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 Resident

Amanda Torres

Operations Manager

Levar Leys

Operations & Technology Associate

Chastity Hidalgo


Patricia Rodriguez

Family Impact Coordinator

Diana Pena

Kindergarten Teacher

Colleen Riddle

Kindergarten Teacher

Julianna Gilary

Kindergarten Teacher

Alexandra Makos

First Grade Teacher

Jesse DeJesus

First Grade Teacher

Jin Yang

First Grade Teacher

Colleen Smith

First Grade Teacher

Sara Kim

Second Grade Teacher

Kasey Poloncarz

Second Grade Teacher

Mindy Stump

Second Grade Teacher

Carly Wurman

Second Grade Teacher

Courtney Cox

Third Grade Teacher

Jeremy Paula

Third Grade Teacher

Mary Kate Lyons

Third Grade Teacher

Hannah Burke

Third Grade Teacher

Marcus Smith

Third Grade Teacher Resident

Justin Richmond

Fourth Grade Teacher

Matt Labonia

Fourth Grade Teacher

Noemi Cardenales

Fourth Grade Teacher

Samantha Kienemund

Fourth Grade Teacher

Kaleel Watkins

Fifth Grade Teacher

Dimple Bailey

Fifth Grade Teacher

Jonathan Gallegos

Fifth Grade Teacher

Conscious Coore

Fifth Grade Teacher

Yauntilaa Lancaster

Fifth Grade Teacher

Ashley Silver

Fifth Grade Teacher

Manny Lora

Physical Education Teacher

Kristine Peters

Music Teacher

Adeola Fashina

Performing Arts Teacher

Kristina Bounviri

Movement Teacher

Shayne Walton

4-5 Science Teacher

Desmond Harrell

K-3 Science/ Social Studies Teacher

Amy Spina

K-3 Science/Social Studies Teacher

Stephanie Pepen

ACT Coordinator

Maggie Hibner


Teri Izquierdo

SETSS Teacher

Danielle Rivera

Social Worker

John Dufour

Social Worker

Bernado Melinette

Dream Coach

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.