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The Cahn Fellows Program

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The 2012 Cahn Fellows

  • Janette Caban

    Janette Caban, PS 94, Brooklyn

    Janette Caban has been an educator for 25 years. She began her career as a Bilingual Pupil Services Paraprofessional at PS 1 in 1986.   In 1988, she became a bilingual classroom teacher at PS 1 where she remained until 1999 when she was appointed as Assistant Principal at PS 94.   In 2004, she was appointed as the Principal of PS 94 and under her tenure established school wide Dual Language Programs in Spanish and Chinese that have served as citywide models. She is a proud alumnus of Hunter College where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Education and Long Island University where she earned a Masters Degree in Reading Education as well as School Administration. She is a highly accomplished educator and school leader that has dedicated her career to ensuring all students in particular English Language Learners have access to and receive a high quality education.

  • Dominic Cipollone

    Dominic Cipollone, MS 219, Bronx

    Dominic Cipollone, an educator in the NYC Department of Education for the past twenty years is currently the principal of New Venture Academy, a middle school  in the Morrisiana section of the Bronx.  He has held that position since 2004.  He began his career as a sixth grade teacher in 1990 working for more than twelve years at CS 102 in the Parkchester section of the Bronx.  He earned his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from New York University.  He also has a Masters of Science from Iona College in Educational Technology and a Masters of Science from Fordham University in Administration and Supervision. 

    He was chosen for the first cohort of the NYC Leadership Academy and used this opportunity to help transform a failing middle school.  He is the current chairman of the Bronx Consortium of Middle School Principals as well as a board member of the Middle School Principals Association of NYC.  He is a member of the New York Academy of Public Education.  He is also a cohort member of the Future Superintendents’ Academy sponsored by the Leadership for Educational Achievement Foundation.  There is no greater joy in his life than spending time with his wife and his three children, ages 2, 6, and 10.  When time permits he enjoys running and to date has completed three NYC Marathons.

  • Dominick DAngelo

    Dominick D’Angelo, IS 228, Brooklyn

    Dominick D’Angelo graduated from the New York Leadership Academy for Principals in June 2007 and has been principal of David A. Boody, IS 228, in Gravesend, Brooklyn since graduating from the Academy. After a prosperous 18 year career in private industry he became a licensed math teacher through New York City Teaching Fellows, fulfilling his dream of giving back with a career in education.

    It is the vision of David A. Boody to encourage all students to achieve academically, personally and to be educated, integrated, confident, and responsible participants in our society.  Over the five years IS 228 has become a leader of innovation within the Department of Education.  For the past two years, IS 228 has been piloting the School of One Math Program and is focused on bringing twenty-first century instruction across all content areas.

    During the past five years Dominick has received numerous awards recognizing his achievement such as the 2010 Robin Hood Hero Award for piloting the School of One Program, the 2011 Bensonhurst West End Community Council “Man of the Year” Award and the 2010 Educator of the Year Award by the Civil Aid Services Organization.

  • Rashid Davis

    Rashid Davis, P-Tech High School, Brooklyn

    Rashid Ferrod Davis opened P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) P-TECH as the Founding Principal after more than 15 years of experience working in the New York City Department of Education as a teacher, assistant principal, and, most recently, the Principal of Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy (BETA). Under his leadership, BETA received a silver medal recognition from US News and World Report, rose to #143 on the Newsweek list of 1,500 Top American High Schools, and also received accolades from Good Morning America and BBC.

    P-TECH is a collaborative effort of the New York City Department of Education, City University of New York, the New York City College of Technology, and IBM. Davis is a champion for underserved children, creating opportunities where they are limited and ensuring that his students get nothing but the best. Davis is a graduate of Morehouse College with advanced degrees from Pace University, Teachers College, Columbia University, and Fordham University.

