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.

Kevin Shrum

Carolyn Narvaez

K – 5

400 Scholars

The DREAM Team

Kevin Shrum


Carolyn Narvaez

Assistant Principal

Grace Han

Instructional Coach

Bryan Stroud

Leader U Fellow

Amanda Torres

Operations Manager

Levar Leys

Operations & Technology Associate

Alexa Laboy


Krystyna Gloss

Family Impact Coordinator

Lesley Santos


Diana Pena

Kindergarten Teacher

Aminata Waggeh

Kindergarten Teacher

Pashen Hutton

Kindergarten Teacher

Essence Wilson

Kindergarten Teacher

Samantha Kienemund

Kindergarten Teacher

Madeline Nawa

Kindergarten Teacher

Justin Richmond

First Grade Teacher

Sofia Roman

First Grade Teacher

Tamara Celestine

First Grade Teacher Resident

Colleen Smith

First Grade Teacher

Micheal Thomas

First Grade Teacher

Sara Kim

Second Grade Teacher

Kasey Poloncarz

Second Grade Teacher

Mindy Stump

Second Grade Teacher

Heather Gorton

Second Grade Teacher

Hannah Burke

Third Grade Teacher

Marcus Smith

Third Grade Teacher

Ashley Silver

Third Grade Teacher

Matt Labonia

Fourth Grade Teacher

Madeline Hess

Fourth Grade Teacher

Noemi Cardenales

Fourth Grade Teacher

Courtney Cox

Fourth Grade Teacher

Kevin Lassiter

Fifth Grade Teacher Resident

Dimple Bailey

Fifth Grade Teacher

Jonathan Gallegos

Fifth Grade Teacher

Conscious Coore

Fifth Grade Teacher

Yauntilaa Lancaster

Fifth Grade Teacher

Kristine Peters

Music Teacher

Stephen Kovalcik

Physical Education Teacher

Adeola Fashina

Performing Arts Teacher

Kristina Bounviri

Movement Teacher

Carmen Cruel

K-2 Science/ Social Studies Teacher

Amy Spina

K-3 Science/Social Studies Teacher

Stephanie Pepen


Shakema Philbert


Elena Heitke


Danielle Rivera

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

  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.