Message from the Principal

John Cataldo

On Thursday, June 17, I led my last graduation ceremony as Principal of North Collins Elementary School. I will be retiring at the end of November. The final group is one that I am very proud of and am glad that we are celebrating the end of our careers together. We have been through a lot, even before these past 15 months of craziness. Many of them started in PreK in 2013, and witnessed many Principal’s Challenges. From holding a disgusting snake to sitting in a dunk tank to rolling around in a hamster ball. They were also the class that saw my final challenge, a 7-mile walk to school in 2019. I am glad to have done those things for our students. They are the reason we are here. I hope it made school a little better for them.

Elementary school teaches children how to read books, write paragraphs and do math with letters where the numbers used to be. Elementary children play sports and games, create art projects, sing music, and code computers. To guide children through their elementary years we have three basic rules: be responsible, be respectful and follow directions. Most children followed most of the rules most of the time. Those three rules help children succeed in our school. Those three rules can help them succeed after they leave. Everyone needs to be responsible for themselves and their choices. Admit mistakes and learn from them. Everyone needs to be respectful of themselves, others, and the property of others. We should all take care of ourselves and each other at all times, including strangers. Everyone needs to follow directions the first time, with one key exception. Follow directions the first time, unless you have a better way that still follows the first two rules. Following along isn’t always the best way. Each of us has gifts to share with the world. Just doing what is always expected will not allow those gifts to grow and make the world a better place. Make your own path, but remember to be responsible and respectful as you do. 

My advice to the outgoing 6th Grade class was this: continue to explore your talents and special skills. Develop them in a way that is responsible and respectful and never let anyone disrespect you or your ideas. Find out who you are and what you have to offer the world. Then go out and be the best you that you can be.

I have watched hundreds of children do this and do this well. I am proud of what they have all become. I am moving on to my next challenge. I will miss helping children with theirs. Thank you for entrusting your children with me these past 34 years.

Very Sincerely,

John Cataldo
Elementary School Principal




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