Sonhando EstwickPrincipal, Tompkins Square Middle School
Sonhando Estwick has enjoyed being an educator for over 20 years and currently serves as the Principal at Tompkins Square Middle School. He truly cherishes being able to impact people’s lives in a positive way and has strived to do so in every aspect of his life. Sonhando’s first passion, however, was music. He has used his intense training as a musician and his experience in education to create a learning atmosphere for all of his students that focuses on the arts and the importance of a diverse curriculum.
With years of experience as a professional musician, Sonhando Estwick took an opportunity to influence young minds as a “Teaching Artist” with the Lincoln Center Institute. Through this opportunity, Sonhando was introduced to the powerful world of education, and decided to pursue music education as his primary career. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Musical Director for Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in New York City as part of their After School and Preschool programs. In 2001 Sonhando Estwick became the music teacher at the New School For Arts and Science where he was the Director of the Music Department and developed an Electronic Music Program that spanned 4 years of study. This was also a time when he had his first foray into leadership as he worked with the Principal and faculty on developing the school’s Comprehensive Educational Plan, and worked to coordinate better communication between school facilities by creating an Inter-School Council.
In 2003 he returned to school to gain his Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College. In 2005 Sonhando Estwick became the dean at Tompkins Square Middle School moved quickly through the educational ranks to become a Principal.
Sonhando Estwick is incredibly grateful for every opportunity he’s had to change his student’s lives and improve the education they receive. His progressive view of education and love for the arts has created an atmosphere where all children feel confident in their abilities as well as a well-rounded respect for all cultures and walks of life.
As a community member, Sonhando has been involved in a variety of causes, but one opportunity in particular helped him realize just how influential the arts can be. Shortly after his arrival to New York city he participated in a program called Arts in the Shelters and helped homeless children gain confidence and self-esteem through their artistic creations. Sonhando Estwick had the honor of being nominated for the New York City “Volunteer of the Year” Award in 1997 as a result of his work here.