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Updated: Mar 1, 2021

Buffalo, NY – Gateway Longview announces the promotion of Shannon Ochal as Principal of Gateway Longview schools. Ochal, who holds seven New York State certifications, comes from the Therapeutic Preschool and Kindergarten Program where she spent the last four years as Director. Ochal is a former special education teacher where she taught in both agency and district settings. At Holland Central School District, Ochal piloted the district’s 8-1-1, kindergarten through second grade, special education program during the 2015-16 school year. Prior to that, Ochal spent 11 years at Gateway Longview’s Therapeutic Preschool concluding her employment there as a teacher. “Shannon’s compassion for the children and families at Gateway Longview have contributed to the success of our students as we work together with their families to protect, to give hope, and to enrich their lives,” said Carolyne DeFranco, President and CEO of Gateway Longview. “Shannon’s specialized background in caring for children with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges contributed to her promotion as Principal.”

As Principal of Gateway Longview Schools, Ochal is responsible for leading nearly 100 faculty and support staff at two site locations (Gateway Longview Lynde Day School in Williamsville and Gateway Longview Therapeutic Preschool in Buffalo) who offer specialized education for nearly 180 students from preschool to age 21. The goal is to use therapeutic evidence based approaches and solution-focused care in order for each student to successfully transition to a less-restrictive environment, increase confidence, and independence to navigate public and private settings within the student’s own community and school. “I am excited to lead the team as the Educational Program’s Principal”, said Ochal.

Ochal earned her duel Bachelor of Science in Childhood/Special Education from Daemen College, Master of Science in Differentiated Instruction from Canisius College, and Master of Education (LIFTS) from the University at Buffalo. Ochal holds New York State Certifications in School District Leader, School Building Leader, Childhood Education (Grades 1-6), Students with Disabilities (Grades 1-6), Students with Disabilities (Birth-Grade 2), Early Childhood Education (Birth-Grade 2), and Gifted Education. Ochal is a native of Lackawanna and currently resides in Lake View.

ABOUT GATEWAY LONGVIEW Gateway-Longview, Inc. is a non-profit human services organization working together to protect, to give hope and to enrich the lives of every child and family served since 1890. Through a trauma informed lens, Gateway Longview cares for nearly 5,000 children and families annually across Western New York through behavioral health services, community-based services, residential treatment services and special education programs.

Gateway Longview's approach is solution-focused and trauma-informed. Gateway Longview's top priority is safety, as well as the social, mental and emotional well-being of youth and families in care. Staff at all levels recognize that each child and family has unique skills and experiences that make them who they are.

For more information about Gateway Longview, please visit



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