Leadership Bios

Academy of the City Leadership Team

Richard Lee (Principal), is the founding principal at Academy of the City Charter School since July 2010. Prior to that, he was the Middle School Coordinator (1st-4th grades) at Bank Street School for Children for seven years. Richard also taught pre-K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 5th grades in both independent and public schools for ten years. He has a BA degree in Political Science from NYU and two masters degrees in Education from Bank Street College of Education. He is currently NYS certified as a school building leader.

Caren Leslie (Assistant Principal), has been the Assistant Principal for Kindergarten to Second Grade at Academy of the City since February 2016. Prior to that, she created the job of Learning Specialist at AoC. Previously, she worked at Promise Academy in Harlem as a Senior Master Teacher and Coordinator of Intervention. She has been an assistant professor of early childhood and elementary education. For four years, Caren was the Head of the Brownstone School in Manhattan. She is a graduate of Smith College and Bank Street College of Education. She has doctoral credits at Teachers College. She currently serves on the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee. She has been a member for the past four years. She is the Vice President of Events for the NYC Smith Club. When she has free time, she loves to travel with her husband to exotic locales. She also enjoys reading and knitting.

Katie-Lyn Santacruz (Assistant Principal), is the Assistant Principal for Third Grade to Fifth Grade. Prior to that, she was a teacher at AoC since 2013 for second, third, and fourth grade. She has been a classroom teacher for ten years. She previously worked in the Glen Cove School District for Second Grade and Kindergarten. Katie-Lyn is certified in Early Childhood Education (B-2), Childhood Education (1-6), and has her Master’s in Literacy (B-6). Additionally, she has a certificate in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. Katie currently resides in Merrick, Long Island with her husband, Lisandro and her new baby, Wyatt whom she had just this summer. She enjoys reading as much as possible and learning all about her new life as a mother.

Beverly Greene (Director of Operations), is the Director of Operations at Academy of the City Charter School. Prior to that, she was the Director of Operations at a turnaround charter school in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. She has also worked at DREAM Charter School in East Harlem, KIPP: Team Schools in Newark, NJ and Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy where she started her career in charter school operations. Prior to joining the charter school movement, Bev worked as an Attorney in Connecticut, where she is admitted to the bar. She graduated from the University at Albany with a BA in Public Policy and UMASS School of Law at Dartmouth with a Juris Doctorate. Bev currently resides in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn with her husband, Dustin and their 1 yr old son Quincy. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new foods and spending as much time as possible with Quincy.

Noel Peguero (Parent Coordinator), was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. He studied at the Pontificia Universidad of Catolica Madre in Santo Domingo where he obtained his BA (Magna Cum Laude) and studied theology at Santo Domingo de Guzman from 2000-2003. Noel came to the United States in 2004 and began working with different communities and with various church groups, including Saint Rita’s (LIC). Through his work at Saint Rita’s, he was offered a position at People United Head Start daycare center as a family worker. Noel joined the AoC family in 2011 working as a parent coordinator and Spanish teacher. He has helped parents with enrollment and brings in different resources for parents through workshops. Part of his work at AoC is to increase parent involvement in the school. He has worked on developing parent education training modules and activities that improve the social, emotional, academic and career attainment skills of students and families.