Dr. Liana Summey has served in her career of education for ten years within the Newark Board of Education. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Montclair State University in 2010, and shortly after graduating, 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 has supported the district’s vision in Instructional Leadership, Strategic Management, and Student Supports.
Dr. Summey is a member of the University Council of Educational Administration’s (UCEA) Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network for Educational Leaders of Color. 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.