Vernon-James Riley is the Director of Operations at Amani Public Charter School. Amani is the first charter school in the city of Mount Vernon, New York with the mission to prepare students in the fifth through eighth grades with the academic and critical thinking skills to be successful in high school, college and beyond. Vernon-James currently leads a team of five in managing all non-instructional aspects of the school's operation to ensure that the instructional team can focus on what matters most - providing high quality instruction in every classroom. Prior to assuming his post at Amani, he served for two years as the Dean of Scholar Life at Summit Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, New York. Vernon-James received a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University in and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the College of Education at Michigan State University. He was a recipient of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color and is an alumni of Education Pioneers, NYC 2009 Cohort. Vernon-James is most looking forward to being able to round out his understanding of what it really takes to lead a successful school and engaging in dialogue with cohort members with diverse personal and professional backgrounds.