Mattituck Cutchogue School District

Fast Chat: Meet the new assistant principal at Cutchogue East Elementary School

Throughout most of her education, Jennifer Solomon attended large schools. However, Ms. Solomon always saw the appeal of being a part of a smaller, more intimate learning environment and community.

“I had gone to a large high school, my undergraduate university was a very large school, my graduate school was a very large school and all the while I’d seen friends and other family members who had gone to smaller schools at various levels, and just sort of seen how they connected to people in those settings,” she said. “So being in a smaller setting was something that I thought would be really special and really appealing.”

She is now enjoying a smaller school setting as the new assistant principal at Cutchogue East. She assumed the role on Oct. 12.

Ms. Solomon came to the Mattituck-Cutchogue district from Riverhead Central School District where she was acting assistant principal at Pulaski Intermediate School and where she was also a bilingual, English-Spanish speech-language pathologist.

She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and Communication disorders from SUNY/Buffalo and a master of arts degree in communication sciences and disorders from Temple University.

She is currently a trustee on the Board of Education at Three Village School District where she grew up and has had four children go through the district.

Ms. Solomon shared with The Suffolk Times how happy she is in her new position at Cutchogue East in a recent phone interview.

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

A: To be honest, I really like it all. I really enjoy the conversations that I have with students being able to give them strategies, and to collaborate with the other professionals in the building, the guidance counselors, the school psychologists, social workers, things like that, to really just kind of help kids to learn. I feel like — and especially in this post-COVID era where kids spent so much time away from one another — those social skills, they need support, and I feel like it’s such an important part of educating the whole child.

Q: What do you hope to achieve in your tenure at Cutchogue East?

A: This one student this morning said to me, ‘well, there’s always room for improvement, but Cutchogue East is really awesome.’ I was like, ‘man, that is so perfect, I couldn’t agree more!’ I would say that I want to contribute to preserving and strengthening everything that everyone in this community values about this school.

Q: What’s it like working with Cutchogue East Principal Amy Brennan?

A: I cannot say enough about how supportive she’s been. I am so grateful for her, I think we’ve already developed a fantastic rapport and working relationship. I can’t wait to continue to partner with her and work on behalf of the students and families of this community.

Q: What do you expect to be your biggest challenge?

A: I think every once in a while, you have a parent who just doesn’t really feel that they’ve been brought into the circle fully. I want all the families to feel genuinely that they are valued and appreciated, and I think that given so many different perspectives, maybe that’s a potential challenge.

Q: How has your experience as a board of education trustee informed how you’re executing your role as assistant principal?

A: My role here as an assistant principal, plus that role, are a reflection of my commitment and how genuinely I feel that public education is such an important foundation for our communities. I kind of feel like it’s all part of the same system, we’re all partners working towards the same end goal. So in one district, I’m doing it on one side, and here, I’m doing it on the other side but ultimately, it’s the same end goal.