Our Staff

Leadership

Irma Zardoya  

Irma Zardoya

President & Chief Executive Officer

Irma Zardoya is the President and CEO of NYC Leadership Academy. Born and raised in the Bronx, Ms. Zardoya has been an innovative agent for change on behalf of New York City public school students during her extensive career as a New York City education leader. Prior to joining NYC Leadership Academy, she served as a consultant to the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) in the role of Executive Director of the Office of Achievement Resources. In that role, she supported the launch of collaborative inquiry teacher teamwork citywide and rollout of the NYCDOE’s accountability tools.

From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Zardoya served as Superintendent of the former Region One in the Bronx, where she oversaw a portfolio of 134 schools. During her tenure, Region One demonstrated significant improvements in student achievement. She served as Superintendent of Community School District 10 in the Bronx, the city’s largest district. Under her leadership, District 10 was recognized as a successful, educationally progressive district strongly committed to leadership development and building an effective leadership continuum from teacher to superintendent. This work earned her district a five-year grant from The Wallace Foundation to support its comprehensive leadership development program.

Before joining District 10, Ms. Zardoya served as Deputy Superintendent of Community School District One on the Lower East Side, where she was instrumental in the development of "schools of choice," an initiative that supported small learner-centered nurturing environments for students. She was principal of Community School 211, The Bilingual School, for nine years and, before that, the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Community School District 12. She began her career as a bilingual professional assistant and taught for seven years.

Irma was a member of the advisory group that developed the Principals' Institute at Bank Street College in the late 1980’s, which addressed the need to recruit and develop minorities and women to become principals in the New York City educational system. She is also on the Governor’s Commission on Education. Irma taught as an adjunct professor at Bank Street College and Long Island University, and participated in the Educational Policy Fellowship Program, Washington D.C., Institute for Educational Leadership. She has served on the New York State Commissioner's Advisory Council on Bilingual Education and the Advisory Council for the Center for Educational Leadership of the New York Urban Coalition. She earned her MS degree from City College in Supervision and Administration and a BS degree from Thomas More College, Fordham University. She also participated in the Superintendent’s Leadership Institute at Harvard University’s Kennedy School for Government.

Kathleen Nadurak  

Kathleen Nadurak

Executive Vice President

Kathleen was part of the NYC Leadership Academy’s launch in 2003 and currently serves as Executive Vice President. She has over 35 years of experience in the field of education, as both an educator and an administrator.

In her current role, Kathleen oversees NYC Leadership Academy programs including the Aspiring Principals Program (APP) and Leadership Support Services (LSP) and many projects for clients across the country. Prior to becoming EVP, Kathleen served as Chief Operating Officer responsible for all of NYCLA's financial and other operations. Before joining NYC Leadership Academy, Kathleen spent 20 years at the New York City Department of Education where she held a number of key roles, including Executive Director for the Office of Financial and Management Reporting, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Chancellor of Operations. During this time, she played a significant role in the strategic planning and implementation of Chancellor Joel I. Klein’s Children First reforms.

Kathleen holds an MEd from William Paterson College, a MS from Fordham University, and a BA from Thomas More College.

Karim Parchment  

Karim Parchment

Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Karim brings over 20 years of financial management experience and expertise to the NYC Leadership Academy. In this role, Karim is responsible for the financial stewardship of the organization, including financial planning, budgeting, monitoring of financial performance, grant management, procurement and debt/treasury management.

Prior to joining NYCLA, Karim was Director of Capital Finance for Columbia University in the City of New York. In this role he directed the financial and administrative operations of the University’s Capital portfolio. He also served as Secretary of the Physical Assets Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Karim also held senior level position with The Partnership for the Homeless as CFO, Legal Services for NYC as Controller and PricewaterhouseCoopers as Audit Senior Associate.

Karim is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds an MBA degree from St. John’s University in New York City and a BS degree from the University of the West Indies.

Mary Jo Dunnington  

Mary Jo Dunnington

Senior Vice President, Client Engagement

Mary Jo joined the  NYC Leadership Academy team in late 2011 and currently serves as Senior Vice President, Client Engagement. Mary Jo brings a strong commitment to improving schools, as well as extensive leadership experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

Having served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Partnership for New York City, which led the fundraising campaign that helped launch NYCLA in 2003, Mary Jo is particularly excited to now be a part of NYC Leadership Academy. Previously, she served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at All Kinds of Minds, which provided training and tools for educators based on research from neuroscience on how people learn. Mary Jo began her career in education at the National Geographic Society, where she developed and implemented teacher training and outreach programs and facilitated the development of teacher leadership networks. Mary Jo has also focused on student learning as a mentor to students at the Young Women’s Leadership School in Harlem and at the Higher Achievement Program in Washington, D.C., and has taught both supplemental ESL and national high school civics classes.

Mary Jo was a Morehead Scholar at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned both an MBA and an MA in Education from Stanford University.

Jana Carlisle  

Jana Carlisle

Chief Strategy Officer

Jana L. Carlisle, Ed.D., joined the NYC Leadership Academy in January 2015 as Chief of Staff and was promoted to Chief Strategy Officer in June 2015. She serves on the executive cabinet; reports to CEO Irma Zardoya; possesses responsibility for strategy development; organizational coherence; communications; grant development; talent management; knowledge management; innovation; research, evaluation and impact; and equity. 

Jana’s leadership career in education spans 25 years of work in the non-profit, public, and philanthropic sectors, which has included an urban superintendent’s office, a major international foundation, a state-level education reform organization, a national non-profit entity, and an independent consultancy. These endeavors have resulted in her expertise in the areas of leadership, operations, advocacy, organizational development, community building, partner relationships, school start up, project management, fundraising, evaluation, facilitation, and grant management.

In all of her professional roles, she has brought together diverse internal and external partners and stakeholders to move from concept to reality with an eye toward improving education — specifically educational equity and access for all students regardless of their backgrounds; making educational success a right not an economic privilege; delivering quality instruction tailored to meet students’ unique learning styles; and connecting educational inputs, outputs, and practices to the realities of a global economy.

