Karisa DeSantis is the new Principal of Newark Vocational High School. She has spent the past 20 years in education serving students and families in urban districts within New York, Florida and New Jersey. She has experience as a writing coach, data coach, mentor, and English Language Arts support teacher for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 8. In 2012 she pursued her master’s degree in Educational Leadership and successfully completed the New Leaders Program. In 2015 she became a Vice Principal at Rafael Hernandez School of the Performing Arts where she supported the academic program by facilitating PLCs and leading data driven instruction initiatives. She spearheaded a new teacher induction program, created a school-wide positive behavior plan and developed a sequential elective arts program for middle school students. After two years in this role she was promoted to Principal and has continued serving in this title for the past 5 years. Her rapid ascent to the role of Principal is attributed to her strong communication and ability to learn from all situations and stakeholders. She views challenges as learning opportunities as opposed to obstacles with communication as the vehicle to manage change.
Principal DeSantis is a transformational leader known for her strength with building school culture, developing and aligning professional learning communities, data driven instruction, effectively managing the change process and strategic thinking. She prioritizes developing capacity of individuals to become experts of their craft and fosters sustainability of programing to maximize consistency for students. During her tenure as Principal she has consistently cultivated a culture of coaching and development as a means to build a strong academic foundation centered around student growth. Principal DeSantis believes in developing leadership capacity of students in order to prepare them for college and a career. She is committed to developing staff and students to become lifelong learners and very excited for the opportunity to lead at Newark Vocational High School.