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A Secretary's Road to Pre-K/3-K!

Greetings! My name is Victoria Carpentier Arcaro, and I am one of the secretaries working behind the scenes at our Pre-K/3-K Centers in District 20.

I have been a part of the NYC Department of Education since 2005 where I started as an aide at PS 506. I eventually realized that I wanted to work with the students in a more involved way and this led me to becoming a paraprofessional at that same school.

As time went by, I was happy with my everyday interaction with the students, but I still hoped for new experiences. It arrived on the day that Mayor DeBlasio announced to our entire city that Pre-K for All would be launched, and every four-year-old child would begin an early education with a guaranteed seat.

Upon this news, Pre-K centers were popping up in District 20 in readiness for September, and Mrs. Dianne Gounardes, our founding leader, was tirelessly developing this program from the ground up. I quickly explored this new opportunity, and I was hired as a paraprofessional at Z075- located at 21 Bay 11th Street.

From the first day we opened the doors of our Pre-K centers they were filled with incredible activity. I had been an aide, then a paraprofessional, but I knew there was something more waiting for me in my new working environment. I was working in a place of promise, for our students, for our staff and the possibilities were there for those who wanted to grow. Eventually, an additional secretary was needed, and the opportunity was posted for those who had an interest. I was one of those people and so, I applied. When Mrs. Gounardes hired me for the position I was thrilled and humbled that she put her trust in me to carry out the many duties of secretary for our very busy program.

From the first day I joined our administrative staff I was part of a dynamic team while always encouraged to bring my own talents to the table. Working with Mrs. Gounardes, our Assistant Principals, my fellow Secretary and our Parent Coordinator keeps me ardent and fulfilled in my role.

As our students are in their classrooms each day, there is a great deal of work for our team to ensure a smooth operation of every part of our program. Many tasks wait for me at my desk every morning and a favorite part of my job is overseeing the Financial Accounting Management and Information System. This provides the purchase and accountability of all materials, supplies and most importantly, the educational tools that are needed in our 86 classrooms. Ensuring that our site coordinators are provided with a full and efficiently staffed building every school day is also an important function of mine. As of this writing, we have 301 staff members. I give them full support on multiple functions they must see to including, but not limited to, Cybershift, DOE Applications and Systems, Infohub and much more.

At the end of each workday, it is another step forward for every child and family we serve. And I am pleased to know that we provide the set up and the strong foundation that our teachers, paraprofessionals and 1,258 early childhood students need to teach and to learn in ways that are unsurpassed.

This is what we do. I am very proud to be a part of it and I hope to do it for many more years in the future!

Victoria Carpentier Arcaro- Secretary


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