She studied political science/international relations as an undergraduate major at Michigan State University’s James Madison College, public policy analysis with a focus on education as a master’s student at the University of Rochester, and educational leadership for her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Mid Career Doctoral Program in Education Leadership. Her ongoing leadership study has continued through week-long programs at the Center for Creative Leadership, Harvard’s Kennedy School, and the University of Washington’s Evans School. She has also served as an i3 scale up and technical reviewer.

Client Services & Engagement

Nancy Gutierrez  

Nancy Gutierrez

Vice President, District Leadership Support

Dr. Nancy Gutierrez joined the New York City Leadership Academy in 2014 and currently serves as Vice President for District Leadership Support. In this capacity, Nancy oversees all services and programming related to building the capacity of school district leaders, from the role of the principal supervisor to the superintendent.

Nancy’s previous work and commitment to the empowerment of under-resourced communities came from experiencing the low expectations placed on the children in her disenfranchised Latino neighborhood. Already personally committed to social justice, Nancy returned to her community to teach, later founding and serving as the principal of Renaissance Academy, which remains the highest performing middle school in the district and a California Distinguished School. Nancy then accepted the opportunity to lead the lowest performing middle school in the district, located only two blocks from her childhood home. Nancy is a graduate of the inaugural cohort of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program where during her tenure she served as a Teaching Fellow for Harvard’s School Leadership Program, a mentor for Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative, and co-chair for Harvard’s Alumni of Color Conference. Right before joining NYCLA, Nancy served as the executive director of advanced leadership strategy for the New York City Department of Education where she launched, designed, and facilitated a leadership institute for current and aspiring school district leaders that led to superintendent certification.

Nancy was named the UC Davis Rising Star and Association of California School Administrator’s Region 8 Middle School Principal of the Year in 2010 and the Harvard Ed.L.D. Class Marshal in 2013. Nancy also serves on the national board of the Coalition of Essential Schools and as faculty for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s School Turnaround Leader Institute.

Rachel Scott  

Rachel Scott

Senior Director, Learning Systems

Rachel joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2014 as Senior Director, Learning Systems. In this role, Rachel is responsible for leading the development of NYCLA’s organizational strategy and philosophy with respect to online and blended learning, and for ensuring the design of effective online professional learning experiences for clients. She works closely with the core design/content team responsible for developing curriculum to ensure that online learning activities complement and build upon NYCLA’s face-to-face approach and adult learning theory. She will also work with staff across the organization to build their skill in using learning technologies.

Prior to joining NYCLA, she was an independent consultant in both California and New York, working with educators, researchers, nonprofits, school district administrators, and educational publishers to create and refine programs and curricula that support adult learning and reflective practice in K-12 education. Her work has included the development of online tools and courses, traditional curricula and training materials, white papers, program guides, theories of change, and strategic plans. Clients have included Teaching Channel, Symmetry Creative Production, Ramapo for Children, and the New York City Department of Education.

Rachel also served as the Director of Organizational Learning and Effectiveness at Partners in School Innovation in San Francisco, and as the Director of Coaching and Client Services at Springboard Schools (formerly the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative). While at Springboard, she led the articulation of a coaching model aimed at effecting system-wide change in school districts across the state; she also led the design and delivery of professional development to a cadre of over 70 school and district coaches, most of them former superintendents and assistant superintendents.

Rachel has also managed several community-based social marketing campaigns aimed at improving public health in underserved populations, and taught English in the Czech Republic and Mexico as well as the United States.

She holds a certificate in English language teaching to adults as well as a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Diana Joyce  

Diana Joyce

Director, Leadership Development

Diana Joyce joined the NYC Leadership Academy in the Spring of 2014 and is currently an Associate Director of National Initiatives. In this role, Diana manages projects with clients around the country that design and implement leadership development programs rooted in NYCLA’s proven model and expertise.

Previously, Diana worked at TNTP, a national non-profit organization focused on ensuring effective teaching in every classroom. As part of TNTP’s Performance Management group, she supported a network of New York City schools in effective recruiting, staffing, and managing teacher talent. She was also part of TNTP’s New Teacher Effectiveness group providing intensive training for new teachers working in Louisiana’s highest needs schools. Diana began her career in education as a Teach For America corps member and Special Education teacher in New Orleans.

Diana holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.

Jessica Cihal  

Jessica Cihal

Director, Leadership Development

After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Jess moved overseas to teach and travel. She has been working in the education field ever since moving from Eastern Europe to Central America and then back to the States. As Director of National Initiatives, Jess assists in curriculum design and supports all aspects of national consulting. Before moving to New York City for graduate school, Jess most recently worked as the Director of Admissions & College Counseling at Keystone School in San Antonio. In this role, she implemented new technology systems, planned and represented the school at community and alumni events, and co-developed the school communications plan. Jess holds her BA in English and Youth & Human Services from UTSA and her MPA. in Public and Nonprofit Management from New York University’s Wagner School.

Alan Baratz  

Alan Baratz

Coach/Facilitator

Alan Baratz was a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal of Satellite Academy High School, a multi-sited transfer high school for over age and under-credited students in New York City for over 27 years. His work and expertise include teacher of English, site level administration of one of the Satellite schools, Principal of all four Satellite Academy sites, Performance Based Assessment, team facilitation and district level leadership.

Since 2006 Alan has been a coach for principals of new schools and new principals in existing schools. He has also been a member of NYC Leadership Academy’s team working with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of New Schools in selecting leaders for new schools and developing their leadership capacity once they have been selected to open up a new school. He has also been at the forefront of youth development strategies for his entire career.

Arlene Berg  

Arlene Berg

Coach/Facilitator

Arlene Berg joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2005 as Facilitator/Coach. She had served as Mentor Principal since 1999 while also working at Teachers College, Columbia University; Principals’ Institute, Office of Leadership Development, The New York City Department of Education; and New Visions for Public Schools. From 1990 to 2004, Arlene served as Principal of Kingsbury School, PS 188, Queens. Her school achieved recognition as number one elementary school in New York City in student achievement data based on state and city test results.

Arlene demonstrates proven success as a coach, providing elementary school principals with support and professional development to improve their instructional leadership and develop learning communities to achieve and sustain high performance. Arlene’s coaching is informed by ongoing professional development, with her focus on teacher effectiveness; use of data and accountability measures; standards-based instruction; and building school capacity.

