MR. JOSE CASTILLO SERVING ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL OF WALT WHITMAN HIGH SCHOOL
– Former Administrative Dean of Walt Whitman High School, Mr. Jose Castillo, will now be proudly serving as one of Whitman’s Assistant Principals.
One of the reasons Mr. Castillo became an educator was because of Indiana Jones. Yes, really. “I love talking about social studies, and when I was a kid, I thought that’s what all social studies teachers taught,” he said. He took a penchant for history and loved to work with kids. Both him and his wife are what he lovingly refers to as, “social studies nerds.” When Mr. Castillo realized
he could work with children, discuss social studies with them and get paid for it, he jumped at the opportunity. He looked forward to teaching, whether it be global or United States history.
Originally, he worked as a social studies teacher at Brentwood for approximately fifteen years. Mr. Castillo then became the teacher on special assignment, working as a disciplined educator.
After his experience, a position for Administrative Dean became available in South Huntington. Needless to say he took no hesitation and applied for the position. “It has more administrative roles, which I was hungry for,” Mr. Castillo said. Another reason he was drawn to this district was because of a friend he formerly worked with at Brentwood, Dr. John Murphy, former
Principal of Walt Whitman High School. “He would tell me all the great things that are going on,” Mr. Castillo said.
At the 2015 Suffolk County Soccer Championships, Brentwood was playing against Whitman. Watching Dr. Murphy exit the bus with the team, Mr. Castillo thought, “This is awesome. I mean, just the amount of school spirit everybody had,” he continued, “That sold me right there.”
One aspect that he enjoyed the most as the Administrative Dean was the one-on-one connections he could make with students. By becoming engaged in the disciplinary realm, he would be able to see students from an interpersonal standpoint. Mr. Castillo is also very motivated to support parents and keep them in-the-know. “Working in Brentwood, there was a very high Spanish
speaking population there,” he said. Our district supports this community as well, and Mr. Castillo said, “I still remember the difficulty and the sadness my parents had, not being able to speak English or being able to come and participate in school events.” He then mentioned, “And that’s one of the things I really enjoyed about the administrative aspect… being able to help
parents out with some of the things that they need help with.”
Mr. Castillo’s focus as Assistant Principal is to continue to think of what is best for the students and the staff. During the pandemic, “[it] really made us more reflective, and forced all of us to be a little bit more creative and to always be questioning and be curious about what we can do to make the school better for the students and staff. My wife is a teacher who’s still teaching 20 years in Brentwood and I have kids that are in the school system,” Mr. Castillo added. He has the perspective of an administrator, a teacher and as a parent.
Mr. Castillo, when thinking about goals for his new position, said he wants to be as helpful as possible. Ultimately, he hopes students feel like Whitman is a second home to them by getting them more involved and having them see the high school as cherished memories, not just a building they spent four years in.
About Mr. Jose Castillo:
Mr. Jose Castillo began his path to education at Stony Brook University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in December of 1999. He then earned his Master of Arts degree at Stony Brook in December of 2003. In December of 2015, he earned two Advanced Graduate Certificates, one in School Building Leadership and one in School District Leadership at Stony
Brook. Mr. Castillo has also obtained several certifications and has involved himself in several organizations. In February of 2015, he earned the NYS Social Studies Grade 7-12 Permanent Certification, in February of 2016 he obtained the NYS School District Leader Professional Certificate, and in April of 2016 the NYS School Building Leader Professional Certificate. From
2015-2016 he was a part of the Committee for Advancing Human Capital, and in 2016 he was in Parents as Partners, a Patchogue Medford Parent Group. Most recently, Mr. Castillo has been a part of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association.
Before working in the South Huntington School District, Mr. Castillo held several positions in the Brentwood School District. From September of 2000 to June 2010, he served as a Secondary Social Studies teacher at Brentwood High School. Then from August 2010 to June 2015, he served as Teacher on Special Assignment along with the Dean of Student Discipline and
Management at Brentwood High School. In this position he would supervise daily operations and address areas of need in a building of over 4,000 students. Most recently, Mr. Castillo has served as Administrative Dean at Whitman, with daily management of student behavior, attendance and discipline from August 2016 to 2021. Mr. Castillo began his position as Assistant Principal on July 1, 2021.