Dr. Gemar Mills Executive Director

Gemar Mills, Executive DirectorDr. Mills, born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, always possessed a fervent affection for providing urban youth with an alternative perspective on life. As a high school student, he quickly acknowledged the significance of becoming an educated African-American male in his community. He sought empowerment through education, discovering its significance to personal and societal development.

After earning a B.S. degree in Math Education from Montclair State University, Dr. Mills began teaching math at East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey. While working full-time, he earned a Master’s of Educational Leadership at American Intercontinental University and later a doctoral degree in administration, policy, and curriculum from Seton Hall University. Later, at Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark, Dr. Mills served for two years as Math Department Chairperson and one year as Vice-Principal. At the age of 27, Dr. Mills was made Principal of this school, one of the most troubled in the Newark Public Schools District. With a history of low-test scores, MXS was threatened with the possibility of closure. Dr. Mills formulated a strategy of education reform, using his strengths as an accessible and relatable leader to recreate a safe school atmosphere where students and staff believed again in themselves, their school, and in education. Under his leadership, test scores drastically improved. School pride and a sports culture were also restored. The school’s turnaround has been featured in the Sports Illustrated award-winning series “Underdogs,” NBC’s “Positively Black,” an Emmy award-winning documentary “Saving Shabazz” produced by NJ.com, and articles by The Atlantic, Fortune, and Crain business magazine.

Dr. Mills not only serves as Executive Director of CAPS Paterson but also leads Academics across the CAPS network.

Ms. Sharon Cook Director of Operations

Ms. Sharon Cook, Director of Operations at CAPS PatersonSince a young age, Ms. Cook has possessed a love for education. She long aspired to play a vital role in the successful operation of an educational institution and now leads operations at CAPS Paterson.

Ms. Cook earned her Bachelor’s Degree from William Paterson College and her Master’s Degree from Montclair State University. She began her career in education in 2001 as a Substance Awareness Coordinator for elementary students within Newark Public Schools (NPS). After 16 years of service with NPS, Ms. Cook joined the College Achieve Paterson staff as one of the founding members of the administrative team.

Ms. Cook prides herself in her work. She says the most rewarding part of her job is knowing that her day-to-day work contributes to quality education for today’s youth. In her free time, Ms. Cook enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and being outdoors.

Mr. Jasonn L. Denard Director of Teaching and Learning

For the past two decades, Mr. Denard has worked as a teacher, teacher-leader, and Principal in Paterson and Newark, N.J. Mr. Denard is a Newark-born educator and graduate of University High School (’99). He holds a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Kean University (’04) and an M.A. in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University (’08). He was a middle and secondary English teacher before accepting a position as a Humanities Department Chair in 2009.

In 2013, he completed the Pre-K – 12 circle, so to speak, serving as a Vice Principal of a Pre-K-8 school in Paterson, NJ. In just one year, that school saw an increase of 20% in ELA and 40% in mathematics. After two years there, he served as the founding principal of a brand new school for young men in Paterson, NJ. In that role, he and his team developed the theme, vision, and curricular design for the school. Mr. Denard eventually returned to his hometown to serve as a high school principal until 2020. He is on the board of trustees at the Marion P. Thomas Charter School and has worked with MAT students entering the field of education at both Concordia University and Eastern Oregon University. Mr. Denard currently serves as the Director of Teaching and Learning at CAPS Paterson, supporting both teachers and leaders alike.

Mr. Denard is also a proud black male educator, husband, and father of two.

 

Dr. Jaimie Phillips Elementary School Principal

Dr. Phillips earned a B.A. degree in both Communication and African Studies from Rutgers University before completing a master’s degree in Education Administration program at Grand Canyon University. Dr. Phillips acquired her doctoral degree of Education in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University in December 2020. In 2003, Dr. Phillips began her career in education serving Paterson students as a first-grade teacher. During these years, she worked to instill the importance of education and make long-lasting connections with students while using an individualized, differentiated approach to develop student growth.