Her education includes Professional Certificate, Administration and Supervision, Lehman College; and MS, Sociology and Education, Queens College.

Sharon Bonifazio  

Sharon Bonifazio

Coach/Facilitator

Sharon joined NYC Leadership Academy as a coach/facilitator in 2006. Prior to this, Sharon worked in the NYC school system for 34 years, including serving as the principal of a secondary special education school for 10 years and as an assistant principal for seven years. Sharon coaches several new principals in NYC, and on a national level, she facilitates professional development sessions, particularly around coaching.

Sharon holds a BA from Mount Saint College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Professional Diploma from St. John’s University. In 2005, she was awarded the Learning for Life Excellence in Education Award, and in 1998, she was selected as the district representative to attend the Summer Institute on Leadership and New Technologies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Sonia Bu  

Sonia Bu

Coach/Facilitator

Sonia joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2005 as a coach-facilitator. In addition to developing curriculum for the New School Intensive Program, Sonia provides differentiated on-site support and leadership coaching to new and experienced principals in NYC. As a coach, she supports these principals to become reflective practitioners and effective leaders of their professional learning communities, to help them identify school goals and address operational issues, and to create structures and processes to build capacity and develop shared vision in their schools.

Sonja has more than 20 years of experience working in educational institutions, nonprofits, and youth service organizations in various leadership capacities, including leading the implementation of strategic plans, strengthening organizations’ infrastructure, and developing staff capacity to sustain organizational growth in the areas of education, leadership, and youth development. She has made coaching her field of inquiry and is currently a Newfield Network Certified coach and an International Coaching Federation professional certified coach.

Steve Buchsbaum  

Steve Buchsbaum

Coach/Facilitator

Steve Buchsbaum joined NYC Leadership Academy as Coach/Facilitator Leadership Academy in 2007. Steve retired in 2003 as Principal of Middle School 44, Manhattan, after a 30 year career in the New York City public school system. As Principal, he worked to develop and strengthen programs that expanded opportunities and met the needs of a changing population. Additionally, he served as the first Director of Instructional Computer Systems for Community School District Six, and was the Director of the Manhattan Technical Assistance Center. Prior to joining NYC Leadership Academy, Steve was a Mathematics consultant with The Princeton Review, and supported both instruction and data analysis for schools throughout what was then Region Two.

Steve received his Masters Degree in Mathematics Education, as well as his Supervisory and Administrative Certification from the City College of New York. In addition to coaching, Steve has done extensive work in both designing and facilitating workshops for principals, as well as Department of Education staff.

Gloria Buckery  

Gloria Buckery

Coach/Facilitator

When Gloria, who is a product of the public schools in New York City, became a teacher, her goal was to be the best kindergarten teacher imaginable. She is now a coach/facilitator at NYC Leadership Academy.

During her thirty-seven years with the New York City Department of Education she served as a teacher, staff developer, assistant principal, principal and Superintendent. Gloria retired from the Department of Education on September 6, 2006 and joined the Leadership Academy staff on September 6, 2006.

Gloria holds a BS in Sociology an MS in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College, and an MS in Teaching Reading and an Advanced Certificate in School Administration from City College of New York. Among the honors she has received are: Friend of Education Award from the Association of Assistant Principals of New York City and Title I Distinguished Educator Award.

The words, “Education is the great equalizer” have guided Gloria throughout her career.

Ruby Fernandez  

Ruby Fernandez

Senior Director, Leadership Development

Ruby Ababio-Fernandez joined NYC Leadership Academy during the summer of 2012 with 14 years of experience as a teacher, coach and principal in the Boston school system.  She has supported the curriculum design and facilitation of the Teacher Leadership Advancement Program, Aspiring Principals Program, as well as The Principal as Literacy Leader component of the Middle School Quality Initiative in New York City.  As part of Ruby’s responsibilities in her current role as Senior Director of Leadership Development, she works effectively with a wide range of district leaders to support the capacity building of school leadership efforts from pipeline to in-service principals program development, implementation and sustainability. She also supports the organization’s vision for equity by serving as chair of our advisory committee focusing on Black and Latino males’ achievement.

Ruby is a “product of possibilities.”  She has encountered and overcome many obstacles that are traditionally accepted as barriers to urban students achieving high performance levels. Her education from primary school to college and beyond is a testament to the good that is possible in urban schools.  She has dedicated her career to educational equity with a keen focus on educating children to high standards through effectively development of the village; supporting urban teachers, school and district leaders, as well as families and communities to act on what it really takes to educate an urban child.

She has earned a BA from Framingham State College, MA from Lesley University, where she’s served as adjunct faculty in the Graduate School of Education, and also holds both master’s and doctorate degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

Neil Ferner  

Neil Ferner

Associate Director, Leadership Development

Neil Ferner was promoted in 2014 to Associate Director of the Leadership Advancement Program, supporting the team to create and implement a standards-based program with high expectations deliverable to the NYCDOE.

Neil joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2007 as an Aspiring Principals Program summer intern. This experience helped him to appreciate the mission and vision of changing the NYC’s public education system for underserved youth.

Upon graduating from college Neil worked in multiple positions at NYCLA including working on NYCLA’s National team consulting for the Delaware School District’s Aspiring Principal Program as well as Providence’s school district.

Neil grew up in Brooklyn, NY and is a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High school. He graduated with a BA in Philosophy from SUNY College at Brockport in Brockport, NY. He looks to continually learn so he can enhance the work of NYC leaders.

Marlene Filewich  

Marlene Filewich

Vice President, School Leadership Preparation

Marlene Salerno Filewich has been an educator since 1970, teaching in urban areas of New Jersey and in New York City. In the Department of Education, she held a variety of positions including: Director of Funded Programs, Deputy Superintendent, Local Instructional Superintendent and Community Superintendent of CSD 11 in the Bronx. Since 2006, Marlene has worked with the Principal Preparation Programs at the NYC Leadership Academy as its Senior Director. She currently oversees all aspects of the Aspiring Principals Program (APP). In this capacity, Marlene has served as the liaison to the Department of Education’s Leaders in Education Apprenticeship Program since its inception in 2009. She also works with the APP alumni program and is the Project Director of the local Wallace Professional Learning Community.

