At its May 7 regular meeting, the Board of Education appointed Conmeka Lockhart to be the new principal of the George L. Cooke Elementary School.
A native of Gary, Indiana, she attended graduate school in Chicago and has spent the majority of her career there. She started as a Kindergarten and Grade 2 teacher for nine years before being named an assistant principal. She subsequently served as an interim elementary school principal, and then as an Instructional Support Leader, working with schools, principals and teachers to develop and implement strategic action plans and continuous improvement strategies. She holds a National Board Certification in Literacy: Reading-Language Arts Early/Middle Childhood and served as a mentor to Chicago teachers completing their National Board Certification. Her final position in Chicago was as the Literacy Lead at another elementary school. She moved to New York three years ago and has been working in the NYC public schools.
The interview committees and the Board were impressed with Ms. Lockhart’s knowledge, enthusiasm, and experience, especially in early childhood settings.
She believes strongly that it is “my uncompromising view that all students can learn, given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes explorations and enhances student confidence.”
Committee members described her as “dynamic, well-read and collaborative.” They said she “wants to push up her sleeves and get in there,” and that she “wants to celebrate achievement, large and small.”
“I want to welcome Conmeka to the Monticello family,” Interim Superintendent Dr. William Silver said. “I am confident that she will be a terrific addition to the administrative team and the leadership of Cooke. Please give her a warm Panther welcome”
Ms. Lockhart will assume her new role on July 1. On that same date, current Cooke Principal, Christopher Palmer, will assume his new position as Principal of Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School and current KLR Principal, Michelle Knowlton, will assume her new role as Principal of Robert J. Kaiser Middle School. Current RJK Principal, Nick Millas, submitted his resignation earlier in the school year, effective July 1.