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Our Head of School and Principals

Head of School – Christopher Haskins

Christopher 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, he taught English, including English Language Learners, and other subjects in Attleboro, Central Falls, and at the Seven Hills Charter School in Worcester, MA.

Mr. Haskins is a founding board member of the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity, a Rhode Island nonprofit 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 he has been coaching learning communities for teacher leaders and school leaders across Rhode Island and Massachusetts since 2010.

Upper School Principal Genevieve Schultz

Genevieve Schultz is a native of Milwaukee, WI, but has called Providence home for the past five years. She attended the University of Wisconsin where she majored in social work, earned her teaching credential from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and recently completed her MEd in school leadership from Rhode Island College.

Before working at Cuffee, Ms. Schultz taught high school English and coached new teachers in schools across Rhode Island. Most recently, she served as the Academic Dean at Paul Cuffee Upper School. During her time at PCUS, she has grown more committed to ensuring that each PCUS student has the skills needed to be successful after high school, while also building a community that is rooted in social justice, trust, and fun.

Middle School Principal Rod Gamble

Highly invested in urban education and the qualities that distinguish Paul Cuffee School’s culture, Mr. Gamble brings more than 15 years of experience as an educator and administrator to his role as Middle School Principal. To share his passion for learning and leading, he is also a facilitator with the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity, a Rhode Island non-profit organization whose mission is to provide leaders with professional learning and support to create equitable educational outcomes for every student in our schools.

Prior to becoming a school administrator at Cuffee, Mr. Gamble was an assistant principal in Central Falls and a teacher and advisor at the Met School in both Providence and Newport. He began his teaching career as an adjunct business instructor at Bay State College before shifting his focus to secondary school teaching. As a faculty member at North Brookfield Junior/Senior High School, Durfee High School in Fall River, MA and later at Woonsocket High School, Rod combined his love for teaching with his background in business administration and accounting.

Mr. Gamble is a native of West Baltimore who moved to Rhode Island nearly 20 years ago. He lives in Providence with his wife and son.  One of the things he enjoys most about being at Paul Cuffee is greeting each student with a big smile and a high five as they enter our middle school building each day.

Lower School Principal in Residence – Josie Batista

Passionate about education and making a difference in the world, Ms. Batista’s positivity and growth mindset inspire her students and colleagues alike. In the words of one individual who met with Ms. Batista in a recent focus group session, “Josie’s energy is unmatchable and contagious. Her ability to be direct in the best way possible is something I admire. She holds both students and colleagues to the highest of standards.”

Combining her strengths of instructional leadership and positive behavior, Ms. Batista will be making the transition from Principal-in-Residence to Lower School Building Principal during the 2021/22 school year. Prior to this promotion, Josie completed her second successful year as Dean of Students at Paul Cuffee Lower School. Before advancing to Dean of Students, Ms. Batista was one of the longest serving teachers at Paul Cuffee Middle School. Her sixth-grade humanities students consistently demonstrated high growth in reading and writing. 

In addition to her anticipated Master of Education in School Leadership degree from Providence College, which she will be awarded in December 2021, Ms. Batista has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a concentration in English from Rhode Island College. She will be bringing 15 years of classroom experience to her building principal role, as well as her expertise as a national facilitator for the Developmental Designs program. Ms. Batista has trained teachers from across the United States, including those from Cuffee, in the classroom practices that integrate academics with social-emotional learning.

In her free time, Josie loves bike riding, trips to the beach, and spending time with family. What she loves most about Cuffee is the strong sense of community, and it is no wonder why Ms. Batista considers the school home.