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Second Grade Is His First Love

Kevin Santiana was a second grade teacher for five years before becoming assistant principal at Hurlbutt Elementary School. This fall, he is going back to what he loves—working in the classroom.

"I left my heart in the classroom," said Santiana, who took on the administrative position after the former assistant principal retired. "My love was having my own class. [I could] see their progress, see the kids, see them grow as learners and see the impact on them."

Even as a child he remembered playing teacher and being excited when he got a hold of the teacher's manual with the answers in red. But after graduating from Post University in 1990, he worked in insurance. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, he said, are what ultimately inspired him to leave the business world.

"It was a big lifestyle change," he said. His family had to move to a more affordable home to make it work.

Second grade is the only grade he has ever taught. "This age is my favorite age," said Santiana, who has children ages 17, 14, 9 and 6. "I enjoy experiencing the balance of their budding independence and cognitive growth while still being little."

Santiana said his colleagues were very supportive this past year and that Hurlbutt is a great place to work, no matter what you're doing. Although he prefers the classroom, he said he liked being an assistant principal.

"I enjoyed the learning experience and I enjoyed being at a higher level," he said. "Weston is on the cutting edge of education and being able to work with a leadership team really helped me grow as an educator."

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