CATEGORY: Teachers and Leaders

Achievement First Feb 15, 2024

We’re continuing School Leader Appreciation Week with part two of our Years of Service series, honoring leaders who have been with AF for ten years or more. Thank you for all that you do and for your decade of service!

Celebrating 10 or more years at AF!

  D'Asia Adger, Dean at AF Bushwick ES D’Asia, from the moment you joined the team at Bushwick as a Teacher-in-Residence, your work has been impressive. You have been asked to rise up on so many occasions, and without hesitation, you say, “Yes!” From being an academic dean during remote learning to leading K-1 math to returning to your dean of student experience role, you are a leader who can be counted on to do what is best for kids. You know that when doing this work, you must make hard decisions that are in the best interest of kids. You are unafraid to make hard decisions because you care most about the success and growth of the 500 kids our school serves – including the brilliant daughter you have raised. You believe in our mission. You believe in our school. You believe in our kids. Your belief drives your work. Thank you for doing this hard, humbling, important work for 10 years. - Courtney Saretzky, AF Bushwick ES Principal   John Aguilar, DSO at AF University Prep HS John, congratulations on your ten years at Achievement First. You have such an interesting and unexpected pathway to the DSO seat. But it was evident from the start that you would be strong and successful by watching you as a teacher. You are thorough. Committed to excellence. You are detailed and organized. You build relationships. Humans first. You are consistent, and consistency is kindness. You are committed to equity. You see the best in people. As a result, it has been a pleasure watching you blossom. Our school is stronger and better with you in this important leadership role. I am able to fully trust you, your decision-making, your judgment, your consistency, and your motivations. Your impact is felt from the daily visits from the interns to the comfortability of staff coming to you for various needs to parents remembering you from when you taught their children in 7th grade to our systems getting stronger and clearer. You’re building a legacy and building something that is bigger than you, and that’s awesome to watch. Congrats on 10, and I’m so glad I get to work closely with you at the school. - Jason Coalter, AF University Prep HS Principal     Jennifer Alexis Pascal, Dean at AF East New York ES Jenn is such a force to be reckoned with. She is an incredible leader and has made such an impact on the Wolfpack! Over the last decade, Jenn has gone from teacher to dean and truly inspires anyone she works with. Her bar and vision for excellence are unmatched. She has the unique ability to invest families, scholars, and teachers in their success and does this while ensuring they know she deeply believes in them. Jenn loves East New York families and has created such a bond with many who have been part of the Wolfpack. Jenn’s impact on the school and community has been remarkable, and her commitment to East New York over the last decade has left an incredible mark on the school. - Meryl Senter, AF East New York ES Principal     Ashlie Alleyne, Dean at AF Hartford Summit MS Ashlie! Thank you for all the ways you’ve led at Summit over the last 10 years (BI, enrichment teacher, history teacher, and now a DOSC)! The work you do is incredibly inspiring. Every day, you show up and give 1000% to our students and staff. You bring light and wisdom to many of us, which is no small feat. This year alone, you’ve tackled revamping what it looks like for our culture team members to be truly coached and supported in their development. And you do it with so much grace and poise, even when it means hitting the drawing board to create something new. This alone makes you an incredible leader. You are a valued member of our school community, and I personally cannot wait to see what you bring for years to come because you elevate everything you touch! Congratulations on the BIG 10! -Raina Simmons, AF Hartford Summit MS Principal Nora Bahgat, Dean at AF Hartford ES Nora has been a pillar at our school for a decade, and her impact is immeasurable! At the core of her leadership, she has put extraordinary effort and practice to ensure our kids feel seen, loved, and heard. You will often see her having heart-to-heart conversations with kids while providing tools to support their emotional well-being. Nora has also elevated our school experiences through her thoughtful planning around school events, celebrating various experiences and cultures within and beyond. Finally, Nora has been an advocate of a strong Enrichment program, ensuring through her passion and coaching that the quality of PE, Art, and Dance is engaging and transformative for kids. Our Hartford Dragon team would not be the same without her decade-long compassion, dedication, and love for our kids. Congrats, Nora! - Sueleidy Cruz, AF Hartford ES Principal   Tashia Bernadel, Dean at Elm City College Prep ES Tashia, thank you for all you have done for the New Haven and Bridgeport community over the last 10 years! Witnessing your journey as a distinguished teacher and leader has been inspiring. You drove strong results as a 2nd grade ELA and third-grade writing teacher, led with joy, and contributed to a successful culture turn-around as Dean of Students. You embody the AF values, "Go Further Together" and "Strive for Excellence." You are willing to jump in wherever needed and constantly seek ways to grow. Whether self-learning