Staff Profile: Carol Piraino

Staff Profile: Carol Piraino
Azriella Friedman

Meet Carol Piraino, Associate Head of School at Hausner. With 35 years of experience in education, Carol shares her journey from teaching to leadership, the unique challenges she faces, and the rewarding moments at Hausner. Get to know the person behind the role, discover her passion for shaping young minds, and find out the fascinating fun fact about her global travels.

1. Can you briefly introduce yourself and tell us about your background and experience?

I have been part of the leadership team at Hausner for the past 11 years. Before that, I worked for 24 years in Portola Valley, Palo Alto, and Ravenswood City School Districts as a teacher and then in several administrative roles including Principal, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education and Educational Technology, and Superintendent of Schools. 

I also teach educational leadership classes in the Administrative Credentialing program at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. 

2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?

I am currently the Associate Head of School. My main areas of responsibility currently include academics, teacher professional development, security, implementation of the strategic plan, and supervising the academic directors.

3. What inspired you to become a teacher/get into your line of work?

I think the best way to impact the future is by helping shape the academic, social and emotional growth and development of children. 

4. What do you find most rewarding about your job, and what are some of the unique challenges you face in this role?

In my 35 years of working in schools I have never been bored. Every day brings a new challenge, a new celebration, and a new opportunity. I truly admire Hausner’s team of teachers and support staff for the magical things they achieve daily in their classrooms.

5. What are some of your strategies for promoting a respectful and cooperative atmosphere among students?

I believe that if you treat students with respect and dignity, they will rise to meet any challenge. They are competent and resilient.

6. What do you do when you’re not at work?

Well, I have two border collies. If you know border collies, you know that they keep you very busy. When the collies (rarely) give me time off, you can generally find me on the golf course, attending a concert (mostly 80’s bands), reading, or traveling.

7. What do you think you would do if you weren’t a teacher?

I considered law school, and careers in journalism, psychology, and public policy to name a few. Fortunately, my jobs in education have given me opportunities to dabble in all of these arenas and more!

8. What do you love most about Hausner? 

At Hausner, students, parents and staff all work together to create a positive, supportive learning community. It is a very special place.

9. Tell us a fun fact about yourself 

Between my sophomore and junior years of college, I traveled around the world with a program called Semester at Sea. It was truly an amazing experience – traveling to so many different countries and learning from regional experts, college professors and people living in various places. Highlights for me included seeing the Taj Mahal, the Valley of the Kings, and ancient Greek ruins, visiting Hong Kong, Marrakesh, and Istanbul, traveling through the Suez Canal, and experiencing life at sea for 100 days.

10. What is your favorite Hebrew word or Jewish Holiday?

Kavod, one of the first words I learned when I came to Hausner, which tells you something, I think.