Straight Out of Miami


Lauren Reid and Max Janowitz

Who is the most feared group of people at Lake Mary? Administration. But who are they really? We sat down with Mr. Singer to see how scary they really are.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born in Hialeah, Miami and I spent some time in other suburbs around there.

Q: What made you want to teach?

A: It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said a circus elephant. She said no, because people can’t be elephants when they grow up. So then I told her I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to have fun and get paid in peanuts.

Q: Does your background help you relate to troubled students?

A: I did not grow up in the nice part of Miami, so that’s definitely an influence. You can’t escape where you come from: it influences your decision making, your life, who you become- so there’s an inherent amount of my upbringing that will consistently follow me. I live my life constantly trying to be the young man my grandmother raised me to be. When she looks down, I want her to see that I’m still the same boy she raised: the value of loving other people, consistently helping and doing the right thing are still instilled in me and I still do those things. My upbringing was rough. I’d come home and I wouldn’t know if the lights would still be on, if the water had been cut that month, if there would be enough food in the fridge or just enough for my sister, which meant I wouldn’t eat so she could. But that didn’t influence me as much as my choice to consistently be the man my grandmother raised me to be. My experiences, as vast as they are- from poverty to learning English as a second language- gives me some sort of advantage.

Q: You started off as a teacher at Oviedo and taught debate, right?

A: I started off at Oviedo teaching history, namely World History and American History. I also took over the debate team. One of my Public Forum teams and one of my Original Oratory teams went to nationals. My second year I took on economics- standard and Advanced Placement. During my third year, I started teaching debate.

Q: What made you want to become an administrator?

A: I started helping out in the discipline office my first year. I’d go in during my plan period and help out the administrator that was in there as much as I could. My passion is to help students who are like me. Poverty influences negatively: when you come from a lower economic background, you tend to react emotionally and immediately. A lot of the referrals I saw at Oviedo, and a lot of the referrals I see here, are simply students reacting based on the way they have been trained to react. It is more a reflection of their circumstances and not a reflection of who they are as a person. As a student, I was very reactionary, I let my environment  influence my reactions. For most of my life, because I was homeless through adulthood, the environment influenced the way I could live. Things consistently happened to me: poverty, evictions, lack of power, or sexual, mental or physical abuse. All those things that happened to me inherently refocused the way that I could view the world and react. So I was hoping I could help in the Discipline Office to change some of these students’ mindsets to be less reactionary and more pensive.

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: I went to Florida State for college because my best friend went and I didn’t want her to go alone. I wanted her to be safe. Her last years were the beginning of mine, but we graduated together because I did other things up until I entered college.

Administrators are people too. They’ve each had their own share of setbacks that let them relate to the hardships of the student body.