  • Joeletha Ferguson

    Joeletha Ferguson, PS/IS 262, Brooklyn

    Joeletha Ferguson graduated from Fordham University VIA program and has been Principal of PS/IS 262 in the historic section of Stuyvesant Heights, Brooklyn since 2004. She has distinguished herself as a strong instructional leader whose work has generated positive results in student achievement. Joeletha Ferguson began her journey by transforming the culture PS/IS 262 to one that exemplifies a true professional learning community with focus on teaching, learning and high student outcomes. Under her leadership, the school community’s commitment to excellence resulted in PS/IS 262 being removed from the School in Need of Improvement (SINI) list in 2006. PS/IS 262 has attained three (3) A’s in a row on the New York City School’s Progress Report. PS/IS 262 and Principal Joeletha Ferguson’s collective accomplishments resulted in a visit by the School’s Chancellor and Mayor Bloomberg in January 2011. Joeletha Ferguson has received numerous award and citations from Brooklyn Borough President Mary Markowitz, Councilman Albert Vann, and State Assemblywoman, Annette Robinson for academic excellence.

  • Bernadette Fitzgerald

    Bernadette Fitzgerald, PS 503, Brooklyn

    Bernadette Fitzgerald, Principal of P.S. 503 The School for Discovery and Exploration since 2009, developed, along with her dynamic team of dedicated teachers, the mission to which her school aspires: "The School … is a safe place where all members of our diverse community learn side by side with one another. Habits of mind are taught, practiced, valued, and infused into our culture. It is our mission to welcome and celebrate all peoples and to nurture them to be more reflective, cooperative, and kindhearted...”
    As school leader, Bernadette positions herself and is regarded as an instructional leader. She firmly believes in shared leadership and collaborative education. She encourages her staff to use a team approach to create an environment where everyone is an active learner.
    In the 2011-2012 school year, Bernadette extended her professional resume to include mentor principal in collaboration with the Office of New Schools in N.Y.C and Teachers College Columbia University.

  • Stacey Gauthier

    Stacey Gauthier, The Renaissance Charter School, Queens

    Stacey Gauthier has been the Principal of The Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, Queens since 2007.  Prior to becoming Principal, she was the school’s Co-Director for Operations and a member of the founding committee that wrote the school’s charter.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree from New York University and her Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Massachusetts. 
    The motto of the school is “Developing Leaders for the Renaissance of New York”.  Its K-12 students are taught using a three-tiered approach to education that includes a standards-based, college-ready curriculum,  and project-based and experiential / service learning.  At Renaissance, the arts are integrated throughout the grades, constituencies collaborate, leadership is distributed and creating global citizens is emphasized.
    Stacey has been named Geography Educator of the Year and has successfully mentored several teachers into administrative roles through the NYC Charter Center’s Emerging Leaders Fellows Program.

  • Jason Griffiths

    Jason Griffiths, Brooklyn Latin High School

    Jason Griffiths is the founding Head Master of The Brooklyn Latin School (TBLS), a selective, public school on the border of the Bushwick and Williamsburg neighborhoods of Brooklyn.  TBLS offers a liberal arts curriculum combined with an emphasis on the classics. All students take four years of Latin and are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

    Before starting TBLS, Mr. Griffiths was a teacher and coach at Delaware Valley High School in Milford, Pa. He earned a bachelor's in history from Princeton University and a master's in educational administration from Temple University. He was a member of the fifth cohort of New Leaders, a national principal leadership program. 

    He currently serves on the board of Common Core, a non-profit organization that promotes the teaching of the liberal arts in American schools, and the advisory board for the New York site of New Leaders. He and his wife, Christine, live in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

  • Maria Herrera

    Maria Herrera, Renaissance High School for Musical Theater, Bronx

    Maria Herrera has worked as an educator for the past twenty-two years. She has worked as a Guidance Counselor, College Advisor, Assistant Principal of Pupil Personnel Services, and Assistant Principal of Organization. Maria Herrera Assumed the role of Principal at Renaissance High School in September 2008. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Literature (Brooklyn College, CUNY,) Master’s Degree in Education and Psychology (Columbia University) and a professional diploma in school administration (Colleges of New Rochelle) Ms. Herrera is a strong advocate for our youth and strives to ensure that all students thrive and reach their full academic/social/emotional potential.