a new curriculum, returning to school, or asking your peers for feedback, you want to be your best for yourself and the community. Congratulations on 10 YEARS! – Lauren D’Addario, Elm City College Prep ES Principal    Kuiana Blackwell, Dean at AF Bridgeport MS Kuiana has shown immense dedication to AF in her 10 years here. She started her career as the 7th grade Science teacher at AF Elm City Prep, where she helped cultivate a strong learning culture throughout the building. As she transitioned from her science teacher role, she shifted her focus to supporting our exceptional learners. Kuiana joined the BPMS team as our Special Services Coordinator and has grown beyond measure. With her work ethic and dedication to our students, it was important for us to ensure that Kuiana sat in this Special Services seat, and I am so proud that she is a part of the leadership team. As Kuiana has stepped into our Dean of Special Services seat, she continues to push for excellence. Kuiana, thank you for continuing to choose AF. - Diamond Laing, AF Bridgeport MS Interim Principal   David Constant, Dean at AF Amistad HS In education, few individuals shine as brightly as Dave, a dedicated and resilient educator whose commitment spans an impressive decade of service with AF. His journey has been a testament to unwavering loyalty, kindness, warmth, and an extraordinary intellect that inspires those around him. Dave advocates for racial equity, recognizing the importance of creating an inclusive and diverse environment for students and staff. I am grateful to have had Dave as my partner, a beacon of positivity, and a catalyst for personal and professional growth. It is a privilege to work alongside him. Congrats on 10 years, Dave! -Dr. Simon Obas, AF Amistad HS Principal   Tasha Davis, Dean at AF Endeavor ES Tasha is a master teacher and a visionary leader. Tasha has impacted our 3rd-grade scholars and families for 10 years, which is no easy feat. She has spent 8 years leading in our 3rd-grade classrooms, exemplifying our best teaching practices from strong taxonomy to building strong relationships with kids as a distinguished teacher in our network. During this time, Tasha, as the lead teacher of her team, was able to achieve some of the highest state test results we have seen in 3rd-grade math in the New York Region, with 99% of students proficient in 2017-2018 and 97% of students proficient in 2018- 2019. When Tasha was asked to step into a leadership role in 2022 to cover for a dean's maternity leave, she did so with the same determination that she does everything else. Our school team and families respect Tasha’s experience, knowledge, and drive. Tasha willingly stepped into the role of dean for the last 2 years and has worked diligently as she does with every challenge and opportunity that comes her way. Tasha sets a strong vision for everything she does and follows it through with clarity and support. Our students and our staff are so lucky to be led by her. - Colleen Young McKinnon, Principal at AF Endeavor ES   Mariama Diallo, Principal at AF Linden ES Marrie – You are the definition of a true leader! For ten years, you have been leading at Linden Elementary no matter what role you’ve been in—from teaching to dean-ing and now principal-ing! When I think of you, I think of someone who is inspiring, calm, reliable, driven, and hungry for growth. You are someone who handles new tasks and responsibilities with grace and a willingness to learn and strive for excellence at every turn! You know what excellence looks like, and you believe anything is possible for the adults and kids at Linden. You constantly push your team by giving clear, direct feedback that moves people and teams forward. And because of your unwavering belief in achieving excellence, you walk toward challenges with an incredible force and sense of desire to achieve what is possible. Thank you for caring so deeply about the success of our kids, staff, and school community at Linden! Thank you for your commitment to growing and showing up each day a better you! Congratulations on 10 years of service! So much more in store for you! - Brooke Williams, Regional Superintendent   Jessica Eddy, Principal at AF Legacy ES Jess, you are one of the most passionate people that I have ever had the experience of working with. Your love of learning, love of scholars, and love of community shine so clearly in all aspects of the work that you do! You know what excellence in school looks like, and push your leaders and teachers to rise to your high expectations because it is what scholars deserve. Hearing from the families that trust your school community to teach their scholars is the most inspiring – during “Pastries with the Principal,” your parents work together to share best practices and resources to ensure that they continue the great work that is happening in your building. This is just a small part of the magic that you bring to your school. Lastly, you are a pioneer – you are taking AF into Queens! After 10 years with AF, no one has a clearer vision or commitment to who we are to do this incredibly challenging work! Your school community is so lucky to have you leading the charge, and I am incredibly grateful that you continue to choose AF as the place where you share your talents – our school, communities, and organization are better because you are a part of it! Congratulations Jessco! - Marc Sachse, Regional Superintendent   Elizabeth Faboyede, Dean at AF Providence ES Elizabeth is the definition of a Waymaker. She is constantly advocating and working to improve the conditions for those who will