George Foley  

George Foley

Coach Specialist

George Foley worked as a teacher and principal for over 35 years in Brooklyn and Queens. During his tenure at IS93, the school achieved recognition as a “National Model School” for America’s Choice and a “Collaborative Community of Practice” for the New York City Department of Education. The supervisory team at 93 received the Performance Differential for five consecutive years. The school was cited for extraordinary gains on CNN and in an editorial "How to Fix the Schools" in the New York Daily News. The school achieved an “A” on the Progress Report and a “Well Developed” rating on the Quality Review making the school eligible for the bonuses. George was a mentor principal for the first four years of the Aspiring Principal Program. Currently, George trains NYC Leadership Academy coaches and program participants in data-informed decision making and Children First Intensive. Working with the DOE, George has developed online modules on data-informed decision making and in the use of teacher data reports. Making several school visits a week, George has worked with hundreds of first year and veteran principals for the past five years.

Ann Marie Gillen  

Ann Marie Gillen

Coach/Facilitator

Ann Marie has over 20 years of experience as a teacher and staff developer, in addition to spending 14 years as an administrator. This extensive experience has guided her exceptional career as a school leader, earning her numerous awards and recognitions (including Educator of the Year, twice!). Under her leadership, PS 164 was awarded the CSA Performance Bonus four years in a row, placed on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll and chosen to be a Mentor Site for Collaborative Communities of Practice. In addition, Ann Marie was asked by the Superintendent to be a member of the Selection Team for future model sites. In 2004 she was also chosen to be a Cahn Fellow for Distinguished Principals through Teachers College, which led to her current position on the Selection Committee for future Cahn Fellows.

During her years as principal, Ann Marie was selected to mentor new principals through the “New Principals on Boarding” program. Now retired, Ann Marie remains active in the education world and is delighted to continue working with new and experienced principals as a Coach/Facilitator for NYC Leadership Academy.

Jane Ginsberg  

Jane Ginsberg

Coach/Facilitator

Jane entered her first school as a kindergartener at PS 3 Q. and has been in school ever since! She has taught all the elementary grades, has worked as a licensed teacher of Art, worked as an Assistant Principal, and as a Principal. She is currently a coach with NYC Leadership Academy.

She has a BA from Queens College and a Masters degree from NYU in speech pathology and linguistics. She also did graduate work at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She participated in the Bank Street Leadership Program and was one of fifteen school administrators selected to participate in the U.S. Educators Program in Japan.

As Principal of PS 82 Q., she faced the challenge of meeting the needs of students in a high poverty area, many of whom were second language students. With a dedicated staff, she guided the school to exemplary academic growth. The school received several awards, most notably the New York State Pathfinder Award for Academic Improvement. PS 82 Q. was one of only ten schools in New York State selected for this award.

Charles Glassman  

Charles Glassman

Coach/Facilitator

Charlie began his career in education over 40 years ago and is still as passionate and excited about what he does as he was in 1967. Over the past four decades he has been a teacher, drug counselor, administrator and for the last eight years a Coach for NYC Leadership Academy. He is a product of the NYC public school system, received his bachelors, masters, and supervisory degrees from CUNY. He loves to cook, eat and listen to books on tape.

Cynthia Hunter  

Cynthia Hunter

Coach/Facilitator

Cynthia Hunter has been a facilitator/coach with NYC Leadership Academy since her retirement from the New York City Department of Education in 2005. Prior to her retirement Ms. Hunter served as Principal of the St. Albans School, Public School 36, located in Queens, New York. When Ms. Hunter became Principal of PS 36, the school had just been designated by the State as a School In Need of Improvement (SINI). Utilizing the many professional skills and talents of her staff and the support of the community, Ms. Hunter was able to move the school to a School of Excellence within three years. During her tenure as Principal, English Language Arts scores soared 30 percentage points and Mathematics scores soared 40 percentage points. Her school became the recipient of the New York State Reading Excellence Act Grant and was on the New York State Most Improved Lists for both Reading and Mathematics. Under Ms. Hunter’s leadership, the school became a Teachers College project school for innovative methods in balanced literacy and eventually became a model school for the entire city.

Not only did the students excel academically, but Ms. Hunter also insisted that the students develop a sense of community. One of her most successful projects with the students was the restoration of the community murals located at the St. Albans LIRR Station— treasured landmarks of community residents.

Ms. Hunter is a product of the New York City school system. She attended PS 113 and Wadleigh JHS in Harlem. Moving to Corona, Queens with her family, she graduated from Flushing High School. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York and a Masters of Arts from New York University.

Ms. Hunter served on the New York City Special Education Committee under Chancellor Joel Klein. She also served as a sitting principal mentor for new principals during her tenure as principal. In 2004, she was inducted as a member of the Cahn Fellows Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, a program for distinguished New York City Principals. She was awarded the New York State Businessmen’s Award for PS 36’s high academic achievement. She was honored and awarded a Community Service Award by the St. Albans Community for outstanding community service and a Congressional Achievement Award for exemplary achievement.

Michelle Jarney  

Michelle Jarney

Vice President, Leadership Coaching Services

Michelle joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2004 and now serves as the organization’s Vice President of Leadership Coaching Services. As the designer of NYCLA’s signature coaching model, Michelle is responsible for the implementation of direct service programs as well as capacity building for clients seeking to develop in-house expertise.  Michelle develops, supports, and supervises NYCLA’s cadre of expert coach practitioners. She also brings her extensive experience as a curriculum designer, facilitator and consultant to a range of leadership development initiatives in districts throughout the country.

Prior to her work with NYC Leadership Academy, Michelle was the Director of Education for the Union Square Partnership. In that capacity, she developed an award-winning, public-private partnership that leveraged the resources of the private sector to support NYC public school students through innovative enrichment programs and career readiness opportunities.

