POTSDAM - The SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Board recently brought together 22 alumni who are leaders in education for a career advice session for current students who aspire to teach.
The session, titled Entering the Teaching Job Market: Advice from Potsdam Alumni Superintendents and Principals, was held on campus as part of an annual conference offered by the cColleges Teacher Education Student Association.
The conference was organized by Assistant Director of the Center for School Partnerships and Teacher Certification Nicole Feml 02, who is the groups advisor, along with TESA Conference Chair Sarah Adams, a junior from Evans Mills majoring in early childhood/childhood education, with a specialization in mathematics.
According to Adams, the students thoroughly enjoyed the alumni session and are looking forward to next years program.
Not only was I able to learn a lot from the principals and administrators, but I was able to use their advice to reflect on myself as a teacher candidate. Many administrators even gave their email addresses for us to continue our conversations, Adams said.
More than 80 college students attended the conference, including a visiting group from SUNY Canton.
School of Education Alumni Board President Dr. Mark Davey 84 delivered welcome remarks to the group. Davey, who is superintendent of the Gates-Chili Central Schools, thanked the alumni for returning to campus to speak to the students. He spoke about the importance of preparing good teachers to enter the profession in what has become a very challenging time for education.
The TESA conference was a unique opportunity for our students to hear the perspectives of school leaders who are alumni of our teacher preparation programs. The students were able to gain excellent career guidance, and our alumni were able to give back to their program in a meaningful way, said Dr. Peter Brouwer, dean of SUNY Potsdams School of Education and Professional Studies.
In addition to Davey, other alumni presenters included St. Lawrence/Lewis BOCES Superintendent Thomas Burns 92 and Oswego BOCES Superintendent Christopher Todd 92.
Additional speakers included a number district superintendents: Patrick Brady 88 of Potsdam Central Schools, Dr. Harry Brooks 68, retired from the Broadalbin-Perth School District, Frederick Hall, Jr. 84 of Sackets Harbor Central Schools, Christine Holt 93 of the Inlet Common School District, Seth McGowan 96 of Tupper Lake Central School District, Dr. Randy Richards 83 of Lake Placid Central Schools and Susan Todd 88 of Heuvelton Central Schools.
High school principals who presented at the conference included: Joann Chambers 87 of Potsdam Senior High School, Jeremy McBride 95 of Webster Schroeder High School, Jonathan Parks 85 of Saranac High School, Lee Roscoe 91 of Westhill High School in Syracuse and David Treharne 83 of Auburn Enlarged Central Schools.
Middle school principals who presented included Jamie Cruikshank 92 of Potsdams A.A. Kingston Middle School, Scott McDonald 94 of William Golding Middle School in Cobleskill and Nancy Taylor-Schmitt 84 of Indian River Middle School.
Elementary school principals included Scott Gilbert 86 of the Potomac (Virginia) Elementary School, Larry Jenne 83 of Potsdams Lawrence Avenue Elementary School, Charity Zawatski 02 of West Side Elementary School in Gouverneur and Sharlee Thomas 89 of the St. Regis Mohawk School.
In addition to the session on entering the teaching job market, the TESA Conference also offered a session called Best Practice Approaches to Teaching Literacy: Stories from the Field. Presenters included alumni Faith Bish 03 of Jefferson Elementary School in Massena, Randy Burlingame 90 and David Vroman 83, both of Potsdam Central Schools, Megan Leger 10 of Colton-Pierrepont School District, Amanda Chapman 09 of Gouverneur Central Schools, Tiffany Maynard of SUNY Potsdams Rebecca V. Sheard Literacy Center and Rebecca Ouderkirk 10 of Madrid-Waddington Elementary School. Amy Schwerzmann 73 of the Watertown City School District was the keynote speaker for the conferences session on literacy.