Many Trees

As we celebrate 15 years of Prospect Schools, we reflect on the amazing persistence of our staff, students, faculty, and supporters.

15 Years of


15 years ago a special community took root in Brooklyn. We opened our doors with 100 sixth grade students and an ambitious group of educators eager to create a thriving and intentionally diverse school community. And thrive it did: as word got out, families and educators across the borough were drawn to us. That magnetism has enabled us to grow into a network of schools where young Prospectors stay for years to learn, work, and grow.

Over the years we’ve nurtured the academic and social development of countless students, celebrating their graduations and life milestones. Even as we’ve expanded from one school to seven, our core hasn’t changed. We still provide one of the few free opportunities in New York City to attend a globally focused International Baccalaureate program with excellent academics in a richly diverse setting. This past year, we achieved some of the highest results on state exams in our history. In the 2022-23 school year, 76% of students were proficient in English Language Arts, 6 percentage points higher than the prior year. In math, 78% of students were proficient, which represented a 20 percentage point increase relative to the prior year.

To me, one of the greatest testaments to the strength of our program is the way people keep coming back to Prospect Schools. Some of the educators who were with us fifteen years ago still teach with us. Some are now leaders within our ranks. Students who learned with us in our early days have returned to work here. Many employees send their children to our schools.

It’s this growth and these relationships that give life to the “many trees” which make up the proud Prospect Schools forest. To honor that strength and mark our 15th year in operation, we’ve chosen the theme of “Together, we grow” as the motto for 2023 and beyond.

In this report we honor the legacy of Prospect Schools, shine a light on the people and partners who embody our story, and cast our view forward to the next 15 years of growth and impact.


Ward_Tresha head shot

Tresha Ward
CEO, Prospect Schools

By the Numbers

identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)


qualify for free or reduced-price lunch


have identified special needs


are English language learners


identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)


have worked at Prospect for five years or more

average years of teaching experience

15 years of growth

Follow the growth of our network over the last 15 years.

Student Achievement

We are proud to share that on our 2022-23 New York State Testing Program results we outperformed city, state, and New York City charter performance in both English Language Arts and Math.

Grades 3-8 English Language Arts

Grades 3-8 Math

Significant Year-Over-Year Growth

Our elementary and middle schools made measurable gains year over year!

2022-2023 New York State Testing Program Results

English Language Arts
Student Proficiency

points growth

Student Proficiency

points growth
Graduate Gains

The Class of '23 have achieved incredible milestones and are raising the bar:


were accepted to college


were accepted to 4-year colleges

Year-Over-Year College Matriculation Success

We are proud of the significant increases in seniors matriculating to a competitive or highly competitive college.

Competitiveness criteria comes from the selectivity index in Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges (2009).

How Our Graduates Compare


Percent of Prospect Schools Class of '23 who enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college or university


Percent of New York City Department of Education schools Class of '22 enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college or university

Class of 2022 is the most recent available data for NYC. Source: NYC DOE College Readiness 2022 Report.

Colleges Prospectors Are Attending

Anisha_Bowen_ProspectSchools(20230626_HSGraduation)_415 (1)

Anisha Bowen

Anisha Bowen started at Windsor Terrace Middle School in the 6th grade and then moved on to Brooklyn Prospect High School. She played volleyball and excelled at building community among her classmates by planning events. Today, she’s in her second semester at the State University of New York in Albany. Allison Balogh, her college counselor at Brooklyn Prospect High School, reflects: “She’s driven. From the beginning, Anisha had a clear sense that she was interested in studying somewhere that would position her well to pursue law school. SUNY Albany was that school for her.”

Liam McEwan

New York native and son of a Guyanese immigrant, Liam McEwan started at Clinton Hill Middle School in the 6th grade. Not only was he an exceptionally bright and academically strong student, but he also volunteered at various school events and became a natural school leader. Graduating with an International Baccalaureate diploma in 2023, he is now an engineering student at Franklin & Marshall College on a full scholarship from the Posse Foundation. “I love all things college,” Liam said recently.

DSC00791 copy

Looking ahead
to the

International Baccalaureate for All

Deepening and Expanding Access to IB Programming

As an open-enrollment, public International Baccalaureate (IB) charter school serving a diverse student body, Prospect Schools’ unique model is grounded in the belief that the IB program prepares our students to be citizens of the world. We are so proud that our High School is an IB World school and one of the few free options in New York City to offer access to the IB Diploma program. We are taking intentional steps to ensure even more of our students are able to be exposed to the IB program, pass IB courses, and earn the IB Diploma.

IB for All means
“Access for All”

In 2021 we made the decision to transition to an "International Baccalaureate for All" model, increasing access to our International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program to every student. This has meant ensuring all 11th & 12th grade students are prepared for, take, and pass IB coursework and exams. Since that point the number of 12th graders taking IB exams and earning the prestigious diploma each year is GROWing.

