Brooklyn Boro

Amid ‘new normal,’ Brooklyn Kindergarten Society chooses Mel Jackman as executive director

September 18, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Brooklyn Kindergarten Society, a 129-year-old leader in early childhood education, has named Melisha ‘Mel’ Jackman as its new executive director. Jackman will start at BKS on Tuesday.

Jackman is currently a Managing Director at East Harlem Tutorial Program. She will manage BKS’ $10 million annual budget, its seven educational centers, and its teaching staff that serve more than 400 2- to 4-year-olds in three community districts in Central Brooklyn.

Jackman is an experienced educator having held multiple pedagogical and leadership positions within public schools in New York City. She brings her dedication to creating opportunities for students that support deep thinking, curiosity, and advocacy.

BKS began its intensive search for a new Executive Director in May 2020. The search committee was composed of board members, staff, and BKS parents.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the search committee interviewed multiple applicants remotely; it narrowed the list down to three finalists who were invited for in-person, socially distanced interviews.

Brooklyn Kindergarten Society Board Chair Amerika Williamson.

Jackman was the clear choice to lead BKS as the organization adapts to the “new normal” of COVID-19, the organization wrote.

“Mel is the right balance of teaching and management that BKS needs to weather the current uncertainty of COVID-19 and social unrest, and economic turmoil.” BKS Board Chair Amerika Williamson said. “Mel brings two critical resources to BKS; a deep understanding of teaching, and a wealth of management experience.

“I have no doubt that Mel will continue to promote excellence within our teaching staff and help our students have an equal first step in their education,” Williamson continued.

At East Harlem Tutorial Program, Jackman currently manages a multimillion-dollar budget and leads a team to provide academic and enrichment programs to over 700 students in East Harlem.

In 2007, Jackman was featured in the New York Times for innovative teaching. In 2016, Manhattan Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. recognized her for creating college and career exploration opportunities for students.

BKS has served Brooklyn since 1891. Through seven early education centers located in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and Crown Heights, BKS provides a high-quality toddler and preschool educational program with three or more teachers in every classroom.

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