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Dear Colleagues, Families and Friends of PPS,

Last Wednesday, Annie Kosek, our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, announced that after 17 years with PPS she will be retiring at the end of June. The next day, Alicia Keys debuted her song Good Job. The song has been hailed as an anthem for all those who are working courageously behind the scenes not only to help us come through this crisis but to come through it stronger and healthier. The song begins with the words, “You’re the engine that makes all things go.”  It is in that spirit that I want to celebrate the legacy of Annie Gonzalez Kosek and ask us all to help ensure that legacy continues.

Many of you have known Annie in her role as Assistant Superintendent, a position she has held for the last three years. An equal number probably know her from her days as the principal of Littlebrook, which under her leadership became a Blue Ribbon School. And some of you may not know Annie at all, other than as a name at the top of the PPS organizational chart or at the bottom of recent emails explaining and affirming our efforts with remote learning.  

I have known Annie for more than 25 years, both here in Princeton and in our days together as colleagues in the Hopewell Valley School District. She is a force. And she is truly one of the most remarkable educators with whom I have ever worked.

Annie is motivated by two passions. She rejoices, first and foremost, in her relationships with students, staff and families. She also relishes the challenges of changing cultures, programs, and systems. Her efforts are always driven by doing what is right for kids. And her efforts are always collaborative. She listens, and then she leads. 

The successful implementation of remote learning for the entire district during the extraordinary circumstances of a global pandemic may be the collaborative effort that will culminate Annie's career at PPS. But it is only part of what she has accomplished in her time as assistant superintendent.

Under Annie's leadership, the District has established a process of program review for all subjects; engaged in a comprehensive update of all curriculum now accessible in an electronic database; implemented a new school-wide enrichment program; revised the elementary school report card; and implemented a Summer Academy for professional development by teachers for teachers. 

Perhaps most significantly, Annie has overseen an incredible effort to provide professional development related to equity with a sustained focus on culturally responsive teaching and differentiated instruction. 

Annie’s legacy will be in the quality of our curriculum, the diversity of instruction in our classrooms, and in the educators, administrators and staff who will continue to focus on improving both. 

Bottom line: All of our children have been impacted by her work – and will continue to be.

"I've always loved ​a good challenge," Annie wrote in her retirement letter to staff as she acknowledged the work they had done together. All those staff now stand ready to face the next challenge of reopening our schools, whenever that might be.  

Annie and I are currently working with an amazing, and growing, team of people to plan for that reopening.  We will continue to do so right through June 30. And come July, we will step back in confidence knowing that our district’s values of care, innovation, and partnership will continue to fuel the “engine that makes all things go.”

The Princeton Public Schools will be in good hands as we face the future. It will be in the hands of those who will reach out in collaboration - and with sleeves rolled up - ready to do what is right for kids. That is the legacy Annie leaves.  

I am grateful to Annie and to all of you who will continue her legacy. 

 

Sincerely,

Steve Cochrane
Superintendent

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