top of page


Steve Parker Zielinski has been a middle school educator since 1994. He has experience teaching both science and math in 7th and 8th grade, and has worked as a Building Principal at the Middle School and High School levels. He is currently serving as the Superintendent for the South Seneca Central School District in Seneca County, NY. At the state level, Steve has served as Middle Level Liaison since 2006, and has also worked on the NYSMSA Board as both the NYSMSA Vice President and the Region IV Director. He served as Co-Chair for the NYSMSA Annual State Conference in Watkins Glen in 2009. He has been part of the planning committee for the state’s Middle Level Summit in Albany in 2009 and 2010, and has worked as a paper reviewer and site visitor for the Essential Elements: Schools to Watch program. Steve is known as a passionate advocate for Middle Level programs and students, and is a consistent voice in New York State promoting the State Education Department’s Essential Elements for Standards-Focused Middle Level Schools and Programs.

Vice-President: Carl Christensen

Carl Christensen has served as Executive Principal at Churchville-Chili Middle School since the start of the 2014-2015 year. Prior to coming to Churchville Chili he served as Principal Victor Junior High from 2006-2014. Victor Junior High was designated as an Essential Elements: Schools to Watch Program in 2006. Carl’s background in teaching includes seven years as a Special Education teacher and Inclusion Facilitator in the Rochester City School District. Carl has been a member of the NYSMSA Board of Directors since 2006 and is the current Vice President. Carl has been married to Julie Christensen for 30 years and has three children, Marty, Evan and Kierstyn.

Past President & Director of PD: Linda Ruest

Linda Ruest, a former M-L educator, currently serves as Instructional Specialist for PD in Williamsville CSD.  Prior to that, she was a consultant in the areas of middle-level education and school reform. Linda has a strong commitment to providing NYS middle-level students with learning experiences that incorporate research-based strategies with rich, rigorous content. She designs her workshops around her belief that developmental responsiveness need not be sacrificed in order to ensure College Career Readiness in our M-L students; in fact it is necessary.  As Conference Director, Linda has oversight over the Annual Conference, as well as regional workshops and institutes.

Secretary: Dr. John Christie

Dr. John Christie is principal at Dayton Avenue School in Manorville, NY. For the past several years he has worked to implement developmentally responsive middle-level program components with faculty and staff. He has conducted research on NCLB, High-Stakes Assessment and the impact both have on Middle School. He has also published and presented research on Advisory and the Essential Elements: School to Watch program. He holds an earned Doctorate from Dowling College in Educational Administration, Leadership, and Technology. Prior to Christie's role as secretary, he served as the Region 8 Direction for the association. 

Treasurer: Scott Francis Singer

Since 2002, Mr. Scott Francis Singer has served many roles at Maple Avenue Middle School in the Saratoga Springs City School District; Building Principal, Assistant Principal, Special Education teacher, Social Studies Department Chair, and Social Studies teacher. He also has experience as an grade 9 Assistant Principal at Saratoga Springs High School. Scott was on the planning committee for the 2007, 2011, and 2017 NYSMSA Conference at Maple Avenue MS. He’s been a member of the NYSMSA Board of Directors since 2011.

NYSMSA Historian: Mark Fish

Mark Fish is the Superintendent of the Greenwich Central School District. Prior to that he was the principal of the Oliver W. Winch Middle School, a charter “School-To-Watch” in New York State. He previously chaired a regional Middle Level Principal’s group and was a long time SED Middle Level Liaison representing the Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Hamilton, and Essex County (WSWHE) BOCES. In 2010 he was honored as New York State Middle School Principal of the Year. Mark was the co-chair of the NYSMSA local conference committee for Saratoga 2007 and Saratoga 2011.  He served the NYSMSA Board as a Regional Director, Secretary and Vice President prior to becoming the NYSMSA Historian.

Director of Schools to Watch: David Vroman
David Vroman.jpg

David Vroman is a sixth grade science teacher at A.A. Kingston Middle School in Potsdam. He has been in public education for over 25 years; 23 of which has been at A.A.K and 20 teaching math and science in sixth grade. He has been in involved in all three successful applications for A.A.K’s designation as an Essential Elements: School to Watch, 2009, 2012 and 2015. David holds both a BS and MST degree from SUNY Potsdam. He also has served as an adjunct instructor at SUNY Potsdam- teaching an elementary science methods class. He is also a 30 year member and President for the past 5 years of IAABO Board 47, boys basketball officials. For the past four years, he has served as the President of Potsdam’s School of Education Alumni Advisory Board. David lives on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Massena with his wife of over 30 years, Mona, the Director of Alumni Relations at SUNY Potsdam. 

SED Liason: Christine Radez
Christine Radez.jpg
Essential Elements: Schools-to-Watch Principal: Winton Buddington

Winton Buddington is the Principal of Bay Trail Middle School in Penfield, NY.  Bay Trail just earned its 3rd re-designation as a School To Watch in 2019.  

Director of Research and Technology: Jeff Craig
  • Twitter - Black Circle

Jeff Craig is the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at the Cortland Enlarged City School District. For NYSMSA, he's been the Director of Research and Technology, Webmaster, Regional Director, and Local Conference Chair of the 2000, 2005, and 2008 state conferences. Jeff works with individuals, schools, and districts across New York State with leadership, the Essential Elements, and the development of flexible block schedules. 

bottom of page