A graduate of the high school, Kate Lipman is a ninth-grade social worker. When she attended the high school, she participated on the wrestling team and has recently gotten back into it along with new hobbies such as acrobatic yoga and taekwondo.
Why did you decide to become a social worker?
I was thinking about this a lot. I mentioned the progressive values at Brookline High and I realized that growing up in Brookline, all of my social work values were shaped from being here: just empathy, caring for others, and the human experience–and a commitment to social justice. All of that was really cultivated here in Brookline Public Schools. I should mention as well I did City Year after Brookline High and that really helped me to realize I wanted to be working with kids, and I wanted to be in a social work role helping kids in schools.
How has high school changed since you went?
I’m still new, it’s only been about a week and a half, but it seems like a lot is the same. There has always been a real focus on values here- a real focus on welcoming and understanding difference and celebrating difference and that’s definitely still in full effect. As for everything else, I’d say I’m still learning to see what the differences are.
Do you have any advice that you often give to the people that you work with or your students?
I think the main thing is just about being your best self and finding people to surround yourself with that really bring out the best in you and to really look for the best in others.
What’s something interesting you did this summer?
Starting taekwondo, that was my big thing. I also have been into acro-yoga, which is acrobatic yoga. It’s like partner yoga where one person is lying on the ground with their feet in the air and then another person is suspended.
How is high school different as a teacher versus as a student?
I think I really just have a lot of compassion for what people are going through. High school can be hard and there is a lot to navigate and as a therapist now, I’m able to really help them navigate the waters that can sometimes be tough.
Do you feel that as a Brookline High School graduate you are able to connect with them on a more personal level?
Absolutely! I’m very familiar with the culture here and I know some of the struggles and some of the really great parts, so I think that I can really connect with students well.