In the spring of 1995, SI promoted Kate Kodros from senior counselor to assistant principal for academics, making her the first woman assistant principal in the California Province high schools. A native of Los Angeles, Kodros attended Immaculate Heart High School and Santa Clara University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in history. She taught at St. Rose Academy from 1976 to 1988 before coming to SI and took over the assistant principal’s job when Tom Murphy ’76 moved to Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri, to serve as principal there.
“She has been the right person in the right job for SI,” said Steve Phelps, the director of SI’s professional development office. “She has modeled professionalism, emotional maturity, confidentiality and collaborative leadership skills. She, as much as anyone, has been responsible for the strong and effective voice of women in every area of the school. Her goal has been that every single teacher and curriculum be excellent for every student. It is no accident that under her watch curriculum, instruction and professional development at SI have earned local, national and international respect.”
Kodros had a direct hand in helping teachers develop curriculum and translate that coursework into better teaching. She has helped teachers understand that lecturing for 50 minutes no longer works, and that students learn best when teachers incorporate data from research regarding the functioning of the human brain into their classrooms. “Students remember best what they hear at the beginning and end of a class,” said Kodros. “Teachers know the value of making connections between current and past lessons and of personalizing the material for their students.”
Kodros is proud of the SI faculty for their collaboration. “Teaching used to be a very isolated job,” she noted. “Thanks to increased collaboration, the curriculum and lesson plans are better. Teachers are looking ahead to the skills students need to survive in college and beyond, and they are offering those skills. They are teaching critical thinking, communication and technology skills. And much of this is due to the advent of professional development at SI and to Steve Phelps.”