Meet the Principal

Test ImageWelcome Barnard Mandarin Families!

 It is with great excitement to serve as Principal of Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School. As I took my first steps onto this campus, I immediately felt the warmth of the welcoming, encouraging, and loving environment. The spaces are filled with children’s laughter and learning, the ongoing dedication and hard work of staff members, and the care and support of the parents and families.

   In 2006, I began my career as a 5th grade teacher at P.S. 128M located in New York City.  Along with my kids, we developed and showcased end of the year plays, visited the Top of the Rock, created neighborhood signage with the Department of Transportation, and visited the stages of Broadway.  After 7 years as a teacher, I transitioned into the role of an instructional coach, working with students and staff spanning from PreK to 5th grade.  Three years later, I moved into the role of Assistant Principal, which I proudly served in for 6 years.  Through my time as a supervisor, I was able to organize and develop plans for the Dual Language program, Special Education program, the Arts Program, and continue with the 5th Grade Council.  However, after much thinking and reflecting, I decided to expand my horizons and move out of the comfort of an environment I’ve known for all my life.  So, I took a leap of faith, gave my three nieces a ginormous hug, packed my bags and moved with my fur-baby, Tyler, to San Diego.

 Barnard Mandarin is a school community that celebrates each student for their uniqueness. In an inclusive environment, students are seen, heard, and supported.  As Barnard Mandarin continues to grow and enter into a new chapter, the goal is to continue creating a safe and equitable learning community that allows all students to take academic risks & engages them in rigorous discussions & content area writing to foster and develop language & knowledge.

 Although I have walked parts of the Great Wall of China, seen the musical Wicked more times than you can count on three hands, my greatest accomplishment is that of an educator.  I grew up with supportive teachers that created safe spaces for me to learn and grow.  As a shy student, they found moments that leveraged my strengths and allowed me to shine.  They encouraged me, taught me to persevere, and gave me the tools to succeed.  This is the environment and culture I want to build for our students; to create a safe space for them to be creative, to explore their interests, and to keep moving towards greatness.

Kingsley Chao

 

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