Meet The School Leadership Team

Across our organization, our school leadership team works to foster supportive, enriching learning environments for our students, and helps expand the professional learning and growth of our teaching and support team.  

Career & Technical School

Albany Campus

Albany Campus Career & Technical School Principal Shelette Pleat, with dark brown hair pulled back in a bun and wearing a mint green draped top, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Shelette Pleat

Principal
shelette.pleat@neric.org

Shelette Pleat joined the Career & Technical School as principal of its Albany Campus in July 2020. Previously, Shelette served as the early literacy coordinator for the Schenectady City Schools, and as principal in the Albany City and Salem Central school districts. Shelette got her start in education as an elementary teacher, first in Troy and later in Albany.


Albnay Campus Career & Technical School Assistant Principal Kathleen Nickerson, with brown hair pulled back away from their face and wearing a brown top and multicolored scarf, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Kathleen Nickerson

Assistant Principal
kathleen.nickerson@neric.org

Kathleen Nickerson joined the Career & Technical School as its Assistant Principal in March 2021. Previously Kathleen held positions as the assistant director of educational equity and instructional support with the Schenectady City School District. Nickerson got her start in education as the K-12 music teacher in the Wells Central School District in the Adirondacks. 


Adult Education 

Supervisor of Adult Education Programs Maria Huntington, who has shoulder length brown hair and is wearing a white sleeveless top, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Maria Huntington

Supervisor of Adult Education Programs
maria.huntington@neric.org

Maria Huntington has served as Supervisor of Adult Education and Programming at Capital Region BOCES since 2019. Prior to that, she was a program manager for Adult Education at BOCES and Literacy Zone Coordinator. Before joining BOCES in 2015, the School for International Training and Niagara University graduate held a variety of positions in community service organizations such as Literacy Volunteers of Essex and Franklin County.


Health Careers & Services Principal Paula Negri, who has shoulder length blond hair and is wearing a dark blue blouse, looks at and smiles for the camera.
Paula Negri

Health Careers & Services Principal
paula.negri@neric.org

Paula Negri currently serves as principal of our Health Careers & Services programs. She has also worked as an adult Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) teacher, secondary LPN and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) teacher, and in other administrative roles in the Health Careers programs. Before joining BOCES in 1994, Paula worked at St. Clare’s Hospital as a pediatric/maternity and medical surgical nurse, was a medical sales representative at Gaymar Industries, and a wound care specialist trainer and pharmaceutical sales representative at Adams Laboratories. Paula has also worked as a nursing instructor at Ellis School of Nursing Pediatric, where she also earned her master’s degree in Nursing Education.


Center for Advanced Technology @ Mohonasen

Center for Advanced Technology at Mohonasen Principal Makensie Bullinger, who has long blond hair and is wearing a white blouse, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Makensie Bullinger

Principal
makensie.bullinger@neric.org

Makensie Bullinger serves as principal of the Career and Technical Education and P-TECH programs at the Center for Advanced Technology @Mohonasen, a position she has held since 2018. Prior to that, she held a variety of administrative and principal positions in the Mohonasen Central School District, most recently serving as K-12 Administrator for Science and Technology. A graduate of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh; the College of St. Rose, the University at Albany and the State University of New York at Cortland, she got her start in education as a science teacher at Mohonasen.


Schoharie Campus 

Schoharie Career and Technical School Principal Matthew Ward, who has short brown hair and a closely trimmed beard and mustache, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Matthew Ward

Principal
matthew.ward@neric.org

Matthew Ward joined our Career and Technical School team in July 2021. Prior to this, Matt served as Greenville High School principal and was also an assistant high school principal in both Guilderland and the Cairo-Durham school districts. The College of Saint Rose graduate got his start in education as a social studies teacher at Ichabod Crane, where he also held several coaching positions.


Special Education

Airline Drive Academy

Airline Drive Academy Principal Barb Lounello, a white woman with shoulder length blond hair, glasses and a black shirt and coat, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Barb Lounello

Principal
barb.lounello@neric.org


Airline Drive Academy Assistant Principal Richard McCarthy, a white man with short brown hair and wearing a blue stripped dress shirt, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Richard McCarthy

Assistant Principal
richard.mccarthy@neric.org

Richard (Chad) McCarthy joined Airline Drive Academy as its assistant principal in July 2020. Chad worked for a number of years as a teacher in our special education programs and previously worked in an administrative role at Saranac Lake Central School District.  


Maywood School

Gabriele Barbato, who has short brown hair and a closely trimmed beard and mustache, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Gabriele Barbarto

Principal
gabriele.barbato@neric.org

Gabriele Barbarto joined the Maywood School in August 2021. Previously, he served as Pre-K through Grade 6 principal and, prior to that, an instructional supervisor at Eagle Point Elementary School in Albany. Additionally, Gabriele served as an assistant principal at Schenectady High School and site principal for the BOCES Regional Summer School program. A graduate of the College of Saint Rose, Gabriele got his start in education in the Schenectady City School District, where he taught for a decade before moving into administration.


District-Based Elementary, Middle School and High School Locations

Special Education Principal Carol d'Estienne, who has shoulder length brown hair and is wearing a purple top, looks at and smiles for the camera.
Carol d’Estienne

Principal
carol.destienne@neric.org

Carol d’Estienne has been a principal with our Special Education programs for the past 20 years and has worked with a variety of programs and students. Prior to working at BOCES, Carol was a special education teacher in New York, California and Vermont, was a Special Education Training and Resource Center trainer and an adjunct faculty member at Sage College and The College of St. Rose.


Cooperative Virtual Learning Academy

Cooperative Virtual Learning Academy Principal Carrie Sunkes, who has long blond hair and is wearing a white blouse and a dark blue jacket, looks at and smiles for the camera.

Carrie Sunkes

Principal
carrie.sunkes@neric.org

Carrie Sunkes has spent the past 20 years in the field of education, as both a teacher and administrator in various area school districts. Carrie began her career as a teacher of accelerated math and Academic Intervention Services in math in the North Colonie School District, and was a sixth grade teacher, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Enrichment and Intermediate Elementary Summer School principal at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District. Most recently, Carrie served BH-BL’s Virtual Elementary Principal. In this new role, Carrie helped create a virtual learning environment that reinforced academic skills while introducing technical platforms that allowed student and teachers to stay connected and learning throughout a nationwide pandemic.