MEET BE-U’s BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Crystal Bonds is a veteran educator in New York City's public schools. She currently serves as Principal of the High School for Math, Science and Engineering (HSMSE) at the City College of New York, one of New York City’s specialized high schools. HSMSE shares Crystal’s vision of educating the whole child - academically, socially and emotionally.
Crystal is the founder and president of CLASS Coalition – The Coalition for Leaders of Advanced Student Success – which leads more than 100 top schools nationally advocating for high-achieving, low-income students and increasing the school-to-workforce pipeline for America’s youth. Crystal is the past president of the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS). Crystal also served as Master Principal for the Academy of Social Action, where she mentored the academy’s principal on infusing best practices and increasing student achievement levels.
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Crystal attended New York City’s public school system. She is passionate about and committed to studying and advancing the world of STEM, as well as providing opportunities and access to youth in urban areas. She recently created a non-profit organization, Changing Norms, whose mission is to close gaps, empower communities and transform lives for youth in historically disadvantaged neighborhoods and children.
Facebook:Crystal Bonds Twitter: @CrystalBonds
George Patterson is a veteran educator specializing in intercultural competency, teacher-
effectiveness and leadership development.
Mr. Patterson has enjoyed a life of service in
education as an urban community leader, Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Senior
Director. His vision is to ensure equity, access, and excellence for all scholars and their
Mr. Patterson currently serves as the Senior Director of My Brother’s Keeper for the
New York City Department of Education. During his 16 years as a school administrator, he has turned around several schools, each earning top scores on state achievement data including the Progress Report and the Quality Snapshot.
Mr. Patterson has been named Educator of the Year by the Brooklyn Alliance and has received numerous awards and honors from City Council and
Jonelle Rocke is the founder of Generation Wealth, an education based organization dedicated to helping both youth and adults learn and apply the foundational principles of building wealth in order to achieve financial independence. She lives her life by design and seeks to inspire others to do so as well.
Jonelle is a certified financial coach who has masterfully combined her almost two decades of experience in the field of adult learning, K-12 teaching and social and emotional learning with her passion to help those in marginalized communities obtain the dream of true financial independence for themselves and future generations.
Organization Affiliations: Metro World Child Ambassador
Title: CEO and Founder of Generation Wealth / Ms. Jonelle Rocke
Facebook: @generationwealth.org Instagram: @generation.wealth
Dr. Sandye Johnson entered the education field 40 years ago as a special education teacher. Knowing that many children of color are disproportionately placed in special education programs, she felt that there was a need for more committed African American educators working with special populations. As the principal of Thurgood Marshall Academy for Learning and Social Change, she was instrumental in “turning the school around” and made it a household word for quality education in Central Harlem.
She served as a former Adjunct Professor at City College and Kean College and Chair/Committee member for doctoral students at St. John Fisher College. After her retirement, she founded the Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline, Inc. and currently serves as the Executive Director. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Morgan State University, Master’s Degree from Bank Street College of Education and Ed.D from Teachers College, Columbia University.
A partial listing of her awards include the Time Warner Principal of Excellence Award, New York State Conference of NAACP Branches Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Measure of a Woman Award, CBS Fulfilling the Dream Award and The Black Women’s Agenda Education Leadership Award.