Mrs. Kristen Zender | St. Lawrence University Education

Mrs. Kristen Zender

K. Zender
Class year: 
Classes of 2011 and 2008
Canton, NY

Current Position
Principal, Seaway Area Technical Education Center

Position held since: 2015

Previous Employment:
Supervisor of Special Education, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES (2013-2014)
Guidance Counselor, Potsdam Central School District (2008-2013)
Assistant Director/Counselor, SUNY Canton Upward Bound Program (2004-2008)

Educational Background:
Hugh C. Williams High School, Canton, New York (1999)
SUNY Potsdam, B.A. in Sociology, Minor in United States History (2003)
St. Lawrence University; M.Ed., School Counseling Concentration (2008)
St. Lawrence University; C.A.S., Counseling and Human Development (2011)
St. Lawrence University; SBL Certificate Program, (2013)
St. Lawrence University; C.AS. Combined SBL/SDL (In-Progress)

My St. Lawrence Experience:
I have truly valued the experience that I had at St. Lawrence University.  I have continuously taken courses at St. Lawrence from 2008 on.  Perhaps the most positive attribute that I have learned through my time at St. Lawrence was to never stop learning.  When I started at St. Lawrence I was exploring opportunities in both the school-based and mental health counseling capacities.  I was encouraged to find the path that I felt passionate about gained the requisite skills in both.  During my time as a learner at SLU, I have always maintained full-time employment.  When determining which graduate school I would go to this was an important factor.  The professors at SLU have always found ways to integrate my experiences outside of the classroom into it.  I found that my work was an extension of the classroom and appreciated the flexible nature of the professors in working with me.  I never saw leadership potential in myself and I am thankful that the professors I had encouraged me to do more.  The alumni I have connected with as a result of St. Lawrence have been valuable professionally and have always been available for knowledge, encouragement, and more. 

Though I have been at St. Lawrence in a variety of capacities for a long period of time, I was most impressed with the change in the Education Leadership program under Dr. Collins’ direction.  Under his helm, he has taken this program to new heights.  Being the first class to have to take the new SBL exams I was unsure of what to expect.  The coursework that Dr. Collins has instituted was instrumental in ensuring I not only passed these exams, but was successful in my first year as an administrator.  There have been areas such as teacher evaluation and DDI that I have explored in-depth during my time as a learner that seasoned administrators are just now becoming proficient in.   Mrs. Annemarie FitzRandolph was extremely flexible with me during the course of my internship at Potsdam Central.  I valued the opportunity to learn from such a respected administrator from the North Country.  She is a seasoned practitioner and I appreciated her pushing me beyond my comfort level to work on my weaknesses and learn more.  Mr. Joe McDonough allowed us to glimpse into his life as a standing Principal and to discuss trends occurring in the trenches.

Entering year two of administration, I am thankful for the continued contact with the members of the Education Department at St. Lawrence.  From technical assistance from Erin Basford, academic rigor from all of the professors at SLU, to continued support via new collaborations such as the Principal’s Academy, I value my experiences and look forward to being a member of the SLU community for many years to come.