follow in her footsteps. She gracefully wears many hats as a mom, advocate, teacher, leader, friend, and wife, juggling all her responsibilities gracefully. Elizabeth brings her whole self into her work and is someone who is unwavering in their commitment to equity and giving kids and families the educational experience they deserve. She’s the person on the team who will remember someone’s birthday, enneagram number, or that you just bought a house and makes sure we create the space to celebrate all of the things that make the people in our community unique and special. From TIR to teacher to Dean -- PRES is lucky to have you, Elizabeth; thank you for all you do! - Bre Hudgins, AF Providence ES Principal George Fuller, Dean at Amistad MS George -- my RIGHT-HAND man! You show up every day ready to work, which is just a piece of what we admire most about you. We are all grateful for the service you've given this team for the past 10 years. Even when things are quiet, you will find ways to support teachers, classrooms, and our school proactively and that's what I appreciate most about you. Our school could not function at its best without you here, doing all the work you do behind the scenes that no one knows about. Thank you for being calm when I am a tornado, being the voice of reason when things are chaotic, and, most importantly, being an advocate for every student in this building. When we first met, you said, "Jasmine, I have your back." You have gone above and beyond to support me to ensure that the experience for our kids at this school is better than they've had in the past. You take every task and extrapolate it into something even more meaningful, show up for the kids who need a little extra love, and reason effectively to ensure all concerns end in clear solutions and results. I look forward to working together for many more years and watching you continue to show why your presence here matters! - Jasmine Watts, Amistad MS Principal   Kerrian Herry, Dean at AF Endeavor ES Kerrian is, by definition, amazing! She cares so much about what is best for student learning. This makes her a strong leader for teachers and the students in her grades. She not only considers the teachers in her portfolio development but also the student outcomes necessary for them to succeed on or above grade level. When I think about AF Endeavor, I think about an exemplary school, and I know this was possible because of Kerrian and her teammates over the years. Kerrian as the lead ELA teacher on her team led the ELA instruction to achieve commendable results on the New York ELA State Exam pre-pandemic with 75% and 78% of students proficient in 2017- 2018 and 2018-2019, respectively. I remember visiting the school and watching Kerrian modeling strong instructional practices in Close Reading that pushed students to interpret text meaningfully. Kerrian did this with countless texts over our school's 9 years of teaching. Kerrian was the model and a master teacher. Kerrian grew as an amazing teacher at AF Endeavor and committed her time to becoming an even better leader. Kerrian cares about the people she leads, their genuine well-being, and their growth and development in our school. - Colleen Young McKinnon, Principal at AF Endeavor ES Njumea Holderleali, Dean at AF Linden MS In my past 12 years of working in education, I have never met anyone more passionate about student culture than Njumea Holderleali. It is her bread and butter, the air she breathes, and her passion day in and day out. She is a champion for all of our babies and works tirelessly to make her high bar for student experience a reality. She is one of the most reflective leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, making her so successful. Thank you for making the jump to Middle School. I love our natural alignment and your deep, deep care for our scholars. Congratulations on 10 years!!! - Stephanie Blieka, AF Linden MS Principal Breonna Hudgins, Principal at AF Providence ES Bre is an incredible leader who has dedicated a decade of service and leadership to our PRES community! Calm, centered, and highly skilled in technical and adaptive leadership – she can do it all! From founding the school and then being part of the Leadership Team that did the hard work of setting the school on the beautiful path it is today to leading through the challenges of the pandemic and our growing our Rhode Island region the past three years as principal, she is truly a ROCK within not only PRES but our entire RI region as well. She is an exceptional teacher and models high-level teaching and instructional leadership daily. Quick to laugh, she is also the thermostat of PRES – always bringing joy (Pumpkin costume? Check!). Bre is a shining light for so many! I am deeply grateful for and humbled to serve with such an amazing leader and human being! - Kevin Lohela, Regional Superintendent   Serena Johnson, Dean at Elm City MS You are a force in the Elm City Community. We are so fortunate to have had you for the last 10 years. In the time we’ve worked together, you have worked without fail to collaboratively create the conditions where our staff and students were positioned to see the bright spots and attack the problems. You are relentless, passionate, and committed! The impact of your efforts can be seen in how you’ve reduced our suspension numbers and improved our student experience data! You are my right hand, and I will always root for you! See what your teammates have to say. -Tanesha Forman, Elm City MS Principal
  • “Serena, your dedication and heart for your work is tireless and appreciated by all o f us.”