Between 2015 and 2018, she took on the challenge of many leadership roles, including Assistant Director of Academics, Curriculum Supervisor, Master Mentor Teacher, and Professional Development Coordinator.  It was during this time that she realized that student performance was hindered by teachers leaving the school either to pursue roles in traditional public schools or leave the field of education altogether. This pattern of turnover left a negative impact on the students and school, resulting in inequitable outcomes. With an eagerness to work towards teacher retention, Dr. Phillips studied the role of influencers on this pattern and developed a plan to decrease the turnover rate in her school. The resulting yearly 97% teacher retention rate throughout her tenure as school leader improved instruction and led to consistent student gains.

Currently, Dr. Phillips leads the K-5 program at CAPS Paterson as the Director of  Elementary Education. Her leadership style is marked by poised, effective communication and the promotion of staff collaboration toward shared goals. She frequently mentors teachers, drawing on her own experience in the classroom, modeling for them, and challenging them to implement rigorous, data-driven instruction.

Dr. Phillips also serves as a Content Expert with Grand Canyon University and as a committee member on the Rutgers Graduate School of Education’s Advisory Council. She is the founder of J.S. Phillips Educational Consulting.

Dr. Kimberly Wright-White Middle School Principal

Kimberly Wright-White knows that success in urban advocacy and education takes determination, focus, perseverance and the ability to bring dignity to the lives of those she serves. With over 25 years in the field, her wealth of experience has allowed her to grow, learn and teach others across various facets of urban advocacy and education. Wright-White completed her B.A. at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her M.A. at Saint Peter’s University.

Early in her career, Wright-White’s work on behalf of the Newark Mayor’s Office and young adults in the city proved to be a richly rewarding experience. She specialized in the development of youth programs, government relations, and contract compliance. Soon after, she transitioned to leadership roles in the public-school sector. Wright-White’s experiences led to an interest in promoting and researching crisis leadership and further marginalized populations. Her ultimate goal is to disrupt intergenerational poverty for community members at risk of becoming further marginalized after crises.

Wright-White has committed herself to bringing awareness to the lack of diversity within all areas of the urban advocacy and education fields. A seasoned urban education leader, after successfully leading a 1,200 student K-8 school, she was tapped to create and lead two new schools. One school was single-gender and supported girls’ academic, social and emotional growth. The second school supported the academic, career and technical education (CTE) of marginalized high school students. In these roles, Wright-White helped secure major grants and donations from NJDOE, NJPAC, and Newark Trust for Education to further expand much needed social, emotional, and academic supports for marginalized populations.

Dedicated to educating new leaders, Wright-White served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Summer Principals Academy in New York City. Additionally, she is the Founder and CEO of Educational Design Group which is a consulting group meeting all system creation and design needs for the growth of public and private entities. In addition to her passion for mentoring, Wright-White has consistently collaborated with CBOs and NFPs at all levels, to meet the needs of marginalized community members and staff. Collaboration is one of the key components of the transformational leadership that Wright-White embodies.

As a supporter of BIPOC communities, Wright-White advocates for their mental health, academic, financial, and technical access needs. She participates in numerous professional development activities to keep her abreast of new and evolving innovation ideas and programs. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Management with an emphasis in Higher Education at Hampton University. She resides in New Jersey with her husband Michael and three daughters Alexa, Ashley, and Ariel.

Ms. Deyka Torres High School Principal

Ms. Torres: Principal of CAPS Colt Street Campus

Driven by an unwavering commitment to the success of all students, Ms. Deyka L. Torres serves with pride as the Principal of the Colt St. campus of College Achieve. Her leadership extends beyond administrative duties, actively supporting teachers through professional development and various leadership roles. With a Master’s degree in Education focusing on Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, she possesses a solid educational foundation. Fluent in Spanish, her ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds enriches her leadership role.

As Principal, Ms. Torres orchestrates the daily operations of the high school, overseeing both instructional and non-instructional staff. She actively engages in program development, setting school-wide goals for student achievement and behavior. Her leadership style emphasizes fairness and sensitivity in managing student behavioral issues. Prior to her current position, Ms. Torres excelled as Assistant Principal at Irvington High School, contributing significantly to the Math Department’s leadership. Her journey in education began as a Mathematics teacher, where she honed her skills in classroom management and instructional technology.

