By Mason Roepe, Staff Writer
After working for 12 years as an art teacher, Mrs. Schneck took a job as Vice Principal at Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls. After three years there, she was excited to come to a smaller school and truly get to know the staff and students. “I think this is going to be a very positive environment, and I am very excited to work with Dr. Simms and the greater New Paltz community,” Mrs. Schneck said.
If you participate in any after-school club, you might just receive a visit from the new Vice Principal. Do not be alarmed, this is not a puritan crack-down on non-academic activities, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Mrs. Schneck’s goal as New Paltz High School’s newest Vice Principal is to encourage the creativity she sees at the school.
Mrs. Schneck is looking to break the mold of Vice Principals as strict disciplinarians. Instead of discipline for the sake of punishment, Schneck looks to create a stronger sense of community through restorative justice practices. Schneck prefers using the multitude of school resources available to help misbehaving students become better people and learn from their mistakes, rather than the punishments of old.
Something Mrs. Schneck kept coming back to during our interview was her enthusiasm for the creativity she sees at New Paltz High School. Citing it as the reason why she was attracted to New Paltz, she claims it as her favorite aspect of the school. Mrs. Schneck plans on working with groups within the school to come up with ways in which New Paltz’s artistry can be showcased through community-based projects, saying “I can’t wait to see it showcased in its many forms like the marching band, art classes, and theater productions.”
Mrs. Schneck’s willingness to work with students goes beyond just artistic pursuits. She also plans on working with student leaders to strive towards equity. Something she learned from her last Vice-Principal position was that “it takes a team” because we can “accomplish more when we do it together.”