  • “My work account-a-bil-a-budy! Thanks for always being there to bounce ideas off of and problem-solve. ”
  • “ Thank you for being someone I can come to. Thank you for being knowledgeable and passionate about your craft, teachings, and mentoring. ”
  • “I appreciate you guiding and pushing me to be great in many ways.”
Samantha Jones, Principal at AF Bushwick MS Too often, when individuals move into leadership, they forget what it means to be closest to the “fire.” This is not the case for Samantha Jones. Student results reflect her unwavering commitment to centering the well-being of her faculty and staff. In her remarkable 10-year tenure at Achievement First, Principal Jones has been a beacon of care, fostering an environment where students and staff flourish. Her commitment to creating sustainability in teaching is evident through initiatives prioritizing teacher well-being, making teaching a fulfilling journey. Principal Jones values feedback, ensuring a responsive and collaborative atmosphere. With a heart for students and adults, she has transformed our middle school into a nurturing community where everyone thrives. - Kiersten Gibson-Cooper, Regional Superintendent   Michael Juel-Larsen, Dean at AF Brooklyn HS Michael, seeing your leadership and tremendous career growth over the past 10 years has been wonderful and inspiring! You were an excellent FOL teacher and College Counselor and have continued that trend as our Dean of College and Career. You enhance how we see post-secondary success and respond to our societal climate wisely. You have a high bar for yourself and our team, pushing us to progress every time. I am super proud of the work you do every day, and I am so grateful you continually choose BHS. Congratulations! - Damen Scott, AF Brooklyn HS Principal   Nick Kaiser, Empower Program Director at AF Brooklyn HS Nick, you have made an incredible and undeniable impact on the staff, students, and families at AF Brooklyn High School in the 10 short years you have been here. You deeply believe in people and carry a contagious optimism throughout our team. You have illustrated what it truly means to be a champion for all learners and all people. You are a light, Nick, and I am so blessed to witness your warmth and vitality daily! Congratulations on committing to this work and doing it with excellence consistently. - Damen Scott, AF Brooklyn HS Principal   Allison Laird, Principal at AF Brownsville MS Alli, you have served the Brownsville Middle Community for a decade, and during that time, you have been a teacher, dean, and principal - leading through change, flux, and a pandemic. In your five years of principalship, you have fostered a people-focused community filled with love. You have empowered your team and scholars to show up as their authentic and full selves and have made it safe for people to ask for help. But this doesn’t just happen by chance. You lead with integrity. Modeling how you want and expect your team to show up. You lead with love and care, seeing the person before the scholar or the role. And you lead with intention, ensuring that you lead in alignment with your standards and values. Thank you for your years of service and leadership! - Tamla Frater, Regional Superintendent   Adriana Leroy, Dean at AF North Brooklyn Prep MS Adriana stands as a beacon of light and leadership, a true champion dedicated to nurturing the growth and success of our scholars at North Brooklyn Prep Middle. She is grounded in a profound sense of purpose and exemplifies our school's core values of integrity, determination, community, advocacy, and teamwork. Adriana's leadership is not just a role; it's a commitment to the well-being and development of every individual within our school community. She ensures that every action she takes creates a path for our kids and team to feel seen and valued. Her unwavering advocacy for the scholars and families we serve is a testament to her genuine passion, dedication, and belief that our community is our strength as a school. As a leader, she not only guides but also inspires. We could not do this work without her. - Katherine Delacruz, AF North Brooklyn Prep MS Principal Adrienne Morgan, Dean at Elm City College Prep ES Adrienne, congratulations on 10 years! Can you believe it? 10 years. 2 regions. 