Principal, Roanoke Avenue Elementary School
Riverhead, New York
Different Places; Similar Stories
When I walk into my school each morning, I take the time to remind me of the reason I became a teacher in 1995. It was simply to move minds and spur children to seize opportunities to better themselves and their communities. As Hebert Spencer once said, “Education is not for knowledge, but action.”
The steps I took each day in my first year of teaching are the same I take today as a principal, and they are the exact plan I have should my colleagues elect me as Vice President of NAESP. As an association, I want to see us take action to help children succeed. We face unprecedented challenges in education. The unforeseen Pandemic led to shuttered schools, remote learning options and hybrid school openings which caused unfinished academic learning, student and adult social, emotional struggles and a mass exodus of educators. Across our nation, school districts struggle to gather the necessary human capital to fill the teaching and principal pipelines in order to meet the varying, increasing needs of our students, staff and communities.
As educational leaders, all of us in NAESP must work to make sure that creative and thoughtful decisions are reached to generate intentional opportunities for children that support not only their well-being, but the well-being of the adults in our charge too. We must work together as one voice that carries many innovative ideas to ensure that our educational communities’ stories from schools across this great nation are heard. No one else knows our communities better; no one else can tell our stories better. Our places may be different, but our stories are similar!
I became a principal because I was moved by incredible principals during my time in the classroom. I want to see NAESP continue to reach out to new principals in the field by spreading our inspirational work to every school. I was also encouraged to become a principal because I wanted to be a voice for equity. I want our association to continue to spark and lead the diversity, equity, and inclusive conversation so that every student has access and opportunity.
I have been most fortunate in my career to have spent the last twenty-one years working in schools that primarily serve children of color. Many of my students face a daily struggle of grinding poverty that leaves me amazed that they have the perseverance to walk in the school door each morning let alone sit in class and learn. I come to school each day to help give these children a pathway to action. It’s the same impetus that brought me to a classroom as a newly minted teacher 27 years ago. And it’s that energy that I will bring to NAESP as the vice president. I ask for your vote so that we can do this important work together.
- PD Educational Administration, Dowling College, 2001
- MS Elementary Education, Hofstra University, 1995
- BS Criminal Justice, Buffalo St. College, 1988
- Principal, Roanoke Avenue Elementary School, Riverhead, NY, 2005-present
- Assistant Principal, Addeliar Guy Elementary School, Las Vegas, NV, 2003-2005
- 4th grade teacher, Addeliar Guy Elementary School, Las Vegas, NV, 2001-2003
- 5th grade teacher, James H. Boyd Intermediate School, Huntington, NY, 1998-2001
- 4th grade teacher, Birchwood Intermediate School, Melville, NY, 1997-1998
- 5th grade teacher, P.S. 26, District 10, Bronx, NY, 1996-1997
- 4th grade teacher, Birch Lane Elementary School, Massapequa, NY, 1995-1996
- NAESP Zone 2 Director, 2020-present
- NAESP Race and Equity Task Force, 2020-present
- NAESP New York State Representative, 2013-2019
- NAESP Diversity Task Force, 2017-2018
- NAESP Teacher Evaluation Committee, 2013-2014
- NAESP Nominating Committee, 2014
- School Administrators Association of NYS Board of Directors, 2013-2019
- Riverhead Administrators Association President, 2015-2019 and 2022-present
- Riverhead Administrators Association Vice President, 2009-2015