Kathleen Schneck-Suma Assumes High School Assistant Principal Role
New Paltz–Kathleen Schneck-Suma has been appointed as the new assistant principal in the New Paltz High School (NPHS). She will be assisting newly hired Principal Dr. Samuelle Simms to run the school. She joins the District from Ketcham High School in the Wappingers Falls Central School District, where she served as the assistant principal for three years.
Schneck-Suma graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts Education. She went on to get a Master’s in Fine Arts from Vermont College of Fine Arts and worked in the New York City schools as an art teacher for 12 years.
She said that two of her role models, her grandmother and aunt, were both teachers and she felt “naturally drawn to education.” She realized education was her calling while still attending Hofstra and teaching arts and woodworking in a summer camp, where she enjoyed seeing the excitement her students experienced for learning.
Schneck-Suma’s interest in educational leadership came while working with administrators and teachers who were striving to shift the culture of a school in Queens after the appointment of a new principal. She explained that she was given the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues to make positive changes within the school community. This experience, she added, ultimately led her to pursue an educational leadership certification atHunter College.
Schneck-Suma was attracted to New Paltz Central School District (NPCSD) because of the District’s work with equity and diversity, and looks forward to contributing to that mission. “Equity and diversity are meaningful to me, because I believe when we celebrate our differences we can learn from each other and become more understanding that everyone is just as unique as you are,” she said. Schneck-Suma added that everyone has struggled throughout COVID-19, and that her goal is to make this a wonderful school year for all by including restorative practices and positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) to promote school safety and good behavior.
Outside of work, Schneck-Suma is married with two children and a dog. She enjoys traveling and exploring new places, in particular the beach. She also likes to revisit her love of art for recreation, especially doing art projects that range from painting to refurbishing old furniture.
“My dad always said this to me, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way,’” said Schneck-Suma. “It reminds me to not give up when things seem tough.” Mental toughness is not her only trait, as she also describes herself as dedicated, creative, and calm.
“We are so pleased to have a new administrator with a diverse background, and a skill set in collaborating to create positive outcomes,” said NPCSD Superintendent of Schools, Angela Urbina-Medina. “We appreciate her passion for implementing healthy institutional changes through positive reinforcement and systemic policies.”