3 schools. Master Teacher. Academic Dean. Impact on hundreds of children. That speaks to your commitment to our network and mission. In true Capricorn fashion, you are an overachiever, persistent, practical, and caring. You make success look effortless even though you put a ton of time and care into your work and relationships. Overachiever – you make sure everything you do, you do with excellence whether you’re teaching or leading – driving crazy strong results in your teaching years, PD execution, vision setting, instructional modeling, and supporting students and families. Persistent – you don’t settle for mediocre; when K-1 math data didn’t meet your bar, you were determined to do whatever it took to get there. Practical. You lead with your teacher hat on. You’re always bringing our leadership team back to the teaching experience. Sensitive. You wear your heart on your sleeve because this isn’t just a job to you. This work is personal. Here’s to many more years of leaving your mark! Proud of you! – Lauren D’Addario, Elm City College Prep ES Principal   Dr. Simon Obas, Principal at AF Amistad HS When we talk about unapologetic, authentic leadership at Achievement First, the person who immediately comes to mind is Dr. Simon Obas! He is unafraid to have difficult conversations, holds a high bar for staff, students, and families, and pushes his team to serve students better. In his remarkable 10-year journey, Dr. Obas has shaped academic excellence and fostered an environment where his inspiring leadership guides our high school community toward success. His leadership is inspiring. He can motivate and inspire his team to “walk through the fire” to achieve exceptional results. Not only is Amistad lucky to have you as their leader, but so is Achievement First. We wouldn’t be the same without you! - Kiersten Gibson-Cooper, Regional Superintendent   Victoria Pierre, Principal at AF Crown Heights MS Vicky Pierre is truly a systems SUPERSTAR. One of the core Principal competencies is driving results through others - and Principal Pierre takes the gold medal here. In her 10-years of service at Achievement First, she has created the conditions for the Crown Heights community to thrive. She leads with passion, purpose, and a commitment to excellence. She not only champions innovative programs that ignite curiosity and nurture academic growth but also sets high expectations for both students and staff. Her adeptness in creating clear systems ensures a streamlined and efficient learning environment. Principal Pierre's visionary leadership cultivates a community where every student thrives, making our Crown Heights Middle School a beacon of inspiration and educational excellence. - Kiersten Gibson-Cooper, Regional Superintendent   Melissa Proano Keroack, DSO at AF Hartford Summit MS Thank you for being a beast of a first year DSO, and for the 10 years of sweat and passion that you’ve poured into our school. I remain deeply inspired by the miles and miles you go to support our school and lead our Ops squad. Over the last year, it’s been incredible to watch you take the reins and shine while doing it! Mel, you are HUNGRY, DRIVEN, and a LEADER AT YOUR CORE. You take on all things with tenacity and care, all while being an incredible mama bear and wife. Watching you balance it all, with so much grace, is a highlight for me in this work. Mel, without a doubt, you are a pillar for so many in our school. I feel incredibly lucky to have you. For me, you’ve been the best ace a principal can ask for! I would not be able to do this work with you. Congratulations on 10 years! -Raina Simmons, AF Hartford Summit MS Principal Marjorie Anita Purcell, Dean at AF University Prep HS Anita - ten years at University Prep! Wow - congratulations, you are a UP OG! The fruit of your labor is all around you.  You are the founding member of the arts programs, and our school now has Dance, Visual Art, Theater, and Music.  You’ve taken a music program with nothing to keyboards, percussion, guitars, violins, AND MORE.  The Hispanic Heritage, Black History Month, Fine Arts Festival, Holiday Concert, Valentine’s Soiree, AND MORE – are all a result of your hard work and leadership through the years.  And now, you have jumped into leading and coaching others to continue your work and legacy.  You are developing teachers who love the arts and our kids and provide meaningful opportunities for self-discovery, self-expression, and self-love.  You have stepped into LT with love, compassion, kindness, and high expectations.  It’s a joy having you continue your work at our school and watch you grow and develop.  