ProspectSchools(ClintonHillMS_OCT1322)_135 (1)

Expanding the Reach of IB to K-8

Knowing that we want to prepare more of our students to take IB courses and receive the IB Diploma, we are also exploring ways in which we can further align our elementary and middle school programming to create an aligned experience for our students from Kindergarten all the way through to the 12th Grade.

Serving More Students

Now that we have launched our third middle school, Sunset Yards Middle School, we are exploring several options to expand the physical space and size of our IB World high school to accommodate 8th Graders from all 3 Prospect Schools’ middle school campuses.


Support the Deepening of IB Programming

Please consider a gift to provide vital financial support to enhance and increase access to our International Baccalaureate (IB) program to all students.

All About IB

Students enrolled in International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools engage in a challenging and diverse learning experience and tend to outperform students in more traditional school settings. Learn more about the impact of an IB education here.

Growing Our Team
ProspectSchools(StartOfYearEventAUG2622)_252 (1)

This year, under the rallying cry of our Network Priority: “Together We Grow,” we have implemented more robust professional learning structures to support our work in schools and strengthen alignment across our network.

We launched the year with our first-ever Summer Leadership Institute for all leaders across the network. During this week of intense learning, we worked to build community, stamp our vision of excellence and practice key leadership skills to support learning in our schools. This Summer Institute is one of three opportunities throughout the year for training of all school leadership teams.

Also during the summer, our school operations leaders received tailored development to sharpen their technical skills and plan for school readiness during our first ever Operations Institute.

We have followed these experiences with monthly professional cohort development for principals, directors and associate directors, and operations leaders in our schools, where we are continuing the work throughout the year.

At our New Prospector Retreat in August for our newest teachers and employees, we asked over 20 different current Prospect leaders and teachers from our schools to join us in facilitating and leading this week to provide a truly differentiated and tailored experience for our new Prospectors.

Alumni Support

This year - for the first time in Prospect Schools’ history - we officially kicked off our pilot alumni support program to continue to support and stay connected to our Prospectors after their high school graduation. Providing support to our alumni has long been a goal of ours and we are so proud of some big strides forward in this direction during the 23-24 school year. As we continue to implement programs and resources, we will connect with our alumni for feedback and monitor outcomes to ensure we are meeting the needs of our diverse student community.

Daniel Figueroa Prospect Schools C'23

KIPP Forward Partnership Pilot

Through partnership with KIPP Forward, we are now providing direct Career and Technical Education (CTE) support to a cohort of 35 graduates from the Class of 2023.


College & Career Advising

Our college track alumni have been paired with “near-peer” College Success Advisors that offer guidance for academic planning, financial aid and socio-emotional health. Career and Technical Education (CTE) track alumni have been connected with a Career Advisor who supports them in completing career interest assessments and gaining admission to CTE programs. The response from this pilot cohort has been very positive thus far and we look forward to selecting a second cohort of 30-40 students from the Class of 2024!


Alumni programming

In addition to this in-depth support for a cohort of alumni, we have also built efforts to create community and provide support to all alumni. We are planning 2 alumni-focused community events this year to help keep our graduates connected to Prospect Schools.

15 Years Badge
15 Years of Stories

Folake Akinola-Pinard

Principal, Downtown Elementary School

Folake Akinola-Pinard is principal of Downtown Elementary School, which celebrated 10 years in 2022-23 and where she started as a founding Kindergarten teacher. She insists that were she not encouraged to join a leadership position years ago, she would have “probably stayed a dean [a culture support role] forever.” Prospect Schools’ leaders saw something in Akinola-Pinard, who comes from a family of educators, and coached her into the powerhouse of a leader she is today. And she’s just getting started.

“There's just so much more that I have to learn, and this is definitely a learning environment,” she said of Prospect Schools. “That's where I want to be, period—at a place with people who really care about instruction and education and having high standards.”

Stephanie Marchena

Director of Steam, Clinton Hill Middle School


Matt Ellis

Principal, Clinton Hill Middle School

Amos "AJ" Ryan

Principal, Windsor Terrace Middle School


Mari Watson

Director of Afterschool and Extended-Day Programming, PROSPECT SCHOOLS NETWORK


Wes Webb

Musical Theater and Film Teacher & Department Head, Clinton Hill Middle School

Wes Webb HS1 web (2) (1)

Selwyn “Sully” Robertson

Resident Teacher, Brooklyn Prospect High School

Selwyn “Sully” Robertson grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. His parents found Brooklyn Prospect on a whim and excitedly enrolled him after he got a lottery spot in the founding class. Sully thrived in middle school, moving on to Brooklyn Prospect High School and later graduating from St. Joseph’s University in Brooklyn. Did he ever think he’d become a resident teacher and Arts Department Head at the same high school he attended? “I had a hunch I’d come back.”

2023 was Sully’s first year managing his own classroom. “I feel great happiness helping my students achieve what they want while ensuring their emotional and mental health is top of mind and that they’re respected as human beings and people, not just seen as students.”

