Dr. Monica George-Fields
Dr. Monica George-Fields is the President and Chief Education Officer of REACH. She is also a Senior Academic Facilitator for REACH and is available to work with potential clients. As a SAF, Monica works directly with REACH clients to provide face-to-face, electronic, and phone consultation aligned to leadership development and school improvement efforts.
Using 31 years of experience as a district-level leader, a turnaround school principal, curriculum developer, instructional lead, and family and community engagement advocate, Monica has successfully consulted and advised districts and schools for the past 13 years.
Monica has worked directly with two New York State Education Department Commissioners, Dr. MaryEllen Elia (current NYSED Commissioner) and Dr. John B. King, Jr. (past NYSED Commissioner and former United States Secretary of Education- Obama Administration). Commissioner Elia appointed Monica as education monitor to the troubled East Ramapo School District. In this work, Monica supported and advised the East Ramapo School Board policy and decision-making processes for hiring a new superintendent, reorganizing the district's school configuration, curriculum and instructional approaches, and community engagement.
Another prominent position held by Monica was her role as the Senior Fellow of School Innovation for the New York State Education Department Regents Research Foundation working directly with NYSED Commissioner King. In that role, Monica was the architect of State’s Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness, a school and district review tool used to evaluate the practices of all federally identified schools and districts. She also led the charge to convert the New York State’s required annual School Comprehensive Education Plans to 3-year strategic plans, which resulted in the adoption and implementation of the Strategic Plan for School Excellence for all 700 Focus and Priority Schools. Monica co-created the State’s Review Certification, Reward School, and Professional Learning Community programs. She wrote policies for the New York State’s Expanded Learning Time and authored sections of the State’s 2012 approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver and co-authored Request for Proposals, Request for Qualifications, Memorandums of Understanding, policy memorandums and Board of Regents agenda items and presentations. Prior to becoming a senior fellow, she held a variety of positions at the New York City Department of Education, including Deputy Senior Supervising Superintendent, Deputy Chief Education Officer for Cluster Three, Senior Director of Policy and Strategic Planning for the Division of School Support, and Director of Curriculum for Empowerment Schools. In these roles, she supported schools and was the Department’s point person for Principal Performance Review evaluations, providing professional development workshops to over 900 principals, superintendents, and network team members.
Earlier, Monica served for six years as principal of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Elementary School (Public School 153 in Harlem), with an enrollment of over 1,800 students, 90% of whom were eligible for free and reduced lunch and 45% of whom were English language learners. Joining the failing school, which had the lowest student achievement in District 6, Monica was the fifth principal in five consecutive years. She successfully worked with the faculty and private corporate partners to dramatically increase student English language arts and mathematic scores to remove the school from the State’s failure list. The school had over 15 successful corporate partnerships with the most famous being the renowned Jetblue Airways relationship developed between Dave Barger, CEO and President of Jetblue Airways and Monica, which Forbes Magazine and Fox 5 news documented. During Monica’s final year in Public School 153, the school was one of 14 in New York City to receive a Quality Review designation of Outstanding.
Prior to successfully turning around Public School 153, Monica served as an assistant principal, staff developer, and teacher. She currently teaches Introduction to Supervision, Critical Issues, School Finance, and Supervision for the Center for Integrated Teacher Education (CITE) at The College of St. Rose. She also taught Qualitative and Quantitative Theory and Curriculum Development for several years as an adjunct professor for Fordham University Graduate School of Education.
Monica serves as an advisory board member for Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning (PENCIL), an organization that creates and fosters public school and private industry partnerships. She has also participated as a Cahn Ally in the Cahn Fellows Program at Teachers College. She created and was the executive producer for the popular Inside PS 153, a weekly cable show that featured events, students, staff members and initiatives in her school. Monica has presented for national and local conferences, such as the Association for School and Curriculum Development and the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus.
Monica holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida A&M University in Political Science, a Master of Science in Education in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, a Master of Education in Organization & Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Doctorate of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University concentrating in Urban Education and Leadership.