Doe serves as Interim Principal at Brookview

Gina+Doe%2C+the+new+Interim+Principal+at+Brookview+Elementary+reads+to+the+Pre-schoolers%2C+as+she+gets+to+know+the+students.

Photo submitted by Gina Doe

Gina Doe, the new Interim Principal at Brookview Elementary reads to the Pre-schoolers, as she gets to know the students.

Sophia Agnessi, Reporter

In December of 2020, Gina Doe took the position of Interim Principal at Brookview elementary school. Brookview is one of Stillwater’s many elementary schools and is also the newest. In this time of Covid it is hard to connect and form relationships with people, but through Zoom and elementary schools reopening Doe has a chance to do so. She has gotten to know other teachers and administrators through Zoom meetings such as fifth grade teacher Sheryl Gutzman. 

“I’ve had a chance just in talking with her casually, through getting to know her a little bit. She definitely seems kids centered, and real easy to work with from my interactions that I’ve had with her so far. She’s excited. My grade level is very excited because she has a lot of middle school experience,” Gutzman said.

As Brookview opens up, she gets to personally interact with students and teachers. So far she has met preschoolers and had the opportunity to go into the classroom to introduce herself and read to them.

“There’s kids in the building and I’m so excited to actually get to interact with them. I’ve went in and read stories to them already for two days. Since they’re still in hybrid right now, I went in on the A days and the B days and read to them. It was so fun to get to interact with pre-K, and answer their questions and see how excited and grateful they are to be back,” Doe said.

Doe’s role is an Interim principal, as she is picking up where someone else left off. She really wants to listen to people and understand the ways on which to do things. It’s important to her that she doesn’t come in and change things half way through the year.

“Finding balance and trying to make sure everything is kept status quo and people are doing well moving forward. We are trying to challenge and push forward and make people always think about what’s best for students.”

Finding balance and trying to make sure everything is kept status quo and people are doing well moving forward.”

— Gina Doe

Being an Interim Principal is a great fit for Doe. She’s worked in the East Metro Integration, Forest Lake, Mounds View, and Stillwater school districts. In these districts she’s worked her way up to different positions. She started in the East Metro district as a science teacher, before moving to Forest Lake as a teacher instructional coach. At Mounds View, she became Dean of students, and in August of 2018 she was hired as Assistant Principal at Stillwater Middle school. 

With her wide range of teaching experience Doe is able to bring a new perspective to things. For example, she’s bringing her knowledge of the middle school to the elementary and with that she’s able to better prepare students for that transition. Gutzman is looking forward to that opportunity to better prepare her students for that change.

“A lot of times fifth grade is kind of on their own, because there’s a big difference between kindergarteners and then fifth graders. Everything’s kind of more childish than fifth grade. So it’s fun to have her lens of middle school where somebody gets where kids are going,” explains Gutzman.

The 5th graders at Brookview already get to experience a little bit of how middle school feels like with switching classes and meeting new people. They want to ensure that the students at Brookview all know each other, that way they know more people once they go to middle school. Doe also explains that it is important to have their voices heard. No matter how old you are it’s crucial that you can communicate with one another.

“One thing with middle school students is that they want to be listened to, and they want you to hear what they have to say. You know that sometimes it’s hard to get out how and why they feel the way they feel, and I have to remember that that’s the same thing as elementary students; they just have less words and might have a harder time expressing that,” says Doe.

Ever since she was younger Doe has loved school but not until she finished college did she really start thinking about being a teacher and was motivated to become a part of the educational industry. 

“From a young age I always loved school, like that was my favorite thing. I couldn’t wait to go to school. I was one of those kids that enjoyed summer, but I was ready to get back to school. I actually didn’t get into the idea of teaching until I was getting my biology degree at the University of St. Thomas and I taught labs, and I continue to teach them. This is what I really like and so after I graduated from college, I went back and got a teaching degree,” says Doe.