Our Head of School and Principals

Head of School – Christopher Haskins

Christopher HaskinsChristopher Haskins has been dedicated to educating young people his entire career, including more than a decade as a principal in Rhode Island public schools. He most recently served as Principal of Dunn’s Corners School in Westerly, and he previously was a principal in the Cranston Public School District. Prior to being a principal, Chris taught English, including English Language Learners, and other subjects in Attleboro, Central Falls, and at the Seven Hills Charter School in Worcester, MA.

He is a founding board member of the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity, a Rhode Island non-profit committed to providing leaders with professional development and support equitable outcomes for students in schools. The Center is the home of Principal Residency Network, a principal certification program approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education, as well as the Learning Leader Network, where Chris has been coaching learning communities for teacher leaders and school leaders across Rhode Island and Massachusetts since 2010.

Upper School Principal Celeste Terry-Lo

celeste2An experienced teacher and leader in urban high schools, Mrs. Terry-Lo comes to Paul Cuffee School from the Baltimore City Schools where she has worked as both a school improvement facilitator, special education inclusion specialist and, more recently, Assistant Principal at Baltimore Design High School. Mrs. Terry-Lo started her teaching career in New York City and, later, in the Montgomery County Public Schools, where she taught students with learning differences in the general education content. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at State University of New York, her Master’s in Science in Clinical Psychology at Virginia State University, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration and Supervision at McDaniel College. Selected for the New Leaders for New Schools Emerging Leaders Program, Mrs. Terry-Lo completed her principal residency at Baltimore City College High School. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organization Leadership at Nova Southeastern University, where she has completed all but dissertation.

Middle School Principal – Eric Charlesworth

charlesworth_originalMr. Charlesworth has over a decade of experience working with Paul Cuffee School students and their families. Before becoming principal, he taught sixth-grade mathematics at the Middle School. As the first head of the math department, he helped to create and shape the mathematics curriculum and structures, as well as the School’s advisory program. As an educator deeply grounded in the philosophy that student success relies on a blend of good relationships, social skills, and engagement with learning, Mr. Charlesworth serves as a national facilitator for The Origins Program Developmental Designs – the pedagogy that undergirds the Middle School’s approach in helping Cuffee students to value and practice personal initiative, perseverance, and social responsibility. Originally from Rochester, NY, Mr. Charlesworth was a journalist in New York City before returning to school and completing a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Brown University. His goal is to continue enhancing Paul Cuffee’s tradition of building strong relationships across the school in order to best meet the needs of students so that each one can grow socially, emotionally and academically.

Lower School Principal – Carrie McWilliams, Ed.D.

carrieDr. Carrie McWilliams believes that academic achievement is possible for all children and she brings with her nearly two decades of leadership experience in diverse urban public school communities. Dr. McWilliams is trained as a transformation leader through the Rhode Island Department of Education’s residency program and has recently served as a principal at Agnes B. Hennessey Elementary School in East Providence, where she implemented systems and practices designed to improve student achievement by working collaboratively with the school’s instructional leadership team towards a shared vision. She began her teaching career in the New London Public School Department where, after ten years of teaching, she became Dean of Students, working collaboratively with teachers, students and families to improve student success. Dr. McWilliams earned her Master’s Degree and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies at Sacred Heart University and Doctorate of Education at University of Sarasota.