Michelle holds an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA from Union College in Schenectady, NY

Michael Kim  

Michael Kim

Director, Leadership Development

Michael graduated with a BA in Psychology from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ. He went on to serve as an AmeriCorps member in Patterson, NJ with NJ Community Development Corporation and JFK High School’s School-Based Youth Services Program, where he helped run workshops, provided tutoring services, and coordinated community service projects. While searching for an opportunity to continue in the education field and explore the nonprofit sector on Idealist.org, Michael found NYC Leadership Academy! Over five years later, Michael still cherishes the opportunity he’s been given to come back to the city he grew up in (born and raised in the Bronx!) and support the public education system that was so formative during his youth. In his current position as Director of Leadership Support Programs, he supports coaches in the field, helps design leadership development workshops for principals, and seeks to continually improve and enhance the work including the use of technology.

Neil Kreinik  

Neil Kreinik

Coach Specialist

Neil F. Kreinik has provided coach support for NYC Leadership Academy coaches and principals since 2003. Born in Jersey City, NJ and raised in Queens, NY, Mr. Kreinik was recognized as a successful Community Superintendent of Community School District 28 in NYC from 1996 through June 2003.

Prior to becoming superintendent he served in schools as Assistant Principal and Principal and in the district office as Director of Funded Programs and Director of Organization. All positions were in District 28. In September 2006 Mr. Kreinik requested a part time assignment. He has been providing support for the coaches and new principals. Mr. Kreinik earned his BA in History from Queens College and obtained his Masters of Science in Curriculum and Professional Diploma in Administration and Supervision from St. John's University. He has taken additional graduate courses at area universities.

Marilyn Kress  

Marilyn Kress

Coach/Facilitator

The most influential role models in Marilyn’s life were relatives who were teachers and college professors. She grew up watching her mother and aunt, designing curricula, planning instruction and guiding their students. Then, as a student in New York University's Masters Program in Educational Psychology, Marilyn became fascinated by how different students learn in different ways. These experiences lead her to a long career in educating children with autism.

In her role as Coach-Facilitator at NYC Leadership Academy, she supports early career principals leading both general education and special education schools. She enjoys working on all levels from elementary through high schools. She also looks forward to designing and facilitating professional development for NYC Principals and each day is reminded of the many different ways both children and adults learn.

Bernadette Kriftcher  

Bernadette Kriftcher

Coach/Facilitator

If you ask her, Bernadette Kriftcher will tell you that the most rewarding times in her career in education were those she had in leadership roles. From the day she was appointed to the position of Assistant Principal in English at one of the largest and most diverse high schools in New York City (Newtown HS), she has supported teachers and developed their leadership skills. It proved to be a smooth segue from Assistant Principal to Director of Instruction and Professional Development for the Brooklyn High Schools in which she supported teachers and Assistant Principals on a larger scale. This latter role prepared her to meet the challenge of Principal of William Cullen Bryant HS, another large, comprehensive high school with an enrollment of over 4000 students. Her career with the New York City Department of Education culminated with the position of Local Instructional Superintendent which provided Bernadette with her first opportunity to support principals on a more direct basis.

It was only natural for her to transition to her current position as coach/facilitator with NYC Leadership Academy. In this capacity, she supports principals and facilitates their learning as they meet the challenges in their work. She also designs and facilitates professional development opportunities to enrich their growth as leaders. In addition to a Master of Arts degree in English, Bernadette has a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Supervision.

Brooke Law  

Brooke Law

Associate Director, Leadership Development

Brooke Law currently serves as Associate Director, Leadership Development. Brooke joined NYCLA as a Program Specialist with the Aspiring Principals Program, where she supported the team’s curriculum design and implementation, the recruitment and admissions process, and the delivery of the summer intensive.

She has worked in nonprofits since the start of her career and loves NYC Leadership Academy’s approach of constant learning and reflection on practice to spur continual improvement. Before coming to NYC Leadership Academy, Brooke worked with the Center for Teaching Quality in North Carolina, which focuses on connecting teacher leaders virtually in order to improve their teaching practice and effect local and national policy changes. An aspiring writer, Brooke holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Vassar College and an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University.

Mark Levine  

Mark Levine

Coach/Facilitator

Mark joined NYC Leadership Academy as a coach/facilitator in 2007. Prior to this, Mark worked in the NYC school system for 35 years, with much of his experience being in Special Education, including a role as the Supervisor of Special Education. Mark served as a Principal at PS 24 in District 10 for 9 years, and during his tenure there, PS 24 received several awards, including being named as Collaborative Community of Practice by the NYCDOE. In addition to currently coaching new and experienced principals in NYC, Mark works on a range of national projects and has helped to develop NYC Leadership Academy online coaching modules. He reflects on how national consultancy work has helped him improve his own practice as a coach in NYC: “Doing our national work has broadened my knowledge and understanding of coaching. More specifically, it has helped me to differentiate my coaching more effectively and to recognize – and do something about – my default coaching behaviors. Working with colleagues from all over the country has also helped me gain insight from those who coach in different contexts.”

Mark holds a Professional Diploma from the City College of New York (CUNY), an MS from Lehman College (CUNY), and a BA from the University at Stony Brook. He has presented at several conferences on various educational issues.

Shannon Matlovsky  

Shannon Matlovsky

Senior Director, Leadership Development

Shannon Matlovsky joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2005 and is currently Senior Director, Leadership Development. In this capacity, Shannon works directly with districts, states and education stakeholders on a range of leadership development and support projects.

She is an experienced facilitator and trainer who works closely with broad-based teams to build their capacity to design, develop and deliver standards-based leadership development and support programs. Her experiences include supporting the development and launch of aspiring principals programs in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, consulting work on behalf of the New York State Education Department to develop new state-wide leadership academies in New York State, and helping design online coach training tools for the State of Missouri.

Shannon holds a BA in Anthropology from New York University.

Sonia Menendez  

Sonia Menendez

Coach/Facilitator

Sonia joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2013 as a coach/facilitator.

She has been a dedicated member of the New York City educational community for 30 years, and draws on her vast experience as a Community Superintendent, Senior Achievement Facilitator, Local Instructional Superintendent, and Principal, to support current principals throughout the city. Throughout her career, Sonial has supported schools in utilizing accountability protocols, sharing best practices, transforming school culture to be more nurturing of students, and providing quality instruction and support to students identified as English Language Learners.

Sonia holds a BA from Dominican College, an MA in Bilingual Education from Hunter College, and an Advanced Certificate in Administration and Supervision from City College of New York.