    Maria Herrera was born and raised in Chile, South America. She came to the United States at the age of fifteen. Initially, learning English was a challenge. Therefore, as an English Language Lerner, she knows first-hand the importance of differentiating instruction. Looking at each child’s individual needs is a top priority for her and she constantly looks for different ways of improving students’ educational experience. Overall, Maria Herrera is a Lifelong learner who places an enormous value on education.

  • Ari Hoogenboom

    Ari Hoogenboom, Abraham Lincoln High School, Brooklyn

    A product of New York City public schools, Ari A. Hoogenboom has earned degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Oxford University, and Columbia University.  He worked in publishing for Doubleday, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins before finding his true calling as an English teacher at Science Skills Center High School.  In 2001, he became Assistant Principal of English at Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island, Brooklyn.  In 2004, he became Lincoln’s sixth principal. 

    He believes that large comprehensive schools can not only survive, they can thrive. Towards that end, Abraham Lincoln High School is succeeding with exemplary small learning communities, unparalleled athletic prowess, and innovative instructional and structural approaches.  He recently established a literacy initiative that encompasses reading and writing in all the content areas to better prepare students for college and career readiness.

  • Cecilia Jackson

    Cecilia Jackson, Pioneer Academy, Queens

    Cecilia Jackson is the founding principal of Pioneer Academy that opened its doors in September 2008. She firmly believes in self-advocacy and leveraging the multicultural realities of our scholars and the community in preparing 21st Century learners. Under her leadership, Pioneer Academy strives to be a place where the extraordinary is ordinary.

    Cecilia Jackson received an Ed.M., Organizational Leadership and Management from Summer Principal’s Academy, Columbia University, a Ms.Ed. in General and Special Education from Hunter College, City University of New York and a B.A. in Political Science and English from Rutgers University, Douglass College.

    Cecilia Jackson received the 2010 Recruitment of Excellence Award from the Office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality. She has also received acknowledgement from community-based organizations such as The Food Bank for New York City, Health Plus, Cornell Extension Corporation, New York University Links, and Learning Leaders for her commitment in strengthening families and the community.

  • Denise Jamison

    Denise Jamison, JHS 50, Brooklyn

    Denise Jamison is a graduate of the Bank Street College Principal’s Institute and has been the principal of The Williamsburg Middle School Academy at MS 50 (aka John D. Wells, JHS 50) for the past 8 years.  A life-long learner and a lover of academia, Denise is a doctoral student at Fordham University and is a participant of the 2011-2012 cohort of the Future Superintendent’s Academy.

    MS 50 is a Beacon site, with a full-service after-school program, sponsored by the community-based organization, El Puente. In its partnership with El Puente, MS 50 also houses both educational and artistic programs for the community at large such as adult ESL, art and dance classes.  A beloved community school, it is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary in the 2014-2015 school year.

    Denise’s driving determination for the school’s continued success and service is articulated in its motto: “Everyone succeeds. No exceptions! No excuses!”  

  • Alan Mather

    Alan Mather, Lindblom Math & Science Academy, Chicago

    Alan Mather has been the principal of Lindblom Math & Science Academy, a Chicago public high school since 2005, the year he re-opened the school after it had been shuttered for two years.

    Alan began his administrative work after 12 years in the classroom and after graduating in
    1998 from the inaugural LAUNCH program; the Leadership Academy and Urban Network for
    Chicago, Chicago’s first principal preparation program.

    Lindblom is a selective enrollment high school in a vastly underserved community in Chicago. Students not only are engaged in rare opportunities in math & science, including Chicago’s first biotechnology program and oncofertility course, but also have one day a week built into the schedule dedicated to service to the community through application of classroom learning.