Thanks for being YOU and for all that you do. - Jason Coalter, AF University Prep HS Principal   Ashley Rodriguez, Dean at AF East New York ES Over the last decade, Ashley has done more for the East New York community than anyone would have ever thought possible. As the Dean of Special Services, she truly advocates for families and scholars. Ashley is a model of excellence when it comes to putting scholars first and is always pushing the team to find the third way to support ALL learners. Ashley’s knowledge and expertise have been invaluable in East New York. Ashley has built incredible relationships with families and scholars and has been such a source of inspiration and support for them. Ashley’s impact on the East New York community is remarkable. - Meryl Senter, AF East New York ES Principal   Brian Roth, Associate Dean at AF Bushwick MS  Brian, you are the longest-standing member of the Bushwick Community! You truly lead with your values- always focusing on what’s best for kids. You consistently bring such a calm, reassuring presence and a wealth of knowledge to our Team + Family. That’s what makes Bushwick such a special place- because of dedicated veterans like you. We appreciate you; we are so thankful for all you have contributed to Team 8, the History Department, and our entire school.  Congratulations on 12 years of service!! - Samantha J. Jones, AF Bushwick MS Principal   Rachel Siegel, DSO at Elm City MS You’ve given this community so much in how you’ve served. You’ve done everything From Dean to DSO with tremendous detail and dedication. I would not be able to lead our school without you. You are the wind in my sail and the rainbow in the clouds. Thank you for sticking with Elm City, being a values-oriented leader, and grounding yourself in doing what’s best to take the Elm City community to the next level. We are well on our way because of you! Congratulations on 10+ years of service. 
  • “My organization counterpart! Your dedication to making systems better has made Elm City better. I appreciate all you do for our team and school.”
  • “You are an invaluable part of our team; we are lucky to count on you!”
  • “I am thrilled you found your way to ECMS and your service as a Dean, SSM, and DSO!”
  • “Without you, our students would not have opportunities to shine outside the classroom. Thank you for your commitment to the whole student body and our after-school programs.”-Tanesha Forman, Elm City MS Principal
Raina Simmons, Principal at AF Hartford Summit MS I can’t speak to Raina’s entire ten-year history at AF. She possesses the rare combination of vision, love, and backbone necessary to flip the trajectory of a struggling school.  She sees people (students, families, staff) as they are and who they can be.  Her faith in her people is palpable.
  • OS is a leader that I aspire to be! She has been open with her journey. By being so transparent, the team feels like they don’t need to be perfect but to be our best selves. 
  • She constantly challenges us to do more, not because she’s the boss but because she sees the potential.
  • Raina provided me with two weeks' worth of examples to build my understanding of how lesson plans should look and feel. I felt 10x better coming into work.
  • The most powerful mark of Raina’s leadership is how she builds beyond herself. As Raina celebrates her tenth anniversary at AF, she cultivates a team that can do amazing things for the next ten. - Caleb Dolan, Regional Superintendent
Em Slezak, Empower Program Director at AF Bushwick MS WOW- you are such a blessing in my life and the Bushwick Middle School Community! I am truly fortunate to work alongside an ALLY and ADVOCATE!  Your humility, ability to lead with your head and heart, focus on the whole human, and maintain high standards for everyone around you is inspiring.  You make learning fun for kids and inclusive for ALL.  You have elevated our Empower MS Program and supported our collective initiative to transform our vision for excellent instruction. You lead authentically, with discernment, and by example.  Thank you for gracing BWMS with your positivity and knowledge.  Congratulations! - Samantha J. Jones, AF Bushwick MS Principal Donavan Tracey, Jr, Principal at AF Providence MS Donavan gets a lot of love for his wit, his charisma, and his fashion sense. All of that is deserved, and as we celebrate his tenth anniversary at Achievement First, I want to celebrate Donavan’s deep commitment to the work of teaching and his relentless commitment to expanding and building his team. At heart, Donavan is a teacher. In tough conversations with kids about behavioral choices, he focuses on how they are learning from their mistakes. In classrooms he is laughing, joking, and making kids feel special while taking every opportunity to push their thinking forward. Amidst all the challenges of post-pandemic staffing, Donavan expanded his team through creative problem-solving and sheer hustle. He has found mindset-aligned educators at Department of Education meetings, graduate school classes, basketball games, and barbershops. Donavan built his turnaround strategy for Providence Middle around people, finding