Mark Moskowitz  

Mark Moskowitz

Coach/Facilitator

During the course of a 32 year career in New York City public high schools as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and local instructional superintendent, Mark’s proudest achievement was the graduation rate of the Title I Career and Technical Education high school in Brooklyn he led. Mark joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2006 as a coach/facilitator. In addition to coaching new and experienced principals in New York City individually and in critical friends groups, Mark has designed and facilitated sessions for educators across the United States and in Brazil. His most memorable experience was working with coaches in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from whom he learned that facilitative competency based coaching has a universal appeal that transcends culture, language, and geography.

Mark has a BA in history and an MA in English from Long Island University and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from Hofstra University. 

Rosemary Prati  

Rosemary Prati

Coach/Facilitator

Rosemary joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2013 as a coach/facilitator.

Rosemary has over 25 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in the NYC public school system. As a school principal PS 091, she has supported staff in the adoption of the Common Core Curriculum and the transition to the APPR process. Her efforts to create a cohesive educational community, devoted to providing a differentiated and standards-based curriculum, utilize research-based strategies proven to be successful in meeting the diverse needs of a multicultural student population.

Her leadership and approach earned PS 091 recognition as a School of Change and the CSA Performance Bonus. The school also became a hub of professional learning where other schools visited to learn about their best practices. In addition, this extensive experience has guided her career as a school leader, earning her numerous awards and recognitions including Educator of the Year.

Rosemary has participated in national conference of school leaders and completed the Urban School Leaders professional development conference on Urban School Leaders at the Harvard School of Education.

Mark Singer  

Mark Singer

Coach/Facilitator

Mark has been a coach for NYC Leadership Academy for six years now. He has worked with and provided leadership support to principals of very diverse schools throughout the five boroughs, since 2006. He came to coaching after a long and productive career as an educator in New York City public schools. After teaching elementary level students from 1970 through 1988, Mark became a grade leader, assistant principal and then principal in 2002 of a Bronx elementary school that was one of the largest elementary schools in all of New York, with a population of over 1700 students. One of the highlights of his work there was the creation and nurturing of a chess program that produced teams that competed in tournaments throughout the country and achieved national recognition.

Mark holds a BA in psychology from Hunter College in the Bronx and an MA in Administration and Supervision from St. Peter’s University in New Jersey. In 2005 he received a certificate of completion after attending a Principal’s Institute at Harvard University.

Frank Spradley  

Frank Spradley

Coach/Facilitator

Frank Spradley joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2006 after a thirty-three year career in the New York City public school system. The last five years of his involvement with the Department of Education was as a Deputy Superintendent in District 16. He was the first principal of the new vision high school Benjamin Banneker Academy. Spradley’s administrative career began as a principal in 1983 at the Rachel Jean Mitchell Elementary School in Oceanhill Brownsville, Brooklyn. While principal, his vision for the success of an “at risk” student group was to create an all-male class for African American and Hispanic males. The initiative was successful.

Like Kwame Nkhrumah, Frank believes that “education consists not only in the sum of what a man knows, or the skill with which he can put this to his own advantage. In my view, a man’s education must also be measured in terms of the soundness of his judgment of people and things, and in his power to understand and appreciate the needs of his fellow-men, and to be of service to them. The educated man should be so sensitive to the conditions around him that he makes it his chief endeavor to improve those conditions for the good of all.”

Sarah Stevens  

Sarah Stevens

Chief of Staff, Leadership Development

Sarah Stevens joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2013 as the Associate Director of National Initiatives and now serves as Director of National Initiatives.

Prior to joining NYCLA, Sarah served as the Director of Education at Change for Kids (CFK). She helped define CFK’s Educational Goals, grew the volunteer programs into robust support systems for their high-needs NYC public elementary partner schools, and led the Board of Directors through a New School Adoption process resulting in new partnerships doubling the number of schools the organization supported. Sarah joined CFK from the Brooklyn Philharmonic, where she was the Director of Operations and the concert production manager. Before that position, Sarah opened and directed the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s after-school arts academy, and smartARTS, which offers all forms of fine arts, technology, sports, and tutoring classes to public middle school students free of charge. Sarah has also worked in arts education for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Brooklyn Center for The Performing Arts. Before moving to New York, Sarah taught musical theatre and choir at a performing arts high school in Austin Texas.

She studied Music Education and Opera performance at the University of Texas at Austin and received her Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from Brooklyn College.

Greg Tewksbury  

Greg Tewksbury

Coach/Facilitator

Gregory is an educator and coach who enjoys the challenge of working to change the educational possibilities for young people and their families. After having collaborated with many youth development organizations, Gregory is committed to and sees the great hope in creating a new generation of school leaders. Principals are not only the educational leaders of their schools but the person who holds the vision of what education is for and can be in the lives of his or her students. This is an exciting journey where learning and reflection, struggle and change are at the heart of the work.

Gregory holds an MA from SUNY StonyBrook in Social Psychology with an emphasis on understanding communities. Education for social justice and empowerment are at the center of his thinking and practice. As a faculty member in Education Studies at the New School University, Gregory founded the High School College Collaborative connecting area high schools to the resources of the University. He had the opportunity to work with and write about Paulo Freire, whose work inspires him and demonstrates what education can become.

Valerie Vallade  

Valerie Vallade

Coach/Facilitator

Valerie Vallade is a retired New York City high school principal who has been a NYC Leadership Academy Coach/Facilitator since 2006. She has provided coaching support to both novice and experienced principals, including those who are founding principals of new small schools. She has designed and facilitated training sessions for NSI principals on such topics as time management, facilitative leadership, and other aspects of the principalship. She has also participated in National Work Initiatives in Missouri (session design, webinars), Buffalo, and Delaware.

Valerie was an adjunct at the Leadership Preparation Institute of Bank Street College of Education for six years, where she taught and mentored aspiring school leaders. She has a particular interest in supporting student achievement (with special emphasis on males of color) through the effective use of data and instructional/empowerment initiatives. She has been a member of the Eagle Academy Foundation Advisory Board since its inception.

Ann Wiener  

Ann Wiener

Coach/Facilitator

Ann Wiener joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2005 after a 30-year career in the New York City public school system, the last 15 years as founding principal of Crossroads School, a public Manhattan middle school.