    Lindblom also has the largest Mandarin program in Chicago and the largest non-heritage Arabic language program in the United States, part of the school’s desire to give students a global perspective. In addition, Lindblom has a unique relationship with Baxter International that provides unique opportunities to students and teachers in biotechnology.

  • Ailene Mitchell

    Ailene Mitchell, MS 88, Brooklyn

    Ailene Altman Mitchell has been Principal of MS 88 in NYC since 2005 and has been engaged in educational leadership and instruction for over twenty years.

    She is recognized for having transformed MS 88 from one of the most challenged New York City Public Schools into one of the most prominent middle schools in the United States.

    MS 88 is based on a unique system of collaborative curriculum development and integrated, project-based learning. MS 88 is a site-study school for other educational programs, is the anchor school for the Center of Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University, and just received “School of One” status.

    Mitchell is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Grant; has served as participant in the Institute for Learning-University of Pittsburgh; and holds a Masters Degree in Science (Major in School Administration), a Masters Degree in Education and a BA in Psychology.
  • Ramon Namnum

    Ramon Namnum, High School of World Cultures, Bronx

    Dr. Namnun is a graduate from The Leadership Academy from NYC. AdsPrincipal, he has brought the school from a failing school in 2003 to “One of the Ten Top High Schools in the Nation” based on US News and World Reports, 2 years in a row. Dr. Namnun believes in being  “a Lifelong learner”, his motto has been “Children First No Excuses High Standards” therefore has attended several “Conferences, Workshops and collaborates in Research with renown researchers from CUNY” He has been an active Participant of various communties including 2007 to 2011 CSA, Executive Board Member, Bronx Representtive and 2010-2011 Advisory Member of Chancellor’s Division of Performance & Accountability(DPA).

  • Louis Pavone

    Louis Pavone, PS 78, Queens

    Louis Pavone graduated from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., received a Master of Science degree with distinction in Education from Mercy College and a Master of Science Degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Baruch College. He has been the Principal at Public School 78Q in Long Island City, Queens since 2006.

    It is the mission of the school to discover and further students' individual talents and that all children deserve the best education possible. He believes in educating the whole child and that a child's academic experience should be rigorous, challenging and one that will make them leaders in their community.

    Louis is a Board of Director and President-Elect of the New York Academy of Public Education and on the Executive Board of the C.S.A. as the citywide representative for Elementary School Principals. He has received the After School Hero Award from the Cheering for Children Foundation for his work in after-school programs, the U.F.T. Partnership Award for creating a quality educational climate at his school and his school received the Excellence in Service Award from Mayor Bloomberg for service to its community.
  • Mario Santos

    Mario Santos, Eastside High School, Newark

    Mario Santos is a graduate from Seton Hall University’s Doctoral Program in Administration and Supervision and has been principal of East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey for the past seven years.  He is a collaborative leader focusing on individuals’ strengths to transform the high school from good to great.

    East Side High School is a multi-ethnic mosaic of diverse cultures and talents, where students and staff develop into self-reliant learners through individual reflection, cooperation and team work.  Our students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for future success by mastering a curricula that is rigorous and relevant, pursuing area of interest, adopting habits that promote good health and physical well being, utilizing cutting–edge technologies, participating in co-curricular activities, and by extending their educational experiences through university and business partnerships.

    Mario has received numerous awards as Principal – State of New Jersey Resolution by the Senate and General Assembly, City of Newark Resolution by the Municipal Council, Leadership Award from NJ Gear Up, Principals Award from the Consortium for Pre-College Education in Greater Newark and  the Allan Morehead Memorial Award from Montclair University.

    When Mario is not so busy in his professional life, he enjoys playing soccer with his friends or watching his favorite soccer team, Real Madrid.

  • Musa Ali Shama

    Musa Ali Shama is a Bronx born educator who graduated from Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx. Mr. Shama attended L.I.U., C.W. Post College and earned a BA in Art Education, and returned to his alma mater to teach Fine Arts. In 1994 Mr. Shama introduced an exciting new course called Web Design in which students were taught HTML coding and learned to build websites, while engaging in the fundamentals of graphic design and 21st Century skills.