Matthew Grossane-Diez

English learning specialist, Brooklyn Prospect High School

Matthew Grossane-Diez grew up in Staten Island, where his educator mother paved the way for his interest in mentoring youngsters: “I always wanted to help people.” On the job hunt after graduating college in 2016, his former principal Kim Raccio and classmate—now colleague—Katelyn Santiago, encouraged him to apply for the English Language Specialist position at Brooklyn Prospect High School. “I felt like I owed it to the school. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for Brooklyn Prospect because in Staten Island things are so segregated based on historical events, from white flight to [the designs of urban planner] Robert Moses. So I’m grateful to Brooklyn Prospect.”


Katelyn Santiago

10th Grade Student Affairs Manager

Katelyn Santiago was among the first class of 100 sixth graders when Brooklyn Prospect opened in 2009. She returned to Brooklyn Prospect High School as its 10th-grade Student Affairs Manager in the 2022-23 school year.“ It’s been so rewarding to develop relationships with these students and see where they are now versus when they started in September.” “It’s interesting to see from the other side of the spectrum, where I’m like, ‘Wow, I totally see myself in this kid.”

Demi Peña-Chavez

Resident Kindergarten Teacher, International Elementary School

Demi Peña-Chavez joined Brooklyn Prospect’s second 6th grade class in 2010. She graduated from Brooklyn Prospect High School in 2017 and took a gap year before studying Communications at SUNY Purchase College. She joined Prospect Schools as a resident teacher in the 2023-24 school year. 

“Being in the role of an educator has taught me how important it is for kids to be supported and set up for success in schools. I see how far my students can go when all their needs in a classroom are being met. It's really beautiful to create a classroom environment where kids feel safe to be who they are, where they can learn more about themselves and the world around them. It's taught me really how lucky I've been my entire life to have such great teachers, and seeing the teachers I work with inspires me to be an even better one.”


Prospect Schools is a fiscally prudent organization that carefully balances sustainability and high-quality programming for every school we operate.

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School (Schools Only)

Prospect Schools
(Network Only)

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School
Income & Expenses (Schools Only)

Prospect Schools
Income & Expenses (Network Only)

Based on unaudited Prospect Schools FY23 income and expenditures

Prospect Schools and Brooklyn Prospect Charter School are independent 501(c)3 nonprofits, linked through a formal institutional partnership.


Prospect Schools is extraordinarily pleased to celebrate 15 years of preparing diverse students to have a positive impact on society and a lifelong passion for learning. From our first days as a single-site middle school to our present network of seven dynamic schools spanning grades K-12, our model has improved educational outcomes for tens of thousands of students.

In 2023, our students, with the support of faculty, achieved among the highest state test scores in our network’s history. The class of 2023 achieved a 98% matriculation rate at 4-year colleges and universities, another record for our network. We are so proud of these milestones and celebrate the dedication of our students, educators, and leaders who made them a reality.

We are also clear-eyed about the work that lies ahead for Prospect Schools in 2024 and beyond. Proficiency gaps still persist between racial subgroups in our student body, and it is critical for us to address them by raising outcomes equitably. And to meet community and family demand for our programs, we aim to grow and serve 3,500 students by 2031.

As leaders of the Prospect Schools and Brooklyn Prospect Boards of Trustees, we have great faith in the future of this flourishing community and are excited to have you alongside us for the journey.

Thank you for your support. Together, we grow.


Penny Marzulli

Chair, Prospect Schools Board of Trustees


Gravelle Pierre

Chair, Brooklyn Prospect Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Prospect Schools Board

Penny Marzulli, Chair & Secretary

Stephen Bailey

Eldrige Gilbert

Ahmed Haque, Vice Chair

Kate Walker, Treasurer

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School Board

Gravelle Pierre, Chair

Juliet Cullen-Cheung

Sagar Desai, Treasurer

Sara Keenan

Maya Petrocelli, Secretary

Joanne Garce-Rodriguez

Theresa Sanchez

Thank you to our supporters

We offer our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all Prospect Schools individual donors listed below. With your gracious support in 2022-2023, we were able to fund afterschool scholarships, fund enrichment programs, upgrade outdoor play spaces in the elementary schools and the Commons area in the high school, enhance school spirit and joy at the middle schools, and so much more! Thank you!

Prospect Schools is grateful for its generous foundation partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies (through Summer Boost NYC), the Charter School Growth Fund, The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. With their support Prospect Schools has been able to grow and serve more families, ensuring all students, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, excel in our classrooms.


On October 26, 2023, the life of Kamari Hughes, a second grader at Downtown Elementary School, was cut short while crossing the street on the way to school. Kamari’s teachers Kendra Thomas and Melina Garcia described themselves as “the luckiest teachers on this planet” for having had the honor of teaching him. Melina Garcia shared this tribute: “Farewell to a beautiful person who left this world too soon. You were such a powerful life in this world. Your death leaves a glaring space in our hearts, but the memories we have will help fill those spaces."


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Photo Credits

Rafael Infante

Stomping Ground Photo

Mike Benigno

Gina Vergel