Ms. Torres’s exceptional contributions to education have been recognized through various accolades, including Teacher of the Year and induction into the Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society. Beyond her professional achievements, she finds joy in family time with her three children, exploring her passion for travel, and savoring diverse culinary experiences. Ms. Torres epitomizes dedication, leadership, and a zest for life in both her personal and professional endeavors.

Mr. Addley Teacher

Ms. Ahmed Teacher

Ms. Arizmendi Dean of Culture and Climate

Ms. Ashcraft Teacher

Ms. C. Breton Teacher

Ms. G. Breton Community Relations Specialist

Ms. Bright Teacher

Mr. Cerat Teacher

Ms. Christmas Reading Specialist

Ms. Clark Supervisor K-5

Mr. Colin Teacher

Ms. Cruz Food Service Worker

Ms. Delshad Teacher

Ms. DeMarzino Teacher

Ms. Derr Supervisor K-5

Mr. Dzila Teacher

Mr. Hall Technology Coordinator/Videographer

Ms. Eromosele School Nurse

Mr. Fairley Teacher

Ms. Feliz Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Ms. Flynn Teacher

Ms. Garcia Lee Teacher

Ms. Hollis-Coles Special Education Social Worker

Ms. Gonzalez Teacher

Ms. Gordon Reading Specialist

Ms. Gordon-Williams Teacher

Mr. Graham Teacher

Mr. Green Teacher

Ms. Hyslop Food Service Worker

Mr. Lackner Teacher

Ms. Lomashevskaya Speech Therapist

Ms. Levy-Patterson Teacher

Ms. Lora Teacher

Ms. Lovius Teacher

Ms. Lowery Teacher

Ms. E. Martinez Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Ms. McPherson Teacher

Ms. Moore Teacher

Ms. Murphy Teacher

Ms. O'Keefe Teacher

Mr. Pena Food Services Manager

Ms. Prospere Teacher

Ms. Purvis Teacher

Mr. Ponteliona Food Services Director

Ms. Ramos Teacher

Mr. Reed Community Engagement Specialist

Mr. Roberts Director of Special Services/LDTC

Ms. Syed ELL Supervisor

Ms. Roberts Teacher

Ms. Robinson-Brutus Teacher

Ms. J. Rodriguez Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Ms. Rosario Teacher

Ms. J. Sanchez Teacher

Ms. Santa Teresa Teacher

Ms. Santana Social Worker

Mr. Scott School Interventionist

Ms. Sobers Teacher

Ms. Tamborrino Teacher

Ms. Thomack-Zapata Teacher

Ms. Thompson Teacher

Ms. Turner Teacher

Ms. Vaughn Teacher

Ms. Verta Supervisor K-5

Mr. Vincent Teacher

Ms. Vita Teacher

Dr. Jaimie Phillips Elementary School Principal

Dr. Phillips earned a B.A. degree in both Communication and African Studies from Rutgers University before completing a master’s degree in Education Administration program at Grand Canyon University. Dr. Phillips acquired her doctoral degree of Education in Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University in December 2020. In 2003, Dr. Phillips began her career in education serving Paterson students as a first-grade teacher. During these years, she worked to instill the importance of education and make long-lasting connections with students while using an individualized, differentiated approach to develop student growth.

Between 2015 and 2018, she took on the challenge of many leadership roles, including Assistant Director of Academics, Curriculum Supervisor, Master Mentor Teacher, and Professional Development Coordinator.  It was during this time that she realized that student performance was hindered by teachers leaving the school either to pursue roles in traditional public schools or leave the field of education altogether. This pattern of turnover left a negative impact on the students and school, resulting in inequitable outcomes. With an eagerness to work towards teacher retention, Dr. Phillips studied the role of influencers on this pattern and developed a plan to decrease the turnover rate in her school. The resulting yearly 97% teacher retention rate throughout her tenure as school leader improved instruction and led to consistent student gains.