    After a two year leave from education, Mr. Shama returned to his calling as an educator at Forest Hills High School in 2001. He immediately implemented Digital Media Programs with a focus on exploring curriculum that engaged students in critical thinking and problem solving while utilizing digital media to create, present, and collaborate .

    It is this foundation, along with a philosophy of engaging all students in project, problem, and inquiry based learning that has led Mr. Shama to pursue an Administration Degree from CUNY/ Queens College. In 2005, Mr. Shama became the Assistant Principal of Career & Technical Education and Technology at John F. Kennedy High School and in 2008 was named the principal of Francis Lewis High School. He continues his pursuit of developing a cutting edge 21st Century school while trying to keep us with his 2 ½ year old son.

  • Tara Shelton

    Tara Shelton graduated with a B.A. in Elementary Education from Southern University A& M College, and acquired her Master’s Degree in Administration from Chicago State University. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Urban Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Mrs. Shelton is a dedicated educator, mentor and school leader. She has served as the principal of South Loop Elementary School, in Chicago, IL, for the past seven years.

    South Loop Elementary School’s strong academic focus is the primary reason for the successful track record that they have been developing over the past decade. Principal Shelton attributes the bulk of her school’s outstanding success to South Loop School’s dedicated, hard-working teachers and staff members. Principal Shelton recognizes that learning occurs both inside and outside of the classroom. South Loop School offers an Extended Day program, as well as extra-curricular activities that allows students to explore their interests. These programs also serve the dual purposes of meeting students’ social-emotional needs while also fostering the students’ ability to creatively apply the things they’ve learned in the classroom. Principal Shelton also acknowledges the positive impact of strong parental involvement on her school’s ability to provide additional opportunities to their students. One final example of South Loop School’s commitment to teaching and learning is that they were invited to serve as a model school in their district, and collaborated in the development of South Shore Fine Arts Academy; which is patterned after South Loop School’s ideals of how to achieve maximum student success.

  • Denise Vittor

    Denise Vittor, Grover Cleveland High School, Queens

    Denise Vittor is a product of the educational institutions in NYC and believes that the Public School system and the post- secondary educational institutions in NYC can provide quality education for all students.  She has served the students of NYC for over 25 years, as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and Principal.  She was the Principal of Queens Vocational and Technical HS in Long Island City from February 2001 to September 2010 and then became the school’s Transformation Mentor Principal.  She currently serves as the Principal of Grover Cleveland HS in Ridgewood, Queens. 

    Denise has modeled and practiced her philosophy that every child can learn if given an excellent education, with the proper tools and supports through her leadership.  At Queens Vocational & Technical HS, she established small learning communities and partnerships by building a strong school community dedicated to improving instruction for all students, ultimately improving the entire school.  Now, she is developing SLC’s, programs and partnerships with her faculty at Grover Cleveland HS to ensure career and college readiness for every student. 

    Denise has shared best practices and strategies through presentations at national conferences such as the Association of Career and Technical Education and the summer conference for High Schools That Work since 2005. 

  • Peggy Wyns-Madison

    Peggy Wyns-Madison, PS 15, Brooklyn

    Peggy Wyns-Madison has been principal of PS 15-The Patrick F. Daly School in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn since 2007.  She prides herself on being first and foremost a teacher.  Her collaborative approach and warm and welcoming style have created a lively community of children and adults that continues to build partnerships with arts and other enrichment groups to make PS 15 an exciting school for people of all ages. 

    Peggy has expanded the partnerships with the arts and community-based organizations.  PS 15 is an Arts Achieve School and one of three schools in New York City selected to participate in the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s COBALT grant to study the impact of opera-based teaching and learning.  Due to the emphasis on arts integration and academic achievement, PS 15 is now a study lab for artists and teaching specialists from the fine arts.