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Principal's Message

Hello Challenger Families, Staff and Students:

 I am honored to work in the Challenger Middle School community. Challenger is known for its caring teachers, hard-working students and supportive families.  Challenger is a truly diverse school, representing many cultural backgrounds, and we celebrate this diversity in many ways throughout our campus and school year.  We continue to have high expectations for all of our Challenger students and support them on their journey through middle school.  

I was born and raised in Ohio attending The Ohio State University as a Theatre Arts major before deciding that English was my true passion.  I earned a Bachelor of Science in English Education and moved to beautiful San Diego to get out of the cold! My teaching career began in San Diego Unified as a middle school English teacher and then as the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Middle Years Coordinator at Mission Bay High School and Pacific Beach Middle School.  During this time, I also earned a Master's Degree in Counseling from the University of San Diego.  I relocated to New York City where I was a District IB Coordinator, Advanced Placement Coordinator and School Counselor at an urban high school.  In 2014 I accepted a leadership position at a small, private Montessori/IB school. It was a wonderful experience, both educationally and in leadership, but my heart belongs to urban education and I knew that I wanted to return to an innovative, large urban school. 

Personally, I believe that we all need work/school/life balance.  It is very important to me that our students learn self-care, while also participating fully in their education.  Much as I do with our students, I believe adults are at their best when we take time for ourselves.  In order to recharge, I spend time with my family and friends and I enjoy spending time outdoors running or paddle boarding.  My yoga practice keeps me grounded when the days are hectic.  But at the end of every day, I am thankful to have a career I love: working with young people, families and talented, compassionate teachers, continues to be incredibly rewarding and important for me.

I believe middle school is a critical time in a young person's life and in his/her education.  When students enter the sixth grade many of them are still children: curious and exploring, asking questions of the world around them.  Throughout the middle school years many students transition to young adults, and start defining their identify and how they fit into the world.  It is our job, as parents and teachers, to support them through this journey.  The most important thing we can do as the staff and family of Challenger students, is work together as a team to support your children/our students to the greatest extent possible.  As your principal, I am here to support you.  I enjoy talking and listening with parents to hear your perspective, so please consider joining me at our School Site Council meetings, School Governance meetings, or through our wonderful PTO.  You may also reach me at any time via email at kdominique@sandi.net.  

 I look forward to seeing you soon.

 Best Regards,

Kate Dominique, Principal