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home : features : back to school September 23, 2017

Kobrin hopes to expand school's technology, social service
Getting Ready • Tracey Kobrin, newly named principal of St. Peter School, left, and school office manager Patti Magnusson review paperwork as they plan for the start of the new school year. Photo courtesy of St. Peter School
Getting Ready • Tracey Kobrin, newly named principal of St. Peter School, left, and school office manager Patti Magnusson review paperwork as they plan for the start of the new school year. Photo courtesy of St. Peter School

By Lois Rogers | Correspondent

When Tracey Kobrin decided the time had come to exchange a classroom for a principal’s office, she began researching openings in Catholic schools.

Kobrin, who attended Catholic elementary and high schools, has a high regard for the educational approach. “Catholic education provides a very strong foundation – it’s warm and welcoming and caring. It feels like a family. It’s where you can express and teach your faith to the children and really infuse the faith into every subject you teach every hour of the day.”

As Kobrin shared in a recent interview, one opening – in St. Peter School, Point Pleasant Beach – really reflected that point of view. “I decided to apply because it seemed like a wonderful opportunity. “The school’s focus on technology, coupled with its strong commitment to Catholic social teaching,were key factors.

To Kobrin, who taught fifth-grade science, social studies, math and religion and sixth-grade math in St. Ann School, Lawrenceville, St. Peter’s emerged as a terrific “small community” with a very nurturing atmosphere.

Now that she has succeeded outgoing principal Kathleen Berlino in the role, Kobrin has high expectations of continuing St. Peter’s emphasis on introducing youngsters to service to others by way of outreach projects locally and overseas.

And, she’s looking forward to the parental involvement which is a hallmark of the school. The town’s coastal environment, which offers so many opportunities for hands-on exploration by the students is certain to be another plus, she said.

Kobrin said she appreciates the opportunities that abound within Point Pleasant Beach and its surrounds that enable students to draw direct knowledge from the local aquarium, beach and the bay.

It’s an active community in so many respects, she said.

A graduate of the University of Delaware, Kobrin has a master’s degree in education with a specialization in curriculum instruction as well as a certificate of advanced graduate study in advanced educational leadership.

She and her husband, Barry, are the parents of two children – Brianne, 18, a freshman at Loyola University, Baltimore, who is studying education – and Justin, 13, who attends Millstone Middle School. The family attends St. Joseph Parish, Millstone.

Kobrin, who enjoys spending her free time with the family, watching their sporting events and going on family outings, is happy that her daughter is following in her footsteps.

Drawn to the educational field since childhood, she said she “always wanted to become a teacher. I loved working with children. One of the best things about education is the positive impact it has on the life of a child when he or she finally ‘gets’ something they have been struggling” to master, she said.

She’s excited by what’s “on the horizon this year. Every student in middle school will have a Microsoft tablet to work with and every child, K-5 will have their own iPad to use,” with help, she noted, from the local community.

“A generous donation from the Jersey Mike Foundation enabled St. Peter’s to purchase the tablets for every student,” said Kobrin. The tablets are one example of the focus at St. Peter School on “developing 21st century skills. The emphasis is on preparing them for college and career readiness.”

“This year, we are going to be introducing Google Apps for education which enhances the teaching tools available.”

“It’s so important to develop the skills necessary for this global world. We want them to be able to explore and inquire and problem solve.”



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