has been cited as one of the most competitive high schools for admission in New York City by The New York Times. BCCHS has also been selected as an iZone school and “High Performing/Gap Closing” School. BCCHS was a finalist for the Elizabeth Rohaytin Prize for School Innovation and the Intel Innovative Mathematic Program. It was named a Gold Medal School by US News & World Report in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In fall 2014, BCCHS was one of 15 schools awarded the InvenTeam Grant in order to pursue year-long inventions that addressed real-world problems. In 2013 and 2014, BCCHS won a Service in School Grant for their work valuing community service. In 2011, BCCHS received the highest number of applications among all of the New York City public high schools.
Education: Pérez-Katz holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Tufts University and Master’s degree in English Education from Columbia University. She also has a Master’s of Science in Education Administration from Baruch College.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Urban School Leadership
- Teacher Leadership
- College Preparedness
- Innovation and Creativity in Schools
- Teacher Evaluation Reform
- Professional Development
- School Leadership