From the Superintendent
DR. WAVELINE BENNETT-CONROY
Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy with a robust affirmation of the Oath of Office, accepted her position as Superintendent of Schools with boots on the ground and a targeted mission/vision for student/family success and wellness.
Dr. Bennett Conroy’s passion for her work has and will always be supporting our scholars and their families. When asked what you hope your footprint will be on the MVCSD; she responded, “Family first - I want my footprint to be a legacy that promotes family wellness through advocacy, empowering, educating and building relationships between families and the educational community.” The elation in her response resonates all too well the excitement that was evident in her previous accomplishments as educator, building leading, Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Assistant Superintendent for the Office of School Improvement.
Dr. Bennett Conroy has come full circle since beginning in the district and commanding the MVCSD “ship” as Interim Superintendent in 2011. She embodies the essential qualities required to get to the root cause of the district’s achievement gap post COVID 19. As well as the supposition that - “when educating our scholars our attitude must be to meet them at the level they are at and adjust ourselves in understanding their life’s stories and make them whole once again.” Her redesign of instructional delivery and improvement is centered around, 1) data analysis, 2) courageous conversations of what once was and how to MAKE IT BETTER, and 3) create long lasting relationships with our scholars and their families.
On July 1, 2022, Dr. Bennett-Conroy began her tenure as Superintendent of Schools for the Mount Vernon City School District by supervising one of the “Big Five” districts in New York State educating approximately 8,289 students enrolled within the twelve K-8 schools and three themed high schools, as well as employing 1,500 staff.
Since beginning her sojourn as an employee of the Mount Vernon City School District in 2001, Dr. Bennett-Conroy is more than highly proficient and cognizant of the needs of ALL scholars and their families.
As Assistant Superintendent for the Office of School Improvement (2015-2022), Dr. Bennett-Conroy worked to develop initiatives to improve school performance by paying particular attention to Targeted Support and Improvement and Comprehensive Support and Improvement schools. Her strategies as a transformational leader created platforms to review and analyze student achievement data and guide instructional building leaders in using assessment data. This data was instrumental to drive classroom instruction, afterschool programming, and summer academic programs. These initiatives were implemented to elevate our scholars academic experience thereby yielding the success of 14 schools. Through Dr. Bennett-Conroy’s efforts the MVCSD obtained the New York State Office of Accountability’s designation as “Schools in Good Standing.” Other highlights of Dr. Bennett-Conroy’s role as the Assistant Superintendent for the Office of School Improvement includes:
- Assisted schools and the district in developing and implementing comprehensive improvement plans.
- Developed the Smart Scholars program, which is a collaboration with Mercy College to assist students in graduating from high school with 60 college credits.
- Initiated the Pipeline to College Program with Lehman College to assist students in graduating from high school with up to 12 college STEAM credits.
- Created the Principal Academy in collaboration with the College of St. Rose to ensure that teachers become certified by New York State as school administrators/supervisors.
- Implemented the MVCSD Principal Leadership Academy to train Assistant Principals seeking to become building principals within the district.
- Supervised Title I, II, III, and IV program expenditures and oversaw all grant-funded programs for the district which supported underperforming students, family, and community engagement programs. The MVCSD received grant funding under her leadership totaling more than $20,000,000.
- As an integral member of the NYSED “Think Tank,” she developed the state-wide Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan.
- Coordinated Social Emotional Wellness virtual activities, including, CASEL Emotional Lessons, virtual parent monthly meeting, created a virtual Academic Power Hour as an afterschool intervention program to avoid COVID slide. In addition, she partnered with Mt. Sinai, Neighborhood Health Center, and Westchester County to provide Covid testing and vaccination programs.
- Supervised the initiation of the Mount Vernon’s full day PreK3 program.
As Director of Pupil Personnel (2008-2015), Dr. Bennett-Conroy organized K-12 district-wide student registration and school transfers. She supervised homebound instruction, ENL/World Languages, McKinny-Vento, guidance, attendance teachers, and nursing staff. She designed programs and developed curricula for alternative high school programs and created the Mount Vernon Blended Learning Academy (MVBLA). In addition, she served as District Coordinator for Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), developed district policies for Truancy and Anti Bullying. She was appointed the Committee Chair for restructuring District K-8 schools. She functioned as a Liaison with the Mayor’s Office, Police Dept., Westchester County of Social Services, community, and faith-based organizations. Subsequently, she attended Professional Learning Community trainings from the NYSED Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness Institute.
From November 2011 to June 2012, Dr. Bennett Conroy served as Interim Superintendent of Schools, and she began this by transforming the Superintendent’s cabinet meetings to focus more on academic improvement work session. Cabinet meetings included monthly school walkthroughs for district administrators, as well as initiated on-going school achievement presentations at district board meetings. She also established 2011-2012 academic goals and benchmarks for student academic achievement, student behavior and staff work performance expectations.