Ann co-founded the District 3 Urban Teaching Fellows Program, received various grants including ones from the Diamond Foundation, Chase Bank, the Fund for New York City Education, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and NCREST. She served on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

Ann Wiener received her BA from Smith College, her MA from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her supervisory license from the Aspiring Leaders Program at Baruch’s School of Social Work. She has done advanced work with Schools Attuned, Bard College’s Writing Program, the Prospect Summer Institute, CAST (the Center for Applied Technology) and the Harvard Principals Institute.

She has recently travelled to Bhutan, Ethiopia, Iran, and Cambodia and loves to bike and volunteer as an usher in Off Broadway theatres.

Norman Wechsler  

Norman Wechsler

Coach/Facilitator

When Wechsler emerged from Brooklyn College at the end of the 60’s, his struggle for social justice led him into teaching in middle school in the South Bronx. But the compelling trauma manifested by so many of his students propelled him into a Master’s program in Counseling. His years as teacher, counselor, AP of Guidance, Supervisor of Guidance, running the Attendance Improvement/Dropout Prevention program for the NYC High Schools, award-winning principal of DeWitt Clinton HS, and Superintendent of Bronx High Schools- where he transformed failing high schools into new small schools of excellence- give him unique insights into the needs of new principals, and the schools they serve. With a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. Wechsler’s special expertise and experience in data-driven decision making is of inestimable value to the many constituencies served by NYC Leadership Academy, where he continues his eighth highly successful year coaching new principals.

Lois Weiswasser  

Lois Weiswasser

Coach/Facilitator

Lois Weiswasser always dreamt of being a teacher and returning to teach in the school she went to.

She graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Education Degree. She went to visit her childhood school, PS 200 in Brooklyn, NY and immediately was hired by her childhood Principal. Lois taught alongside those that had taught her for over six years. She then took a ten year leave to raise her two children.

Lois moved to Greenwich Village in NYC and became an active member of the community. Attending New York University for Graduate Degrees, she received a Masters in Education and her Degree in School Administration from NYU Lois became a teacher at PS 41 Greenwich Village School and moved up the ranks in the school from Staff Developer to Assistant Principal to Principal. During her tenure at PS 41 she was recognized for the schools high performance in Math and Literacy. Lois was also a Principal mentor to new Principals during this time. Lois also served as a Literacy Specialist in District Two and was trained by Rigby Publications as an Early Literacy Staff Developer.

She facilitated the training sessions for all new District Two Teachers in Balanced Literacy thus helping this initiative. She was an Adjunct Professor at Stern College in NYC and taught Social Studies and Literacy Courses in Education. She also served in the Educational Administration Program at Hunter College and supervised Principal Interns. Lois left PS 41 after 27 years and joined the NYC Leadership Academy as a Coach and Facilitator.

Liliana Polo-McKenna  

Liliana Polo-McKenna

Vice President, School Leadership Support

Liliana Polo-McKenna joined the NYC Leadership Academy in the summer of 2013 with 12 years of experience as a teacher and school leader in NYC and an aspiring principal coach in Boston charter schools through Harvard’s School Leadership Program.

In her role as National Leadership Development Strategist with NYCLA, she has supported curriculum design, facilitation, and coaching in Rhode Island, and most recently in NYCLA’s i3 initiative to support its Teaming Model in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, and Philadelphia School District’s new principal induction program.

Liliana holds a BA and MAT from Brown University, School Administration and Leadership Certificate from Queens College at CUNY, and most recently earned an Ed.L.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her capstone focused on supporting leaders and their teams in transformation schools in Rhode Island. Liliana is also a member of NYCLA’s 3rd cohort of the Aspiring Principal Program.

Innovation & Organizational Development

Ashley Lusky  

Ashley Lusky

Senior Associate, External Affairs

Ashley Lusky joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2012 and currently serves as Senior Associate, External Affairs. In this capacity, Ashley helps to increase the organization's visibility through a multi-faceted marketing and communications initiative. She leads NYCLA's online communications to engage supporters across the country.

Prior to joining NYCLA, Ashley was a Development Intern at Grand Street Settlement, a community organization providing social services to low-income residents in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

She holds a BA in Psychology and Public Policy with a concentration in Children and Families from William Smith College.

Mary Rice-Boothe  

Mary Rice-Boothe

Associate Vice President

Mary Rice-Boothe joined the NYC Leadership Academy in the Spring of 2015 and currently serves as Senior Director, Leadership Development. In this role, Mary works with clients around the country to design and implement leadership development programs rooted in NYCLA’s proven model.

Mary comes to NYCLA with over 15 years of experience in education including roles as a teacher, principal, mentor and coach. Most recently Mary worked at New Leaders, a national non-profit organization focused on leadership development. As Executive Director of Content and Assessment, she led the team that designed, developed and delivered the content and assessment for the organization’s signature programs. Mary began her career in education as a NYC Teaching Fellow in East Harlem. Mary is also a member of NYCLA’s APP Cohort 3.

Mary holds a BA in Metropolitan Studies from New York University, as well as an MA in English and English Education from the City College of New York. 

Kathleen Drucker  

Kathleen Drucker

Associate Vice President, Research, Evaluation & Impact

Dr. Kathleen Drucker joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2013 and currently serves as Associate Vice President, Research, Evaluation & Impact.

Dr. Drucker formerly served as an Assistant Research Director of the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, where she managed an international literacy study involving 49 countries and over 300,000 students. Her dissertation, Using PIRLS 2006 to Measure Equity in Reading Achievement Internationally, received the 2009 Bruce Choppin Award for outstanding dissertation using IEA data. She has co-authored a number of research reports, including the PIRLS 2011 International Results in Reading and the PIRLS 2011 Encyclopedia Education Policy and Curriculum in Reading. Dr. Drucker has also worked as an independent evaluation consultant, with her clients including programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston College.

Dr. Drucker earned her doctorate in educational research, measurement, and evaluation from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. In addition, she is pursuing a Master's of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

David Goldsmith  

David Goldsmith

Associate Director, Fund Development

David Goldsmith joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2015 as Associate Director, Foundation Relations. In this capacity, he leads the day-to-day operations for the organization’s institutional fundraising efforts, helping to establish a grants program that will maximize the organization’s ability to pursue new opportunities while leveraging existing relationships. 

