This article was written by Eva Pierre Antoine and Nithisha Makesh
After 16 years at Heritage, Mrs. Blum is packing up her things and exchanging the warm tropical sun of Florida for the warm, not-so-tropical sun of Southern California, with a move she describes as “difficult to process.” Mrs. Blum has spent the majority of her professional life at Heritage. She began as a guidance counselor, even teaching history for a semester. She had been a history teacher prior to her Heritage career. As a guidance counselor/college advisor, she worked with grades 7-12. From there, she moved on to college planning, then to assistant principal until, finally, she became the principal in 2012, managing this job for 10 years.
Through the years, Mrs. Blum has been responsible for various changes around the school. Her first year of principal, the school introduced the online bookstore and mandatory ipads, two huge shifts that completely revolutionized the school. Under her leadership, Heritage also added senior week, and, something she characterizes as her legacy, a senior carnival. The staff has grown tremendously and Mrs. Blum credits herself with splitting the guidance planning department into junior high and high school branches.
Throughout her experience at Heritage, she learned valuable lessons that she hopes to carry with her. “I learned to always put kids first, listen before you act, listen to different sides/people and understand the situation before making decisions [because there is] a lot more to it. Everyone’s perspective is their reality, but not necessarily the reality,” she said.
Commencing her successful years as Upper School Principal, she passes her baton to Assistant Principal Mrs. Becerra. “I wish her great success and that she continues to lead with heart, sense of humor and a warm spirit; I know that she will do a good job.”
With a final note, Mrs. Blum shares a message to future students: “Do not get caught up in the destination so much that you don’t enjoy the journey.” She elaborates that while the people of Heritage are driven and hold great passion, it is important to also be driven to do things to make you happy. Mrs. Blum stresses to make life better for you and the people around you, not just to impress an admissions counselor. High school is a unique opportunity to make friends, know who you are and what you’re good at.
Within these brick walls, she grew up, raised her children–even handing her daughter and son their diplomas–and cultivated integral relationships. Although Mrs. Blum will be leaving Heritage, a piece of her will always remain through the memories–most notably her tradition of attending the annual Grad Bash trips–and relationships she made with students and faculty.