NEW YORK STATE MIDDLE SCHOOL DIRECTORS
Advocacy. Service. Collaboration.
Region 1 Director: Shawn Williams
Shawn Williams has served as the Principal of HF-L Middle School since July of 2006. HF-L Middle School was designated as an Essential Elements: Schools to Watch Program in 2013. HF-L hosted the NYSMSA State Conference in 2015. Shawn has been a member of the NYSMSA Board since 2014 serving as an alternate prior to assuming the Director for Region 1 position in 2016. Upon graduating from SUNY Geneseo in 1987, Shawn started his teaching career as a Special Education teacher at Batavia High School. After earning a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Florida State University in 1991, Shawn transferred to Batavia Middle School and taught there until 2003. During his 15 years of teaching, Shawn enjoyed teaching Special Education, Art, and Grade 6 Science. Shawn’s administrative career started in 2003 at Attica Junior High. He served two years as the Assistant Principal and one year as the Principal. Shawn has been married to his wife, Darcy, for over 25 years and has two children, Emma and Jason.
Alternate Region 1 Director: Paul Estabrooks
Paul Estabrooks has served as a school administrator in a small school, a large school and now a perfect fit at Caledonia Mumford Middle School where he has been the Middle School Principal for almost ten years. Since 2013 he has also served as the district’s Chair/Director on Special Education.
He earned his undergraduate degree at St. Bonaventure University and began his career in education as a Middle School Social Studies teacher in south New Jersey. He traveled two hours north for three years to complete his Master’s degree at Jersey City University.
Paul and Kirsten Estabrooks have been married for 25 years and they have three children - Kailyn 21, Zack 19 and Jake 15.
Alternate Region 1 Director: Kevin Watson
Kevin Watson is the Principal at Kendall Middle School.
Region 2 Director: Steve Dunham
Steve Dunham is the Principal of West Genesee Middle School in Camillus, NY. The West Genesee Central School District has been his home as an administrator, teacher, and coach for almost 20 years. Stephen believes that it’s time to rethink how we prepare students for the real world. "If our classrooms look essentially the same today as they did in 1985 then we clearly have some work to do!" said Stephen Dunham.
Region 3 Director: Charlie Richter
Charlie Richter is a Special Education Teacher at Maple Avenue Middle School in Saratoga, NY.
Region 4 Director: Eric Attleson
Eric Attleson is the Principal at Chenango Valley Middle School in Binghamton, NY.
Region 5 Director: Michael Laster
Michael Laster is the Principal of Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland, NY.
Region 6 Director: Jon Schatz
Jon Schatz is the Principal at Felix V. Festa Middle School in Rockland County. Prior to this position Jon was the Assistant Principal of Pearl River Middle School. As a teacher he worked as an English teacher at Tappan Zee High School for 15 years and served as a Team Facilitator, Department Chair and Colleague Teacher. Jon obtained his BS from SUNY Geneseo in Dramatic Arts and English, an MS from LIU in Reading Education and completed his administrative degree at Fordham. He has been married to Cathy for 20 years and has twins, Joseph and Olivia, in high school as well as a daughter who graduated from MCLA.
Alternate Region 6 Director: Erik Lynch
Erik Lynch...coming soon!
Region 7 Director: Clemente Lopes
Clemente Lopes is the Principal of Horace Greeley Middle School in Queens, NY.
Region 8 Co-Director: Lauren Moreno
Lauren Moreno is the current Principal of William T. Rogers Middle School in the Kings Park Central School District. She began teaching 8th grade English within the building in 2002 and served as its Assistant Principal prior to her current position. She holds a Bachelors degree in both Secondary Education (English) and Literature from SUNY Oswego, a Masters degree in Liberal Studies and Certificate in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University, and is also a current doctoral candidate at LIU Post. She also proudly serves on the Executive Board for the Suffolk County Middle Level Principals Association on Long Island.
Region 8 Co-Director: Joseph Wiener
Joseph Wiener began his career in education teaching biology for ten years at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, NY, and Jericho High School in Jericho, NY. After successfully completing master’s degrees in literacy and school leadership, Joseph served as assistant principal of Jericho Middle School for eleven years Since 2018, he has served as the proud principal of Lynbrook South Middle School in Lynbrook, NY. Joseph is grateful for the support he receives at home from his wife Stacey, his children Maxwell and Madeline, and his dog Luna.
Alternate Region 8 Director: Dennis Schug
The Region 8 alternate representative is Dennis Schug. Dennis Schug is proud to serve the students of the Hampton Bays Schools community for two decades, as a teacher, assistant principal, and middle school principal in Hampton Bays, New York. As a school leader, he believes in the value of using communication, collaboration, and professional learning as a means of building capacity and engaging all members of a learning organization. He is one of the founding members of Edcamp Long Island and a lead organizer for Edcamp Leadership: New York. He is also one of the moderators of #NYEDchat, a bi-weekly Twitter chat on current topics that influence high-impact teaching and learning. He proudly serves on the AMLE Leadership Institute Faculty.
Region 9 Director: Katie Ralston
Katie Ralston is the Middle School Principal at Cuba-Rushford Central School District in Cuba, NY. Katie is also the District's K-12 ELA Curriculum coordinator, and serves on the planning committee for New York State's Middle Level Liaisons. Prior to her principalship at Cuba-Rushford, Katie was a 6th and 7th grade special education teacher at Olean Middle School. After teaching in the classroom, Katie spent time as a teacher on special assignment and was responsible for curriculum support and implementation at Olean Intermediate and Olean High School. Within her community Katie serves on the board for the local homeless shelter and does presentations based on the impact of poverty on brain development and a community. Aside from her work at Cuba-Rushford, Katie also works closely with Sweethearts and Heroes, serving as a keynote speaker at Teacher Academies and a co-leader of Professional Development at Administrator Academies.
Alternate Region 9 Director: Monica Kwiatkowski
Monica Kwiatkowski has been an eighth grade social studies teacher at Cuba-Rushford Middle School for over nine years. She has been serving as an alternate to the NYSMSA board since 2003. A native of Buffalo, Monica received her Bachelor's degree in History from D'Youville College and earned her Masters in Middle Level Education from Walden University. She loves interdiscplinary teaching working with her highly motivated team and annually directs the Middle-High School Musical as her outlet for creative energy.
Region 10 Director: Jamie Cruikshank
Jamie Cruikshank is the Superintendent of the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District. Prior to that, he was the principal of A. A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam which was recognized in 2009 and 2012 as an Essential Elements: School to Watch. His math and science teaching career spanned the middle and high school levels. Before moving to NNCS, he also served the Potsdam CSD as a coach, athletic director, and dean of students. A native of the North Country, he obtained his BA from SUNY Potsdam, completing a middle-level program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. He then completed his MS from SUNY Potsdam and a MA in Educational Leadership from St. Lawrence University.