Coping with Coronavirus: Juggling Home Life and Home Work

An interview with Dr. David Mauricio, Superintendent of Schools, Peekskill City School District 

Dr. Mauricio in his home office with newly adopted dog Princess. Photo: David Mauricio

Serving the students of the City of Peekskill in a virtual environment, while we all socially distance during the school closure, has posed many opportunities to innovate and reinvent ourselves as a school district.    

We have found ways to provide over 27,000 meals to our families, and set up a childcare program for first responders and medical professionals’ children.    

Leading a district as a superintendent from home has posed some challenges.  

BALANCING ROLES
As a father, husband, superintendent, son, brother, and community member, I have struggled with balancing these various and important roles. During the day, my obligations as a superintendent are my main priorities.   

Our days are replete with virtual meetings with staff members, virtual town hall meetings with our students and parents, conference calls with state and local leaders, calls with district physicians, evening board meetings, research and numerous other tasks.  The reality is that superintendents, administrators, teachers and staff must also fulfill our duties as parents.   

On a daily basis, we have to build time to eat lunch with my daughter and read her stories in between virtual meetings.  As parents, we want to make sure that our children are not isolated or in front of a television for eight to ten hours.  

NIGHTLY ROUTINE
To find a sense of normalcy, during the evening hours, we alternate going for a walk with our daughter, cooking dinner, cleaning up, doing math activities, getting her ready for bed and, of course, reading her a book while tucking her in for the night. That brings us such joy. Afterward, she falls asleep, we read our emails, go on social media, and respond to text messages.    

To make this all work, our living room, kitchen, basement and home office have become multifaceted environments to accomplish these competing agendas. To help ensure that we have balance in life, we decided to adopt a rescue dog. My daughter named her Princess, after Disney characters Moana and Elsa, and they have become the best of friends.   

LAP DOG & LAPTOPS
We have had to figure out how to have conference calls while they chase each other around the house. Using our laptops on a chair in the basement or at the kitchen table has certainly helped.   

In the end, this reality has taught us that human beings are resilient and resourceful, therefore we find ways to do all that we can to serve our families and our communities.   

These responsibilities are grand, but they are also awesome. For this, I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve the City of Peekskill students, families and staff. It is a great honor and I would not want to do anything else!

Dr. Mauricio was interviewed by Lindsey Marcus

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About the Author: David Mauricio