In 2006, Gina Mautschke entered The Brooklyn Latin School as a math teacher with big dreams. She is now leading the school as its new Head Master.
A Brooklyn native, Mautschke attended the Polytechnic Institute of New York University on the Chase Smart Start Scholarship, which paid full tuition and offered her a four-year internship at the company. Immediately after graduation she found herself working fulltime at JPMorgan Chase as a project manager.
After four years at the bank, Mautschke grew tired of the business world and wanted to enter education, where she could make a greater impact on the lives of others. She began as a teaching fellow and worked closely with an advisor, who helped her gain classroom skills.
During a classroom visit at J.H.S. 162 Mautschke recalled a student she knew. When she discovered that he had been discouraged from taking the specialized high school exam by his guidance counselor, she realized her goal.
“I realized that I wanted to work in a school that really serves the community of Bushwick and East Williamsburg,” explained Mautschke. “I wanted to provide opportunities for students, like my friend, that may not have had them if there weren’t good high schools here in this neighborhood.”
After teaching middle school math for a year and a half, Mautschke’s advisor introduced her to Brooklyn Latin founder Jason Griffiths, who told her of his plans for a liberal arts school with a strong emphasis on the classics. (All students take four years of Latin.) She was instantly converted. Today, Brooklyn Latin is one of the city’s nine specialized high schools and ranked No. 1 in the state by U.S. News and World Report.
Mautschke’s dedication has been a major factor in the school’s success. She moved up the ranks as a founding teacher, department chair and advisor until 2011, when she was promoted to Assistant Head Master of Operations and took charge of day to day operations.
When Griffiths, announced his resignation in April, Mautschke was left with a challenge she was ready to accept.
“It took time for me to get over the fear that Brooklyn Latin would never be the same,” Mautschke admitted. “But the culture is definitely stronger than one individual. It will be different but just as great.”