From November 2007 -July 2008, Dr. Bennett-Conroy served as Interim Acting Principal for Mount Vernon High School. Her more salient initiatives focused on creating a culture and climate for students’ success. During her tenure, she was liaised to CEI-PEA Consultants to develop a new vision for the MVHS with an innovative approach to school management and scheduling. She restructured MVHS by establishing guidelines for Assistant Principals for short and long-term goals and objectives; and provided them with new teacher evaluation templates. She prepared a Comprehensive Educational Plan, Initiated School Crisis Team, and developed a new Student Performance Data System to identify at-risk students. This data provided timely and appropriate interventions.
From September 2001 to October 2004, Dr. Bennett-Conroy entered the Mount Vernon School District as a Spanish Teacher with a fervor to broaden her students’ lens beyond the four-square miles of their hometown. During her tenure, she instituted the Foreign Language Honor Society while mentoring new Spanish teachers. She organized and administered the National Spanish Examinations and the NYS Regent Examinations. She was instrumental in exposing students to authentic cultural experiences by initiating student trips to abroad to destinations within Europe.
Dr. Bennett-Conroy grew up in her native Jamaica, where she began her educational career as a Spanish and science teacher at St. Elizabeth Technical High School. Thereafter she migrated to the United States and embarked on her teaching career at Field Day Elementary School in Riverdale in 1989, whereas she taught science. A year later she began an 11-year career of teaching Spanish at the Preston High School for Girls in the Bronx before coming to Mount Vernon High School to teach Spanish in 2001.
Dr. Bennett-Conroy obtained a Doctorate in Education Leadership with a concentration in Executive Leadership from the College of New Rochelle/St. John Fisher College. Her dissertation was on, “Engaging Parents of 8th grade Students in Parent/Teacher Bidirectional Communication.” Her exemplary research resulted in her dissertation being published in articles including, The School Community Journal, American Teacher, and the American Federation of Teachers magazine. She holds three master’s degrees, in Educational Administration and Supervision from the College of New Rochelle, in Sociology from Fordham University, and in Spanish from the University of the West Indies. She also holds two bachelor’s degrees, in Computer Science from Fordham University and in Microbiology from Jamaica College of Agriculture, Science and Education.
Affiliations & Accolades:
Dr. Bennett-Conroy is a lifelong learner and a consummate educator belonging to several educational organizations that support her depth and scope of being an effective Superintendent. Her membership includes, the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement, American Association of School Administrators, National Association of Secondary Principals, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Harvard University School of Education Principal’s Academy, New York State Foreign Language Association, and American Association of Spanish and Portuguese Language Teachers.
To her credit, Dr. Bennett-Conroy was awarded the following recognitions:
- 2020 Closing the Achievement Gap from REACH Educational Solutions
- 2018 Using the DTSDE to achieve School Academic Improvement from REACH Educational Solutions
- 2012 Woman of Magnitude Award for Educational Leadership from the Poets Orator Writers Artists (POWA) student club of Mount Vernon High School
- 2012 Caribbean American Heritage Award from the City of Mount Vernon and the Caribbean American Heritage Month Youth Committee
- 2010 Certificate Award of Recognition for Promoting School/Parent Relationships from New York State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson.
- 2008 Mount Vernon School District PTA Council Award for Outstanding Service
- 2004 MVP Award – Mount Vernon Foreign Language Department
- 1996 Archdiocese of New York – Award for Distinguished Service
- “Best Parish” 4-H Club Coordinator of the Island – Jamaica, West Indies.
Community partnerships, and Programs include:
- Summer Distance Learning Programs and STEAM Camps at K-8 Schools
- Mount Vernon STEAM Summer Transitional Program
- Mount Vernon Basics Training for parents in schools, the community and virtually.
- Family Microsoft Office Workshop Series, CPR Training, Family Math Night, Family Literacy Night, and Parent Parties
- Academy Power Hours after school in all buildings
- NY Gear Up tutoring at Denzel Washington School of the Arts & Mount Vernon High Schools
- Regents Prep and Credit Recovery Academies at MVHS, Thornton, Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, Benjamin Turner MS, Pennington, and Graham
- Sundown Alternative Program
- Mount Vernon Police Department Gang Prevention & Youth Police Academy
- MBK Ambassadors Clubs in all schools
- Girls Inc. program funded by TD Bank
- Teacher Center of Central Westchester
- Parent Liaisons & Parent Resource Center
Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy
Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy previewed her December State of the District at the Board of Education meeting on October 25, 2022. She discussed in a presentation her accomplishments thus far as superintendent of schools.
Welcome to what I know will be an exciting 2022-2023 school year! I am sure you all had a very fun-filled summer packed with amazing tales of adventures, travel, reunions, and other family festivities.
G1: Student Safety and Social-Emotional Health
MVCSD will ensure systems, organizational structures and practices are in place to ensure student safety. MVCSD will also incorporate lessons from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) principles in daily instruction.
MVCSD curriculum will evolve and awaken our scholars’ passion as lifelong learners, preparing them to meet grade-level expectations.
G3: Family and Community Engagement
MVCSD will prioritize family involvement and community engagement to improve our scholar's outcomes.
G4: Attract and Retain a Knowledgeable and Dedicated Staff
MVCSD will develop a pipeline of dedicated faculty and staff to sustain a culture of excellence.