Principal, Children's Aid College Prep Charter School
Ife Lenard, an innovative and successful educator with more than 18 years’ experience as a master teacher and school leader in New York City, became the founding principal of the Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School in March 2012. Since 2006, Ms. Lenard served as the Assistant Principal/Dean of Students at the Bronx Charter School for Excellence (BCSE) where she created a supportive and nurturing culture where children and teachers alike could meet the demands of a rigorous academic program. As academic supervisor for many elementary grades and middle school content areas throughout her years at BCSE, she proudly worked with dynamic teachers to incorporate exemplary instructional practices and to close achievement gaps. In 2009, she was the instructional leader for the 5th grade class when they far outperformed district schools and became the highest performing 5th grade class in the entire city with 96% proficiency in math.
After years of serving youth and families as a social worker in schools and programs, Ife Lenard moved into education to serve them as a biology and physics teacher. Ms. Lenard has taught New York City students from the 5th to 12th grades in general education, special education and in gifted and talented programs. From 2002 to 2006, she taught and developed the science curricula and department at Middle School 203 in the Bronx. Prior to her entry into the Principals Academy in 2007, Ms. Lenard also taught AP Biology and English, and served as the Dean of Students for the Science Technology Entry Program for advanced high school students at Barnard College on Saturdays and every summer since 2000.
“It is our collective responsibility to offer a school that honors children. Yes, we’ll work hard to meet the high accountability demands to sustain achievements, but there are other layers that serve to motivate the school community to rise and meet the demands of excellence. As a social worker, I understand how to address familial and cognitive behavioral issues of the neediest children, and how to be a catalyst for positive growth. As a servant leader, I believe that it is integral to plant seeds in order to groom students to become scholars. We work as educators and may not be afforded the opportunity to see all character seeds blossom, but they must be planted nonetheless. As a woman and a mother, I have become acutely aware of my dual role within the educational system - to be a nurturer and a leader. Thus, my varying roles have culminated into the leader that I am today.”
Ms. Lenard earned a Master's in Social Work in 1999 as well as one in Educational Leadership in 2008, both from Columbia University.