NEW PALTZ–The New Paltz Central School District (NPCSD) welcomes Samuelle Simms, Ed.D. as the new principal of New Paltz High School (NPHS). Dr. Simms will be responsible for overseeing the school’s academics, Special Education, curriculum alignment with State standards, graduation pathways, professional development, building and maintaining community partnerships, and more in the approximately 680-student school. Dr. Simms started her post in early August.
Speaking about the appointment of Dr. Simms, NPCSD Superintendent Angela Urbina-Medina said, “We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Simms to our team. There is a lot of work to be done, and Dr. Simms is committed to establishing an environment in which all students feel safe, secure, and have as many academic opportunities as possible. I believe she will be able to implement the equity-based initiatives that we have begun to put in place and advance our culture of equity and inclusion.”
Dr. Simms is herself no stranger to the classroom, having earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from New York University, a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Brooklyn College, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Russell Sage College.
In addition to having several years of teaching experience at the high school and middle school levels, she was an assistant principal at a pre-kindergarten through Grade 8 school in New York City for four years. Most recently, Dr. Simms served as an assistant principal of a high school in Beacon for five years. During her tenure in Beacon, she increased course options, expanded extracurricular options, worked to support at-risk, Special Education, and English as a New Language students, incorporated restorative practices, and decreased the number of student disciplinary infractions.
Dr. Simms explained that during her first year of teaching, she soon realized that not all students have access to the best possible education. She said she quickly became an advocate for her students to expand their opportunities to help them grow academically and socially.
Dr. Simms said that as a “culturally responsive” leader, she welcomes the opportunity to work with the NPHS community to continue the equity-based initiatives that the District has begun, and to foster a student- and family-centered community. “It is our obligation as a community to advocate for and support our students so that they can reach academic mastery,” she said.
One of her primary goals, Dr. Simms said, will be to partner with faculty, staff, students, and families to co-create a shared vision for the advancement of the school. “Since student engagement is at the core, building and crafting instructional practices so that they are engaging, of student interest, and beneficial is a priority,” she said.
Dr. Simms describes herself as caring, optimistic, and focused. She is married and has a one year-old son. While not at work, Dr. Simms enjoys cooking and gardening. She added that she is also a “pretty good” singer.