With nearly 20 years of development and philanthropic experience, he has cultivated relationships with private and corporate foundations and government agencies to raise millions of dollars for educational and other programming. Prior to joining NYCLA, David was a consultant to non-profit organizations in the education, arts, and international sectors, providing guidance in non-profit resource development. He has also provided guidance to philanthropists in establishing grant-making programs through foundations and trusts. Before this, David conducted fundraising campaigns at FEGS Health & Human Services, Intermedia Arts Minnesota and the Minnesota Private College Fund.

David holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and a MA in Media Studies from the New School University. 

Renata Peralta  

Renata Peralta

Associate Director, Research, Evaluation & Impact

Renata Peralta joined the NYC Leadership Academy in 2015 and currently serves as the Associate Director in Research, Evaluation, and Impact. In this capacity, she conducts program evaluations and case study research on NYCLA programs.

Previously, Renata conducted quantitative analysis of Philadelphia policies at the American Civil Liberties Union, qualitative program evaluations at Research for Action, and qualitative program evaluations for the New York City Department of Education. Her research background combined with her experience in the classroom and in government has given her a holistic view of education.

Renata received her B.A. in Political Science, and her teaching certificate, from Swarthmore College. She received her M.S.Ed in Education Policy in the University of Pennsylvania, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in the Politics and Education program at Teachers College.

Gerry Falchick  

Gerry Falchick

Senior Director, Human Resources & Talent Management

Saying that Gerry Falchick is a people person is probably an understatement. Her career path took a sharp left turn from pursuing a Master’s degree in Literature with emphasis on fifteenth century English many moons ago to a honing her skills in Human Resources. Her HR career is extensive and varied, with concentration in recruitment, employee relations, performance management, and organizational development.

All of what went before was preparation for what she does currently. As Director of Human Resources in a community hospital in Florida, she designed and implemented a new selection and on-boarding system and reengineered the performance management program. During her five years managing a large and very busy recruitment function at New York Presbyterian, she introduced client-based planning and training, but it was at NYC Leadership Academy where she found a home. In her words, she gets to “support the most dedicated, smart and collaborative team it has ever been a pleasure to work with”.

Administration & Operations

Joseph Burke  

Joseph Burke

Director, Finance

Joseph Burke has been Director, Finance at the NYC Leadership Academy since 2007. He began on an outsourced basis working for Kiwi Partners and then as a full-time NYCLA employee.

Joe is responsible for all aspects of the NYC Leadership Academy’s financial operations including preparing, presenting, and analyzing the organization’s financial statements, managing the month-end and year-end closing activities, coordinating the annual audit and assisting with the annual budgeting and planning processes, as well as overseeing the day-to-day activities of the Finance Department. Prior to joining NYCLA, Joe was the Controller at the South Street Seaport Museum, his first role in nonprofit accounting. He also served as an Accounting Manager for Gordon’s Jewelers and Zale Corporation.

He received a BBA in Accounting and Finance from Pace University.

Juanita Lewis  

Juanita Lewis

Special Assistant to the CEO

An experienced office administrator with over 30 years’ experience, Juanita is often the first contact with NYC Leadership Academy. She joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2006 and provides administrative support services to the senior cabinet, plans organizational events, and brings her expertise to all departments.

Prior to joining the Academy, Juanita served seven years in the nonprofit sector as Director and Program Coordinator of a senior citizens center, and 19 years in various corporate positions. A mother of four, Juanita holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wells College.

Linda Lewis  

Linda Lewis

Senior Accountant

She is responsible for payroll, vendor payment, monthly profit and loss reports for the NYCLA’s national clients, assisting with audits, and performing a myriad of other financial duties all with the aim of ensuring that the Finance department runs smoothly and is responsive to the needs of the entire organization.

Prior to joining NYCLA, she was employed at a non-profit organization in NYC whose primary focus was the eradication of homelessness. She was also a tax auditor, a job where she honed her attention to detail.

She earned a BBA from Baruch College in Accounting and is currently exploring colleges to begin the next phase in her education.

Alexander Negron  

Alexander Negron

Director, Information Technology

Alex Negron serves as the Information Technology Director for NYC Leadership Academy. As Director of Information Technology, he is responsible for all aspects of IT. He has been working in the technology field for over fifteen years. Alex joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2003 after working at the New York City Department of Education as a Computer Technician.

Alex holds a BA in Computer Science. In addition, he holds certifications as well, including one from the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator program and others from the MCTS program and various software applications.

He brings his depth of experience and various technical skills to his current position where he supports NYC Leadership Academy.

Bernadette Pizzurro  

Bernadette Pizzurro

Senior Director, Facilities & Administration

Bernadette joined the NYC Leadership Academy in July 2003 working with the Aspiring Principals Admissions team for the first class of Aspiring Principals and is still working with the Admissions team.

As Senior Director, Facilities & Administration, Bernadette is responsible for managing our staff offices as well as securing space for on and off site workshops, working along with the IT and Operations staff to deliver and support all events. Bernadette works with the client services responsible for client contract processes. Bernadette worked in the New York City Department of Education for 12 years before coming to NYCLA.

David Amelco  

David Amelco

Technology Specialist

David Amelco joined NYC Leadership Academy in 2014. He serves as a Technology Specialist for the IT Department.

As the Technology Specialist, David is responsible for maintaining and ensuring the continuity of all technology within the academy. Since joining the academy, David has become an integral part of the IT team, with assisting staff members internally and remotely. He troubleshoots and resolves various hardware/software issues that arise in the day-to-day work flow for the staff. Some of his duties include setup and management of IT-related equipment, troubleshooting and implementation of systems, and assisting in complex escalated IT queries. David also has a background in software configuration, which include desktop applications such as Microsoft Office, Citrix Receiver, and Adobe products. He looks to continue to expand his knowledge in the vast field of Information Technology.

David brings over five years of customer and technology support experience to the NYC Leadership Academy.

Tanisha Barnes  

Tanisha Barnes

Office Manager