Our Story

Seeking to provide scholars with a rigorous and joyful school environment as early as possible, Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary opened with Kindergarten in 2013 and will add a grade each year. Starting at age 5, scholars will grapple with rigorous material, civic engagement and character education through the DREAM values that will set them up to Work Hard, Go to College, and Change the World! Upon completion of 5th Grade, scholars will transition to Democracy Prep Harlem Middle School and then High School where they will continue on their path to and through college and a life of active citizenship.

Mia Backon

K – 5

400 Scholars


The DREAM Team

Mia Backon


Chelsey Palmer

Assistant Principal

Allison Roberts

Instructional Coach

Eugene Newsome

Principal in Residence

Judy Yoo

Operations Manager

Norberto Troncoso

Operations Coordinator

Irene Polanco

Administrative Manager

Jessica Loubriel


Fitzroy Saunders


Jennifer Myers


Erin Chilelli

Social Worker

Kristyn Demartinis

Social Worker

Sue Kim

K-2 SETSS ELL Coordinator

Paola Peñuela

K Teacher & Grade Team Leader

Pamela Peñuela

Kindergarten Teacher

Christine Jurado

Kindergarten Teacher

Leesa Pea

First Grade Teacher

Alyssa Harris

First Grade Teacher

Amanda Johnson

First Grade Teacher

Madison Pinto

Second Grade Teacher

Kristen Turpin

Second Grade Teacher & Grade Team Leader

Khadidja Sow

Second Grade Teacher

Anna Longo

Thrid Grade Teacher

Jackie Dimitrief

Third Grade Teacher

Kara Miranda

3-5 ACT Specialist & ACT Coordinator

Sheila Sullivan

Third Grade Teacher & Grade Team Leader

Joseph Anderson

Third Grade Teacher

Chris Melendez

Fourth Grade Teacher

Khadijah Lewis

Fourth Grade Teacher

Alexis Renko

Fourth Grade Teacher

Kianni Johnson

Fourth Grade Teacher

Taylor Chiola

Fifth Grade Teacher

Claire Hughes

Fifth Grade Teacher

Alissa Jacquess

Fifth Grade Teacher

Kamille Campbell

Fifth Grade Teacher

David Outten

Fifth Grade Teacher

Michael O'Dea

ACT & CCT Leader

Tyler Harl

Fifth Grade Teacher

Rachel Lee

Science & Social Studies Teacher & Co- Curricular Leader

Nicole Taylor

Third Grade Teacher

Cherby Laguerre

Physical Education Teacher

Robert Subjenski

Music Teacher

Grace Lopata-Linn

Dance Teacher

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

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.