Dr. Liana Summey
Dr. Liana Summey has served in her career of education for the last fourteen years within the Newark Board of Education. Shortly after completing her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Montclair State University, she enrolled in the Alternate Route Teaching program where she began teaching high school English at Newark Innovation Academy as part of the district’s Alternative Education program.
In 2012, she began teaching English at East Side High School in the Big Picture Learning Academy and returned to Montclair State University to earn her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. After teaching at East Side for five years, Dr. Summey was promoted to Coordinator and then Program Director at East Side High School, where she led the school’s innovative and alternative programming for two years. During her leadership tenure, Dr. Summey oversaw the development and growth of the school’s internship and dual enrollment programs, expanding access to quality real-world learning experiences for all students.
Deciding to return to earn her Doctorate of Educational Leadership at Rutgers University, Dr. Summey focused her dissertation on the Culturally Responsive Instructional Leadership of Urban Principals, which she completed in 2020. In that time, she joined the Central Office team and served for two years as a Special Assistant to the High School Leadership Team and then was appointed as the Executive Assistant to Deputy Superintendent Nicole T. Johnson. During her time as a Central Office leader, Dr. Summey supported the district’s vision in Instructional Leadership, Strategic Management, and Student Supports. In 2021, Dr. Summey was appointed by Superintendent Roger León as the founding Principal of the Newark School of Data Science & Information Technology.
Dr. Summey is a member of the University Council of Educational Administration’s (UCEA) Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network for Educational Leaders of Color. She also serves as a part time lecturer in Educational Leadership at Rutgers University. In her own family, she follows a line of public educators and servant leaders in the City of Newark and remains excited about continuing her career in service to the students, families, and community.
Dr. Summey is a staunch believer in the unique talents and gifts of every child and brings a philosophy and background of innovative and personalized, culturally relevant education. She believes that teaching and learning should be exciting and prepare students not only for the 21st Century challenges of the workforce and the economy, but also to become civic leaders who work to make the world a better place and strengthen all communities.
Mr. Brian Klasner has dedicated his entire educational career to Newark for the last eleven years. After graduating from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor’s in History and attending Montclair State University to complete his master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Mr. Klasner began his teaching journey in Newark, where he taught Social Studies for eight years at East Side High School. Since 2018, he has served as the Director of Innovative Academies at East Side. Part of his role was to ensure students are practicing meaningful assessments that not only measure their knowledge, but their ability to articulate that knowledge in their own words.
Mr. Klasner believes that educational goals can only be achieved if educators create a detailed, intentional roadmap that is worked on collaboratively with the educational team and leadership, and that real world exposure and opportunities are the best way to ensure student learning is truly supported. As Director, Mr. Klasner coordinated 200 different internship experiences, where students followed their passion and developed the skills that are needed for them to reach their post-secondary aspirations and dreams.
Mr. Klasner’s goal is to continue building programs and opportunities where students are empowered to fulfill their greatest potential. He looks forward to serving Newark in this new capacity as Vice Principal of the Newark School of Data Science and information Technology.
Dr. Cluny Lavache
Department Chairperson - STEM
Dr. Cluny Lavache is joining the Newark Board of Education as the new Department Chair of STEM at Data Science & Technology High School in Newark, New Jersey for the school year 2022-2023. Dr. Lavache has served the Department of Education in New York for twenty-six years; she served as co-principal of an urban high school in Brooklyn, New York for close to twenty years and an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College (CUNY) from 2015-2018.
Dr. Lavache has combined her passion for education and love of mathematics to positively impact young scholars locally, nationally, and internationally. Her interests also include how teacher education programs can challenge pre-service teachers to understand their role and the impact they have on teaching students who are culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse.
Dr. Lavache earned her Doctorate in Teacher Leadership from Concordia University in 2018, where her doctoral research focused on “Understanding the Academic Achievement of African American Scholars: An Intrinsic Case Study of an Urban High School”. She received her M.S. in Public Administration from Baruch College in 2007, an A.A.S. in Computer Science from Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2003, an M.S. in Mathematics Education from New York University in 1997, and a B.S. in Mathematics and a minor in Secondary Education from Brooklyn College in 1994.
“I am proud to be the new Department Chair of Mathematics at Data Science & Technology High School, where my passion for teaching and serving students, staff, and parents, alongside the leadership team will allow me to have a long-lasting impact on the continued education of the scholars of Newark and the community that I serve”. Dr. Lavache has taught all levels of mathematics including robotics and financial literacy. “My philosophy is that all students can learn (mathematics and science), given the opportunity, environment, and support they need to be successful”.
Dr. Lavache has collaborated and co-authored “Black Lives Matter in US Schools: Race, Education, and Resistance (2022); Education as if Black Lives Mattered: A Critical and Crucial Literacies Approach (pp. 113-122)” and “Racial Congruency and Its Impact on the Academic Achievement of African American Students (2022): Then and Now; Purposeful Teaching and Learning in Diverse Contexts: Implications for Access, Equity and Achievement (pp. 469-481)”. Over the span of her career, she has supported teachers and will continue to assist educators with incorporating principles of mathematics and science into their classroom to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM related fields and particularly in the field of data science and information technology.
Ms. Misha Adams
Department Chairperson - Humanities
Misha Y Adams is an accomplished educator with a passion for nurturing diverse learning environments and promoting growth among students of all abilities. After graduating from Kean University with a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education and a Specialized focus on dealing with Students with Special Needs, Misha embarked on a journey that would span over a decade of dedicated service in the field of education.
Her journey began at West Side High School, where she started her first year as a teacher, laying the foundation for a career characterized by innovation and dedication. This commitment led her to Peshine Avenue School, where her impact was felt for seven transformative years. As a lead teacher, she orchestrated remarkable achievements and secured an award for exceptional student growth, a testament to her excellent skills in shaping young minds and moving student progress.
Eager to continue her personal and professional development, Misha pursued her Master's in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University. Equipped with advanced knowledge, Misha assumed a critical role within the educational landscape, combining expertise with compassion.
Beyond the classroom, her commitment to community service and empowerment was realized through her involvement in the non-profit organization Musuyanama. For over a decade, they provided vital support and mentorship to women from various walks of life, extending their influence on the next generation by guiding and inspiring teenage girls.
Throughout an 11-year tenure as an English and Special Education teacher spanning grades 5 to 12, Misha's versatile skill set shone brightly. She created an environment where every student had the opportunity to excel. Misha's instructional expertise was evident as she shared her insights through impactful workshops on instructional best practices and pedagogy.
As she embarks on this new journey as the Department Chair of Humanities, her goal is to continue to serve teachers, students, and the community by fostering growth and empowerment through her unwavering commitment to student achievement.