Letter from Jacob Mnookin, Founder and Executive Director
Dear Coney Island Prep families, staff, scholars, and supporters,
I write to you with two important pieces of news, one celebratory and one bittersweet. As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, it is a time to reflect on all that we have accomplished, and to look ahead to our future.
From humble beginnings serving 90 fifth graders in the Carey Gardens Community Center, we now serve over 1,000 scholars across three facilities in grades K – 12. Over those ten years, while much has changed, our commitment to our mission endures: we work tirelessly to ensure that 100% of our scholars are prepared to succeed in the college and career of their choice. In that, we have been incredibly successful. 100% of our first three graduating classes have been accepted to at least two colleges or universities. And our alumni are persisting in college at rates that far exceed their peers.
nly, there is much to be proud of. And there is still more work to do. I am excited to announce that Coney Island Prep’s proposal to grow has been approved. Over the next several years, we will gradually expand enrollment to serve approximately 1,650 scholars across four campuses, including a larger high school serving almost 600 scholars. Please see the accompanying flyer and join an upcoming family council meeting for more information.
As I reflect on what we have built together, I also believe it is time to make way for new leadership that will continue to push us forward. This academic-year will be my last full school-year with Coney Island Prep. Beginning July 1, 2019, Leslie-Bernard Joseph will take over as Chief Executive Officer. I will remain on staff through December 2019 to help ensure that there is a smooth transition.
Many of you know Mr. Joseph, our Deputy Executive Director. He was a founding staff member, serving as our first Dean of Students at CIPMS, a role he held for three years. Mr. Joseph then went on to graduate from Stanford Law School, and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and as a Managing Director of Program at Harlem Children’s Zone. We are incredibly lucky to have someone with the passion, energy, and ability that Mr. Joseph brings, coupled with the deep-rooted ties and commitment to the Coney Island Prep community. He is just the person to lead Coney Island Prep into the future.
Coney Island Prep is a magical place and I know that it will continue to be. I truly believe we have the greatest scholars and families around, and I have loved having the opportunity to get to know you over the years. Working alongside the incredible staff that has built this school has been an honor and privilege.
Thank you for all of your support over the past ten years. This is not goodbye for me. I will be around, working hard every day to help us continue to improve and fulfill our lofty mission through December 2019. And I will remain a cheerleader for and supporter of Coney Island Prep for the rest of my life.
Founder and Executive Director