and keeping the right ones for kids. In less than a year, organizational culture improvement is evident in Q12 scores leaping 32 percentiles. - Caleb Dolan, Regional Superintendent Kim Trotman, DSO at AF East Brooklyn HS KT. Congratulations on your 10 years at AF. While this is certainly a noteworthy achievement,, it is not surprising given your unique ability to stabilize even the most chaotic of situations with grace in service of our staff and students. You are the heart of our team and set the tone for our school. At EBHS, we pride ourselves on the relationships that make up our school, which starts with the relationships YOU have built with everyone that comes through our doors. You prove this daily in big and small ways, whether by finding those little tweaks that make a blanket policy feel personal or actively interrogating our procedures to be more effective, efficient, AND comfortable. Thank you for taking care of us. You are an excellent thought partner, collaborator, crisis manager, and (most importantly) friend. Your commitment to your people and our community is unparalleled, and there is no one I would want to be leading a school with more. - Tom Ng, AF East Brooklyn HS Principal   Adaeze Ubawike, Dean at AF East New York MS The Goat of Special Services, Adaeze, is simply the best for advocating for the services our scholars need. Now a 10-year veteran, Adaeze has spent her career truly embodying the mindset: Access for All! Adaeze joined ENYMS as a 5th grade Learning Specialist. During this time, there were no DLRs for small-group instruction. Adaeze worked to curate resources for small-group instruction, which closed academic gaps and resulted in scholars meeting their IEP goals for both 5th and 6th grade scholars. Adaeze has done this on multiple occasions, achieving the status of Stage 5 Distinguished Teacher. Now, as the Dean of Special Services in her 3rd year, Adaeze’s prime responsibility is to develop our Math Learning Specialist as well as ensure our school remains in compliance. Under Adaeze’s leadership, compliance at ENYMS has been at 99%. Her Team Special Services Director has credited this outstanding achievement as a result of her attention to detail and super tight systems, and I couldn’t agree with her more. During my time at ENYMS, I’ve seen how our Special services program has evolved, and it is more vital than ever because of Adaeze’s hard work and dedication. Words alone cannot express my immense gratitude for Adaeze and all she does for the Little Red Schoolhouse. I appreciate your commitment to excellence. Happy 10 Years! – Shamel Duncan, AF East New York MS Principal Antoinette White, Dean at Amistad ES Antoinette! I cannot believe it’s been ten years since she joined us. Antoinette started as a teacher’s assistant, and now she’s killing it as an academic dean at AAES. From the early days supporting teachers, she quickly became one of the standout educators here. The way she infused strong belief into her students – she made EVERY single child who walked into her room believe in their ability to succeed. And hands down, she is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met! Now, Antoinette is at the helm, leading our 3-4 ELA team with her trademark enthusiasm and humor. She believes in her teachers as she believes in her students and ignites a fire on the team to achieve strong results. I am honored to call Antoinette my dean and most importantly, my friend! Cheers to ten years! - Lauren Raimondi, Amistad ES Principal   Christine Williams, Senior DSO at AF Linden MS Christine has impacted so many campuses across AF for the past 10 years - from Brownsville Middle to University Prep HS to Linden Middle and supporting at Brooklyn HS…Christine is a force to be reckoned with! These schools have benefitted from her attention to detail, organization and planning, and high bar for excellence. I - and Linden Middle - am so lucky to have you on my team. I love working with you, and CONGRATS on 10 years!!!! - Stephanie Blieka, AF Linden MS Principal   Edijah Williams, DSO at AF Bushwick MS 10 YEARS IN THE GAME! You are a pioneer for excellence in afterschool programming, a staple in the BWMS community, and a visionary. You have played an integral part in our partnership with our collocated school and your alma mater. You have completely transformed our afterschool program, creating safer spaces for our kids to continue to thrive. It has been amazing to work alongside you and witness your development into the leader you are as a Senior DSO! PERIODT. Congratulations on 10 years of service! Samantha J. Jones, AF Bushwick MS Principal

About the author

Achievement First

 Back to Achievement Forward