Currently, Dr. Phillips leads the K-5 program at CAPS Paterson as the Director of  Elementary Education. Her leadership style is marked by poised, effective communication and the promotion of staff collaboration toward shared goals. She frequently mentors teachers, drawing on her own experience in the classroom, modeling for them, and challenging them to implement rigorous, data-driven instruction.

Dr. Phillips also serves as a Content Expert with Grand Canyon University and as a committee member on the Rutgers Graduate School of Education’s Advisory Council. She is the founder of J.S. Phillips Educational Consulting.

Ms. E. Washington Teacher

Ms. Wheeler Teacher

Ms. I. Williams Teacher

Ms. Yuksel Teacher

Mr. Zapata Teacher

Ms. Brown Food Service Manager

Mr. Adair Teacher

Ms. Aragones Guzman Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Ms. Arias Arias Food Service Worker

Ms. Bease Teacher

Mr. Carroll Teacher

Ms. Cedeno Assistant Director of Operations

Mr. Cook Assistant Technology Coordinator

Mr. Clark Teacher

Ms. Dawson Teacher

Mr. Hall Technology Coordinator/Videographer

Ms. Dooley-Malloy Teacher

Mr. Fronjian Teacher

Mr. Garcia Food Service Worker

Ms. Hollis-Coles Special Education Social Worker

Ms. George Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Mr. Gould Teacher

Mr. Iromuanya Department Chairperson of Science

Mr. Grant Teacher

Ms. Guzman Teacher

Ms. T. Jackson Social Worker

Ms. Henry Teacher

Mr. Jeter Department Chairperson of Math

Ms. J. Johnson Special Education Coordinator (6-12)

Ms. Lomashevskaya Speech Therapist

Mr. Johnson Teacher

Ms. Maxwell Department Chairperson of Social Studies

Mr. Karny Teacher

Ms. Lippman Teacher

Mr. Miller Teacher

Mr. Mirambel Teacher

Mr. Ponteliona Food Services Director

Mr. Reed Community Engagement Specialist

Ms. D. Morris Teacher

Mr. Panizzi Teacher

Ms. Perlera Teacher

Mr. Roberts Director of Special Services/LDTC

Ms. Robinson Department Chairperson of Literacy

Ms. Syed ELL Supervisor

Ms. Saleh Teacher

Ms. Sangupillai Teacher

Ms. Statum Guidance Counselor

Mr. Truax Teacher

Ms. Videgain Teacher

Ms. N. Washington Vice Principal

Ms. Wesley Teacher

Mr. Williams Dean of Culture and Climate

Ms. S. Williams Teacher

Dr. Kimberly Wright-White Middle School Principal

Kimberly Wright-White knows that success in urban advocacy and education takes determination, focus, perseverance and the ability to bring dignity to the lives of those she serves. With over 25 years in the field, her wealth of experience has allowed her to grow, learn and teach others across various facets of urban advocacy and education. Wright-White completed her B.A. at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her M.A. at Saint Peter’s University.

Early in her career, Wright-White’s work on behalf of the Newark Mayor’s Office and young adults in the city proved to be a richly rewarding experience. She specialized in the development of youth programs, government relations, and contract compliance. Soon after, she transitioned to leadership roles in the public-school sector. Wright-White’s experiences led to an interest in promoting and researching crisis leadership and further marginalized populations. Her ultimate goal is to disrupt intergenerational poverty for community members at risk of becoming further marginalized after crises.

Wright-White has committed herself to bringing awareness to the lack of diversity within all areas of the urban advocacy and education fields. A seasoned urban education leader, after successfully leading a 1,200 student K-8 school, she was tapped to create and lead two new schools. One school was single-gender and supported girls’ academic, social and emotional growth. The second school supported the academic, career and technical education (CTE) of marginalized high school students. In these roles, Wright-White helped secure major grants and donations from NJDOE, NJPAC, and Newark Trust for Education to further expand much needed social, emotional, and academic supports for marginalized populations.

