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Leake & Watts In Yonkers To Honor Educational Leader At Gala

Joyce Coppin Montdesire
Joyce Coppin Montdesire Photo Credit: Contributed

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Longtime educator Joyce Coppin Mondesire will be recognized for her service at a Yonkers-based nonprofit’s annual fundraising gala.

Leake & Watts has helped thousands of children and adults in Westchester and New York City overcome adversity and social challenges through special education, juvenile justice, pre-school, and other programs.

The gala will take place Thursday, Oct. 27, at The Pierre, a luxury hotel at 2 East 61st St. in New York City.

A cocktail reception is set for 6:30 p.m. Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m.

Coppin Mondesire, a member of the agency’s board for 11 years, is known for creating programs to put New York City public school students "on a path to success, and recruiting talented teachers when they were in short supply," said the agency’s executive director, Alan Mucatel

“She helped underserved students realize the dream of quality public education,” Mucatel added.

As a board member, Coppin Mondesire has “played a role in the growth and success of our educational services for thousands of disadvantaged and non-traditional students," he said.

“It is a privilege to work with her,” Mucatel added.

A resident of New York’s Upper West Side, Coppin Montdesire is a visiting professor in educational leadership at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry and a lecturer at City College of New York.

She began her career as a teacher in New York City and went on to hold many leadership positions at the New York City Board of Education.

She served as chief executive of the Division of Human Resources, superintendent of Brooklyn High Schools, deputy superintendent of Community School District 16, and superintendent of the Division of Special Education.

In 2002, she was honored by President George W. Bush for her work in recruiting and training teachers.

Calling her a transformational leader, Mucatel said Coppin Montdesire has developed, designed and founded numerous programs to help public school students pursue higher education, including The City College Academy of the Arts, an early college secondary school in partnership with the Department of Education.

He said she has also spearheaded programs such as College Now, programs and services that support 20 New York City high schools; Middle Grades Initiative/GEAR UP Programs, which provides college preparation programs and services to middle school students in Harlem; and the Harlem Scholars Program to provide access to comprehensive college readiness services in conjunction with City College of New York, City University, and the General Electric/Council on Equal Opportunity.

For more information, or to buy tickets, click here.

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