Mark E. Fish
Oliver W. Winch Middle School
South Glens Falls Central School District
South Glens Falls, New York

Mark Fish speaks of his school with obvious pride: “Oliver W. Winch Middle School is an exceptional place for middle-level students to attend school. The culture and climate is safe, positive, and engaging. The focus is always on the students and their success and development academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.” Fish has been principal of the suburban school since 1998. He previously served as the assistant principal for two years. Today the school enrolls 765 students in grades 6 through 8. When Fish arrived, the site was a traditional junior high school, housing grades 7 through 9. Fish led the school through its transition in educational philosophy and structures during a 10-year period. The process involved collaboration with staff and community members. The outcome is a standards-focused middle-level program that has received national recognition. In 2006, Fish and his staff successfully applied for their school’s designation as a charter member of the New York State Essential Elements: Schools-to-Watch (EE:STW) program. The EE:STW process involved comprehensive evaluation of Fish’s school through which it received recommendations for continuous improvements. The school’s subsequent undertaking of the improvements led it to achieve re-designation in the EE:STW program in 2009. Fish has a B.S. from State University of New York at Cortland and two M.S. degrees from the University of Albany in New York.