Hispanic Heritage Month: Meet Principal Heather Carman

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the district is highlighting employees with Hispanic ancestry — their cultures, achievements and contributions to our Goshen Schools family!

Meet Principal Heather Carman

Head shot of young adult with long dark hair wearing a red shirt and black blazer
Heather Carman is the principal of C. J. Hooker Middle School.

Meet Heather Carman, principal of C. J. Hooker Middle School! Heather joined the district eight years ago, first as assistant principal at CJH, and then as principal, beginning in August 2019.

Heather graduated from Middletown High School, received an associates degree from SUNY Orange, Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland, Master’s degree from Suny Cortland and administrative degree from SUNY New Paltz.

While an undergrad, Carman completed her field experience at Goshen, working in both the middle and high schools. She returned to complete her administrative internship at Goshen High School while pursuing a Master’s degree.

How did you get started professionally?

After college, I got my first teaching job in Greenwood Lake Middle School. I immediately fell in love with the school and community and knew I could make a difference in the lives of students and their families as a leader who could relate to students. I was promoted there to Athletic Director as well, and it opened up a window to see if I would enjoy being an administrator. That’s what led me to doing my internship at Goshen High School, which I absolutely loved.

What do you enjoy most about working for the Goshen Central School District?

What I enjoy most is the family-style community we have all worked very hard to build together within our building. There is a large respect for one another – teachers, aides, administrators, students, custodians, buildings and grounds, cafeteria staff, etc. If there is something that needs to be done, everyone is always willing to go in all hands on deck with no questions asked. This is a very special building to work in.

Who had the most influence on your career?

My mother. She always supported me every step of the way and continues to be there for me as my biggest cheerleader, no matter what.

What is your heritage?

My heritage is Puerto Rican. My mother’s family was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. They moved to Middletown, New York, and that’s where I was born. We travel to Puerto Rico to see family as often as possible and share stories of our heritage and make wonderful meals that have been passed down through the generations. If you were to see my aunt’s kitchen, you would see us all making different dishes such as arroz con gandules, empanadas, pernil, pasteles and much more, including some desserts. You would also see many other family members playing competitive dominoes.

What’s something you’d like others to know about your heritage/culture?

Family is a very big part of our culture. Not just cooking together but also serving one another and enjoying a meal together. We pride ourselves in passing down to the next generation our recipes as well as celebrations along the years. We remind our family about the beautiful heritage we have and how important it is to be proud of our culture and where we came from.

How do you celebrate your heritage/culture?

We celebrate in many ways. Some celebrations are large groups and parties for special occasions, while other times it may be celebrating with a quinceanera, or simply gathering with immediate family for Three Kings Day or a small gathering filled with Hispanic foods and music. There are also times where the elders in the family teach the younger generations about our culture to ensure they are learning as they are growing to keep the traditions going.

How do you think your heritage/culture has shaped you as a person/professional?

I believe my heritage/culture has shaped me into who I am today since it has instilled in me qualities such as patience, respect, loyalty and many others. I have always been taught to be a giver not a taker, and that has been passed down through my family forever. This has always tied into being a team player and being someone who others are able to approach and go to in time of need. I’ve always been taught that no job is too little and you are never above any task; that is also a huge part of my culture. If there’s something that needs to be done, you just simply take care of it with your team of people and do it to the best of your ability. I believe this has helped shape me as a person and a professional.

What things do you like to enjoy or do when you aren’t working?

Some hobbies of mine include reading, golfing, boxing, spending as much time with family and loved ones as possible and I am also a sneaker collector. I enjoy watching NBA games and of course, cooking rice and beans as well as empanadas for my family to enjoy.

What’s a fun fact about you that others may not know?

I am an animal lover and have a tortoise named Binx and two tree frogs named Jax and Knox.