CDE Welcomes New Principal, Mr. Stein

Mr. Christopher Stein

July 2018

Cairo-Durham Elementary School welcomes its new Principal, Mr. Christopher Stein. Mr. Stein started his position in July 2018 after spending several years as an elementary principal in Flushing Queens. He is originally from the Hudson Valley and he is looking forward to living back upstate. 

Here are a few more things we learned about Mr. Stein:


What is your role here at Cairo-Durham Central School District, and where do you work?

I am the new principal at Cairo-Durham Elementary School and my office is located inside the main office.

How long have you worked at Cairo-Durham?

This is my first year at Cairo-Durham. I was appointed to the elementary principal position in May 2018 and officially started on July 1st.

What are your job responsibilities/priorities?

Focusing on the CDE mission and vision is a primary responsibility. Students are my biggest priority, and I’m looking forward to encouraging them every day to “Strive, Believe, Achieve.”

What is your background like – previous jobs, your education, etc.?

I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. My first teaching job was in the Hyde Park Central School District. I started as a fifth grade teacher and taught third and fourth grades as well. In 2010, I began teaching fourth grade at St. Peter’s School in Poughkeepsie. While at St. Peter’s, I also taught sixth grade English/Language Arts (ELA) and junior high science.

My passion for having an impact in the classroom drove me to want to have an impact on an entire school, so I started working toward becoming an administrator. In 2013, I earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from The College of St. Rose. I then began a principalship at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy in Flushing Queens. During my five years as principal, I worked with faculty, board members, parents, and most importantly students, to create a culture and learning environment that will change lives forever. I have now moved my family back upstate to continue my career in education as a leader at Cairo-Durham Elementary School.

What do you like most about your job?

The best thing about being a school principal is the ability to have an impact on a greater number of people. Rather than just one classroom, a principal can positively impact hundreds of students on a daily basis. I love working in the education field because I never wake up and wonder why I’m doing what I do. Every day has a sense of purpose.

What goal(s) do you hope to accomplish while working at CDE (short term and/or long term)?

My first goal is to get to know everyone. Building relationships with students, families and staff is important because people need to trust you. A building principal must lead with honesty and integrity. Once you get to know the community and those you serve, progress and positive change can occur to impact students’ lives.

It is clear the CDE staff care about the kids and doing what’s best for the students. A long-term goal is to continue the student-centered culture at CDE. So far, everyone I’ve met seems to share the same philosophy and I am looking forward to being a part of this school community.

Tell us a bit about your life outside of school.

My hobbies and interests outside of education include baseball and the Yankees, golfing, hiking, reading, and spending time with my wife and two-year-old daughter.

Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

The most interesting job I’ve ever had was a restaurant dishwasher. It was my first job when I was 14 years old, and I learned a lot about the service industry.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

Kids come first! Everyone in education should remember the reason we choose this field, and that is to make positive impacts and have a lasting impression on the lives of children.

What is the best advice anyone has given you?

A former teacher and mentor said to not let the negativity take away from your positivity. Things don’t always work out as planned, life is full of challenges. But don’t let the little things impact all the good work you can accomplish. Stay positive!