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Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy Leading District Focusing on Comprehensive Renew, Recommit, Reimagine Plan

Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy

Dr. Waveline Bennett-Conroy may be taking the reins officially as Superintendent of the Mount Vernon City School District on July 1, but she is already planning to begin assessing the district’s needs and starting to put the pieces of her comprehensive Renew, Recommit, Reimagine plan into action.

Dr. Bennett-Conroy was named Acting Superintendent by the Board of Education with a unanimous vote in early May. The resolution also named her Superintendent, effective beginning with the new school year. She was promoted from the position of Assistant Superintendent for School Improvement.

Dr. Bennett-Conroy has identified six pillars that will be her primary focus that will continue building on the improvements made in the district:

  • Academics
  • Family and community engagement
  • Student safety
  • Student socio-emotional health
  • Technology
  • Attracting and retaining knowledgeable and dedicated staff

“When I start officially in July I’ll do an internal review of departments, programs and schools just to help me build my plan for going forward,” Dr. Bennett-Conroy said. “We need to know where we are, so we know where to go.”

Among her many accomplishments as assistant superintendent for school improvement, Dr. Bennett-Conroy worked with the superintendent and deputy superintendent to develop initiatives to improve school performance with particular attention to Targeted Support and Improvement and Comprehensive Support and Improvement schools. She reviewed and analyzed student achievement data, and guided the use of data to improve student achievement. She also assisted schools and the district to develop and implement comprehensive improvement plans.

She initiated many programs for students, teachers and administrators. She developed the Smart Scholars program, which is a collaboration with Mercy College so students may graduate high school with 60 college credits. She started the Pipeline to College Program with Lehman College so that students may graduate high school with up to 12 college STEAM credits. She created the Initiate Principal Academy with the College of St. Rose so that teachers may be certified by New York State as school administrators/supervisors and she started the Initiate Principal Leadership Academy so the assistant principals have an opportunity to receive training to become principals.

She also supervised Title I, II, III, and IV program expenditures and oversaw all grant-funded programs for the district, among her duties.

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 and worked there before coming to the U.S. to teach science at Field Day Elementary School in Riverdale in 1989.

A year later she began an 11-year period of teaching Spanish at the Preston High School for Girls in the Bronx before coming to Mount Vernon High School to teach Spanish.

She then rose to Ninth Grade Academy principal and assistant principal for the high school from 2004 to 2007. In 2007 and 2008, she served as interim acting principal. From 2008 to 2015, she served as director of Pupil Personnel Services, including most of the 2011-12 school year as interim superintendent for the district. She has served as assistant superintendent for School Improvement from July 2015 to May 2022.

Dr. Bennett-Conroy holds a doctorate in Education Leadership from the College of New Rochelle/St. John Fisher College and 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.

“Dr. Bennett-Conroy is an excellent choice as the Superintendent of Schools in Mount Vernon because of her strong foundation in the Mount Vernon community and her extensive history in our school district,” Board President Adriane Saunders said. “We are excited to see her blossom as our new Superintendent.”

“I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for having the faith in me to take on this leadership role at such an important time,” Dr. Bennett-Conroy said. “The students will be at the heart of everything I do and hope to accomplish as Superintendent of the Mount Vernon City School District.”