Patricia Mastropolo

Patricia Mastropolo

Patricia Mastropolo has stepped into her role at Ingleside Middle School and is looking forward to a great school year alongside their new principal, Junior Michael, and a dedicated team of educators.

Mastropolo, who spent 14 years teaching middle school in the Paradise Valley Unified School District, said the move to Ingleside is a great fit.

“I decided to come to Ingleside because I truly love the middle school environment. It’s in my heart,” Mastropolo said. “What also sparked my interest was the amazing programs and academics Ingleside has to offer.”

A native of Rutherford, New Jersey, about nine miles out of NYC, Mastropolo moved cross-country to complete her bachelor of science degree in justice studies at ASU. Although teaching and education administration are her true passions, Mastropolo didn’t start in the field.

“Before moving into education, I was an agent at the modeling agency Next New York. I truly enjoyed working there, but I kept getting this strong force to go into education and teach,” Mastropolo said. “I started at New York City Public Schools and relocated to Arizona, where I taught both in the private and public sectors.” 

She began her educational career in 1998 and is passionate about inspiring young minds to collaborate and find positive solutions to life’s problems. She said that her own educational experience, first at Union School for K-8, then Rutherford High School, and eventually higher education, shaped her as an educator.

During her teaching time in Paradise Valley, Mastropolo earned Teacher of the Year honors from the Arizona Middle-Level Association and the Anti-Defamation League Arizona. She also balanced teaching with studying to receive her first master’s degree in curriculum, instruction and assessment. 

Mastropolo went on to earn a second master’s degree in educational administration and is now in her third year in the industry. Having transitioned from teacher to dean of students and now to assistant principal, she stays true to her educational values every day.

“My teaching practice is tenacious as well as empathetic and completely student-centered,” Mastropolo said. “I am a huge advocate of the constructivist model of teaching as well as all that encompasses differentiating instruction. Students all learn at a different pace because each extrapolates their learning styles.”

She focuses on real-life experiences and cooperative learning to keep students interested and motivated, cutting down on the frustration and misunderstanding that often comes with a one-size-fits-all approach.

“I created a learning environment that stimulates learning where students become leaders in their education,” Mastropolo said. “It was paramount to me to create a familial classroom, where no one is judged, and everyone is safe. I wanted my students to think outside the box and past themselves to realize that not everything is yes or no, right or wrong, that things may have multiple meanings that they need to comprehend effectively.”

“I want students to know they are fully supported academically and emotionally,” Mastropolo added. “I want them to be proud of who they are and work together to create an organic atmosphere that prepares them for what lies ahead.”

Collaboration, creativity and respect remain critical components of her teaching style. She believes teamwork is essential to maintaining a safe learning environment where students can thrive.

“My hope for the upcoming school year is for things to get back to a normal pace as much as possible,” Mastropolo said. “I want to ensure students are cared for academically, socially and emotionally, and for teachers/staff and parents to feel more comfortable and content than they were last year.”

Mastropolo is eager to see the school grow and prosper.

“I would like to bring more arts-integrated opportunities to campus by partnering with Scottsdale Center of the Arts to solidify the exploratory piece of what a middle school encompasses,” Mastropolo said. “I always strive for togetherness when it comes to moving a school forward. It is so important that the entire school community within the school and outside create opportunities together.”

There are also plans to bring additional initiatives to campus, including No Place For Hate, which teaches inclusion and equity. No matter what Ingleside plans, Mastropolo wants students to keep setting goals and working toward their dreams.

“I want students to know they are fully supported academically and emotionally,” Mastropolo added. “I want them to be proud of who they are and work together to create an organic atmosphere that prepares them for what lies ahead.”