Instagram Combined Shape quotation Created with Sketch. 69

SUNY Potsdam Education Students Receive Career Advice (& Job Offers!) From School Administrators at TESA Conference

April 26, 2018

Kaitlin McNulty ’18, who is studying secondary science education at SUNY Potsdam, has already signed a teaching contract with Norwood-Norfolk Central School (Photo: Paul Mardy ’18).

More than 100 SUNY Potsdam teacher candidates had the opportunity to meet with school administrators from across the region and state, during the 2018 Teacher Education Student Association Conference.

Contributions to the School of Education and Professional Studies made the annual conference possible, allowing students to learn about career opportunities and practice their interviewing skills during the seventh annual conference, which was held on March 24. A record number of superintendents and principals—34 in all, of whom 26 were SUNY Potsdam alumni themselves—took part in this year’s TESA Conference.

The school administrators traveled from throughout Northern and Central New York, and some even came from as far away as Albany and Rochester, to help students prepare to enter the job market. All of the administrators had job openings in their districts, and spoke of an increasing shortage of teachers in all grade levels, especially in special education. Some of the student participants were lucky enough to receive job offers during the conference.

This year’s TESA conference was organized by the group’s advisor, K. Chad Graham ’03, who is also the program coordinator for the College’s undergraduate education program. Graham was assisted by TESA members, led by the student organization’s officers, Jennifer Wilcox ’18, president, and Molly Keefe ’19, treasurer.

David Vroman ’83 & ’91, president of the SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Association, served as the emcee for the event. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bette Bergeron and School of Education and Professional Studies Interim Dean Dr. Walt Conley also gave welcoming remarks at the conference.

School administrators who participated in the conference included:

  • Benjamin Barkley ’00, principal, Salmon River Elementary School
  • Karen Barnes ’08, Morristown Central School
  • Monica Baron, principal, Salmon River Central School
  • Mark Bennett ’00, principal, Potsdam Central High School
  • Thomas Burns ’92, district superintendent, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES
  • James Cruikshank ’92, superintendent, Norwood-Norfolk Central School
  • Kate Cruikshank ’93, principal, Hammond Central School
  • Mark Davey ’84, district superintendent, Champlain Valley Educational Services
  • Victoria Vissar Day ’87, principal, Gouverneur Elementary School
  • David Doe ’95, principal, Morristown Central School
  • Megan Foster, principal, Hermon-DeKalb Central School
  • Loretta Fowler, superintendent, Chateauguay Central School
  • Jennifer Gaffney, superintendent, Sackets Harbor Central School
  • Joe Gilfus, principal, Thousand Islands Central High School
  • Jerry Griffin ’94, superintendent, Malone Central School
  • Michael Hayden ’97, superintendent, Clyde-Savannah Central School
  • Timothy Heller ’87, grant administrator/registrar, Groton Central School
  • Todd LaPage ’03, middle and high school principal/director of special education, Brushton-Moira Central School
  • Nicole LeBeau, principal, Heuvelton Central Elementary School
  • Jennifer Lynch ’00, assistant principal/CIO, Brushton-Moira Central School
  • F. Scott McDonald ’94, principal, William H. Golding Middle School, Cobleskill-Richmond Central School
  • Reggie McDonald, director of special education, Champlain Valley Education Services, Plattsburgh
  • Christopher Nicol ’98, director of RTI and BBIS, Clyde-Savannah Central School
  • Jonathan Parks ’85, superintendent, Saranac Central School
  • Duane Richards ’90, principal, Jefferson Elementary School, Massena Central School
  • Jason Ring ’96, assistant superintendent for personnel, Watertown City School
  • Brenna Snider ’16, Jefferson Elementary School, Massena Central School
  • Robert Stewart ’96, superintendent, St Lawrence Central School
  • Christopher Todd ’92, district superintendent/executive officer, Oswego County BOCES, Mexico
  • Kristin Towne ’96, assistant principal, Salmon River High School
  • David Treharne ’83, assistant high school principal/CSE chair, Auburn Enlarged City School
  • Peter Turner ’89, superintendent, Carthage Central School
  • Daniel Valenzuela ’11, principal, Champlain Valley Educational Services, Plattsburgh
  • Mark White, superintendent, Hermon-DeKalb Central School

Conference breakout sessions were presented by: Anthony Betrus ’93, Pamela Charleson ’08, Vanessa Hahn ’06, Becky Henderson-Howie, Meaghan Janovsky ’06, Justin Loeber, Tammy Madeja, Nancy Mashaw ’89, Stephanie Ranger ’11, Evan Seitz, Janine Sullivan ’08 and Erica Weems ’02.

SUNY Potsdam has been preparing educators for more than 200 years. Nearly one in four of the College’s graduates earn degrees in education each year. The College’s undergraduate and graduate teaching programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Programs are offered both in Potsdam and in Watertown through a partnership with Jefferson Community College, and flexible scheduling is available for graduate programs. Education students benefit from lots of hands-on instructional opportunities, through student teaching placements and through campus educational programs offered at the Rebecca V. Sheard Literacy Center. To learn more about teacher education at SUNY Potsdam, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

For Media Inquiries

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, College Communications (315) 267-2114