School in the Square (S2) engages, educates and empowers adolescents in Washington Heights to respond mindfully and creatively to life’s opportunities and challenges. S2 draws its name from the concept of the public square, where communities come together to solve problems and celebrate successes. We envision S2 as a place where students, families and educators are seen, heard and inspired, and where students build the academic foundations, emotional intelligence and leadership skills necessary to excel in college and professional life. In line with our commitment to equity and diversity, S2 is dedicated to serving all students by providing a differentiated and inclusive learning environment.

Ms. Kezena Brown

Ms. Kezena Brown

Principal

Kezena brings over ten years of both instructional and leadership experience within New York City Public Schools. Having been a product of this system has shaped her thinking; as a pedagogue she believes firmly in actively working to confront patterns of educational inequity by raising critical consciousness, leveraging student and family engagement and centering the narratives of our most vulnerable populations. This belief has led Kezena to serving primarily in the South Bronx as a middle and high school Humanities teacher, Literacy Coach, Assistant Principal of Instruction and Director of School Operations. Each of these roles has provided a different avenue toward the same goal of disrupting the status quo of educational experiences for marginalized youth.

At Hunter College, in addition to earning a Bachelor’s degree in English Adolescent Education and a Master's in Adolescent Literacy, she continues to find ways to contribute by serving as an adjunct professor for courses in Literacy Assessment K-12 and Literacy Research for Change, while also participating in numerous panel discussions held by Hunter’s Equity and Advocacy Committee and the NYC Men Teach Initiative. In search of greater impact, Kezena pursued another Master’s degree, this time in School Building Leadership at New York University where she learned about the myriad ways school systems can support student agency and empowerment. The most exciting part of Kezena’s journey is that it has led to her joining the School in the Square community where together they can continue to meet students and educators where they are and support their excelling far past any preconceived boundaries.

S2 Distance Learning

A Peek inside S2

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