Our Story

In March 2011, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute approved Democracy Prep to turn around Harlem Day Charter School, a failing elementary school in East Harlem. The immediate effects were staggering. In their first year, Harlem Prep’s scholars achieved the highest proficiency growth scores in English Language Arts (ELA) in New York State and the highest combined proficiency growth scores in ELA and Math in New York City.
To attain these dramatic results, Harlem Prep’s DREAM Team worked tirelessly to deliver Democracy Prep’s rigorous and structured model to the same students in the same building, turning the school into a high-performing elementary school where students are prepared for success in both college and citizenship. Although much ground remains to be covered, the turnaround has unequivocally proven that it was not the children, but rather the adults in the building, that led to persistently low academic achievement.

Bryan Stroud

Briana Jones

K – 5

418 Scholars


The DREAM Team

Bryan Stroud


Briana Jones

Assistant Principal

Justin Richmond

Leader U Fellow

Carolyn Narvaez

Instructional Coach

Lesley Santos

Operations Manager

Krystyna Gloss

Administrative Manager

Alyzé Rodriguez

Operations Coordinator

Marleny Roche-Jimenez


Diana Pena

Kindergarten Teacher

Emily Kick

Kindergarten Teacher

Pashen Hutton

Kindergarten Teacher

Essence Wilson

Kindergarten Teacher

Samantha Kienemund

Kindergarten Teacher

Madeline Nawa

Kindergarten Teacher

Sofia Roman

First Grade Teacher

Kadine Cousins

First Grade Teacher

Tamara Celestine

First Grade Teacher

Micheal Thomas

First Grade Teacher

Aminata Waggeh

Second Grade Teacher

Harry Little

Second Grade Teacher

Heather Gorton

Second Grade Teacher

Alex Haas

Second Grade Teacher

Ashley Silver

Third Grade Teacher

Sara Kim

Third Grade Teacher

Madeline Hess

Third Grade Teacher

Zakiyah Floyd

Third Grade Teacher

Noemi Cardenales

Fourth Grade Teacher

Courtney Cox

Fourth Grade Teacher

Kim Alvarado

Fourth Grade Teacher

Dimple Bailey

Fifth Grade Teacher

Jonathan Gallegos

Fifth Grade Teacher

Conscious Coore

Fifth Grade Teacher

Yauntilaa Lancaster

Fifth Grade Teacher

Jennifer Baez

Fifth Grade Teacher Resident

Carmen Cruel

K-2 Science/ Social Studies Teacher

Kevin Lassiter

3-5 Science Teacher

Stephen Kovalcik

Physical Education Teacher

Kristina Bounviri

Movement Teacher

Marion Lopez

Performing Arts Teacher

Shakema Philbert


Stephanie Pepen


Elena Heitke


Colleen Smith

Intervention Specialist

Danielle Rivera

Social Worker

Amy Spina

Social Worker

Bernado Melinette

Scholar Support Specialist

Cheyenne Bhutan

Dream Coach

Kelvin Negron

Facilities Manager

Kevin Burns


Juan Rodriguez


Julio Duran

Security Guard

DPNY Board of Directors

Dr. Robert North

Chair, Harlem Hospital

Josh Pristaw

Vice Chair, GTIS Partners

Brian Berger

Treasurer, Glocap Search

Doug Snyder

Vice Chair, Starboard Value, L.P.

Roger Berg

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Trevor Gibbons

Prosek Partners

Sean Windsor


Ken Weiller

Westfield Investment LLC

Alastair Wood


Brittany Mullings

Human Resources Business Partner, National Basketball Association

Gregory Weston

Winston & Strawn LLP

Jake Foley III

Khary Barnes

Vice Chair, American Express

Ross Frommer

Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Stephanie King

Columbia University

Farida Ilboudo

Columbia University

  Click to download HPCS Board Meeting Minutes – 2016-17
  Download Annual Report 16-17 

To contact the DPNY Board, please email Boardoftrustees@DemocracyPrep.org

For information about the DPNY Board of Trustees, including minutes and upcoming meeting dates, click here.