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J. Watson Bailey's New Assistant Principals

J. Watson Bailey Middle School and the Kingston City School District are proud to welcome two new Assistant Principals to their team. Starting their positions at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, Mrs. Erin Nelson and Mrs. Shellian Heredia are fine additions to JWB, both with a drive and passion for their students’ well-rounded education in the forefront of their practices.

Mrs. Nelson is a long-time member and “product” of the KCSD as a former student of E.R. Crosby Elementary School, M. Clifford Miller Middle School, and Kingston High School. She has studied at SUNY Ulster, SUNY Albany, the University of New England, SUNY New Paltz earning an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in biology, and a Master’s of Science in Education.

Mrs. Nelson has taught seventh grade science over the last 16 years, 14 years at Miller and two years at Bailey. She was the Science Department Lead Teacher and Liaison, and the adviser of the National Jr. Honor Society, Science Olympiads and Student Government. In 2014, she was selected as a NYS Master Teacher where she invested 50 hours a year, for four years, into professional development in her content area. By May of 2018, she earned her Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership and accepted her first leadership position as the Transition 5 Program Administrator this past summer.

She leads with the belief that the power of presence drives informed decision-making and builds a community of shared vision and trust. Students know her best for saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

As a mother of three, ages 3, 11, and 12, and wife of a history teacher at Kingston High School, she has deep roots in the community. She feels privileged to work alongside her talented colleagues to educate and inspire the students of J. Watson Bailey and proud to continue her career in the district that helped shape the person she has become.


Mrs. Heredia originates from Boston, MA, spending her childhood and most of her studies in New England. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, then continued there to earn her Master’s in Education for School Counseling. She then went on to further her education in New York at Stony Brook University where she earned her School Building Leadership Advanced Degree.  

Mrs. Heredia has a vast background of professional experience. She was a School Counselor for over nine years at the Carol and Frank Biondi School at Leake and Watts Services, Inc. in Westchester County serving the 853 Special Education program. She then took on a role as a Program Director at the Academy for Young Women at The Biondi High School. Her last position, before joining KCSD, was spent in Yonkers as the Assistant Principal at Greenburgh High School. “As a school counselor I've worn many hats. However, I wanted to make a greater impact on student's social, emotional and educational journey. I felt the greatest impact would be to take on a bigger role and become one of the decision makers. I want to help create an instructional environment which all teachers and students can achieve success,” she stated.   

This year, she plans to focus on maintaining an environment where students feel safe and can achieve academic success. She looks forward to building and fostering great relationships with Bailey students, parents and staff, making the school a welcoming environment for all. “I think we are on the right track.”

Advice for her studentsDon't try too hard to fit in, it's ok to be "different". Embrace differences in each other. Everyone is different and unique in their own way. It's what makes you special.