Dedicated to educating new leaders, Wright-White served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Summer Principals Academy in New York City. Additionally, she is the Founder and CEO of Educational Design Group which is a consulting group meeting all system creation and design needs for the growth of public and private entities. In addition to her passion for mentoring, Wright-White has consistently collaborated with CBOs and NFPs at all levels, to meet the needs of marginalized community members and staff. Collaboration is one of the key components of the transformational leadership that Wright-White embodies.

As a supporter of BIPOC communities, Wright-White advocates for their mental health, academic, financial, and technical access needs. She participates in numerous professional development activities to keep her abreast of new and evolving innovation ideas and programs. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Management with an emphasis in Higher Education at Hampton University. She resides in New Jersey with her husband Michael and three daughters Alexa, Ashley, and Ariel.

Ms. Brown Food Service Manager

Mr. Bellefleur Teacher

Ms. Blue Teacher

Ms. Compres Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Ms. Cortes Food Service Worker

Mr. Cotton-Betteridge Teacher

Mr. Darbouze Teacher

Mr. Cook Assistant Technology Coordinator

Mr. Denyer Teacher

Mr. Dixon Teacher

Ms. Dobson Dean of Culture and Climate

C. Gangl Teacher

Ms. Hastings Teacher

Mr. Hall Technology Coordinator/Videographer

Ms. Hidalgo Teacher

Ms. Hollis-Coles Special Education Social Worker

Mr. Iromuanya Department Chairperson of Science

Ms. T. Jackson Social Worker

Ms. J. Jackson Teacher

Mr. Jeter Department Chairperson of Math

Ms. J. Johnson Special Education Coordinator (6-12)

Ms. A. Johnson Teacher

Ms. Lomashevskaya Speech Therapist

Ms. Khezam Teacher

Ms. Maxwell Department Chairperson of Social Studies

Mr. Kopitar Teacher

Mr. Malleo Teacher

Ms. L. Martinez Office Manager/Administrative Assistant

Mr. Medsker Teacher

Ms. Mickens Guidance Counselor

Ms. L. Morris Teacher

Ms. Muhammad School Interventionist

Mr. Ponteliona Food Services Director

Mr. Murphy School Interventionist

Mr. Reed Community Engagement Specialist

Ms. Regalado Teacher

Ms. Rivera Teacher

Mr. Roberts Director of Special Services/LDTC

Ms. Robinson Department Chairperson of Literacy

Ms. Syed ELL Supervisor

Ms. V. Rodriguez Teacher

Ms. J. Sanchez Teacher

Ms. K. Sanchez Food Service Worker

Ms. Sesay-St. Paul Vice Principal

Ms. Sharpe Assistant Director of Operations

Mr. Shaw Teacher

Mr. Statum Teacher

Mr. Taggart Teacher

Mr. Tiralosi Teacher

Ms. Deyka Torres High School Principal

Ms. Torres: Principal of CAPS Colt Street Campus

Driven by an unwavering commitment to the success of all students, Ms. Deyka L. Torres serves with pride as the Principal of the Colt St. campus of College Achieve. Her leadership extends beyond administrative duties, actively supporting teachers through professional development and various leadership roles. With a Master’s degree in Education focusing on Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, she possesses a solid educational foundation. Fluent in Spanish, her ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds enriches her leadership role.

As Principal, Ms. Torres orchestrates the daily operations of the high school, overseeing both instructional and non-instructional staff. She actively engages in program development, setting school-wide goals for student achievement and behavior. Her leadership style emphasizes fairness and sensitivity in managing student behavioral issues. Prior to her current position, Ms. Torres excelled as Assistant Principal at Irvington High School, contributing significantly to the Math Department’s leadership. Her journey in education began as a Mathematics teacher, where she honed her skills in classroom management and instructional technology.

Ms. Torres’s exceptional contributions to education have been recognized through various accolades, including Teacher of the Year and induction into the Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society. Beyond her professional achievements, she finds joy in family time with her three children, exploring her passion for travel, and savoring diverse culinary experiences. Ms. Torres epitomizes dedication, leadership, and a zest for life in both her personal and professional endeavors.

Ms. Wilson Guidance Counselor

Ms. Zuccaro Teacher

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