Dr. Courtney R. Johnson
Dr. Courtney R. Johnson is entering her 15th year as an educator with the Newark Board of Education. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a dual concentration in Math, Science, and Technology from The College of New Jersey and became a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. In 2006, Dr. Johnson began her professional career as a substitute teacher in the district. The following year, she became a teacher at 18th Avenue School and served as a cheerleading coach and on the School Leadership Council (SLC), which was instrumental in implementing the Broader, Bolder Approach, a school-based intervention plan across central ward schools.
Dr. Johnson went on to teach middle school math at Luis Muñoz Marin earning the distinction as a highly effective teacher. She later went on to become a Teacher Coach of Mathematics at Dr. William H. Horton and returned to Luis Muñoz Marin as a Teacher Coach of Technology, where she integrated Google for Education platforms across disciplines to strengthen the professional practices of teachers. Dr. Johnson completed her Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Capella University in 2017 while serving as the School Operations Manager at Luis Muñoz Marin. In addition, she co-facilitated the Girls in Technology STEM Program and coached the student awardees of the 2020 Newark’s Census Logo Contest held at Arts High School.
In 2019, Dr. Johnson served as a Supervisor with the Office of Student Life in which she led the implementation of restorative practices, student discipline, grief and loss initiative, pre-college pathways, social-emotional learning, and mentoring across district schools while enrolled in the Educational Technology Leadership Doctoral Program. Dr. Johnson became a Special Assistant with the High School Leadership Team, where she provided leadership coaching, managed strategic partnerships, and provided student support, all in alignment with the district’s ten-year strategic plan. Dr. Johnson completed her mixed methods study on a systematic approach to school-based mentoring in 2022 at New Jersey City University, where she also serves as a Clinical Supervisor for the Center Teacher Preparation and Partnerships and Adjunct Faculty Member in the Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Department.
As a transformational leader, Dr. Johnson remains committed to leading school communities through the complex interplay between pedagogy, practice, and relationships. Her educational philosophy is that all stakeholders must collectively equip students with the skillsets to make informed decisions that lead to healthy individuals who will go on to pursue their unique pathways to lifelong learning. Dr. Johnson follows a legacy of educators in her family that spans across three generations. She also attended Harriet Tubman School in her former years. Dr. Johnson is honored to lead the Quitman Street School Community and will ensure that each student receives the world-class education they so deserve.
Lidia Dos Santos
Vice Principal – Grades PreK-2
Lidia Dos Santos is proud to be a Vice Principal at Quitman Street School.
Born and raised in the great city of Newark and having attended Newark Public Schools as a student, Ms. Dos Santos went on to pursue her education at Rutgers University with a double-major in Education and Psychology. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, she worked for a non-profit organization focusing on building Family Literacy among underrepresented populations. Through this opportunity, she became an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. Ms. Dos Santos found these experiences extremely fulfilling, especially as a native Newarker, for they allowed her better to serve the city’s diverse population in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, solidifying the strong ties to the immigrant community in which she lived.
A part of her work with the non-profit included working collaboratively to build extended day and summer programs for school-aged children. The close relationships she developed there led her to her true calling of becoming an educator. Ms. Dos Santos started as an elementary school teacher with the Newark Public Schools in 2007 at Maple Avenue School and, in her tenure, she has worked in a variety of grade levels as an English Language Arts teacher, Academic Interventionist at Newark Early College High School and School Operations Manager at West Side High School. Having earned her Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Montclair State University, Ms. Dos Santos transitioned into the role of a Vice Principal at Barringer High School, gaining the experience to help her transition to her current role at Quitman Street School.
In all her years of working in education, Ms. Dos Santos sought to build school communities where compassion meets the needs of the students served. She believes that children are better equipped when the school and family work collaboratively to support individual growth and that, as a school, there is a special responsibility to tap into the innate potential possessed by all students.
Dr. Shana Burnett
Vice Principal – Grades 3-5
Dr. Shana Burnett has been an educator in Newark for over twenty-eight years. Her experiences as an educational leader have taught her that achieving excellence requires vision, organizational planning, and collaboration. She feels passionate about giving back to the community where she was born and raised. As an individual committed to growing professionally and personally, she is always looking for innovative ways to improve how our children are educated.
Dr. Burnett graduated from Kean University, where she earned her Ed.D. in Urban Educational Leadership. While working on her doctorate, she researched leadership and its impact on school culture. The culture focused on how successful schools implemented professional development, parental involvement, discipline, and motivation. She has worked on various community initiatives throughout the NBOE and other non-profit organizations. She has written grants and served on various committees that have rendered hundreds of thousands of dollars awarded in grants and programs.
Dr. Burnett currently fulfills the role and assumes responsibilities for leading Math and Science, supporting teachers, staff, and students. Her passion for bilingual, ESL, and special education allows her to support and ensure inclusivity and equity for all students. She has led various STEM fairs throughout the district. She believes in addressing the needs of the whole child and looks forward to working with the Quitman Street school community.
Vice Principal – Grades 6-8
Ms. Shevon Armstrong a native of Brooklyn, NY, and a graduate of Lincoln University. Ms. Armstrong has served the students of Newark for over 20 years as a special education and general education classroom teacher, crisis teacher, Academic Interventionist, School Culture and Climate Lead Teacher, mentor for the district’s New Teacher Center (NTC) development program, member of the School Leadership Team, and coach. With a dual degree in Elementary and Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, she has taught children with ADD/ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, speech impairments/ communication disorders, noncompliant behavior, learning disabilities, physical and medical challenges, and children with ELL (English Language Learner) needs. Ms. Armstrong has dedicated her career to ensuring that students, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, disability, or economic background, are afforded an opportunity to learn and succeed in the classroom.
Ms. Armstrong looks forward to having a more significant impact on students in her position as a Vice Principal at Quitman Street School. Her passion drives a paradigm shift toward student-centered education, where every child feels seen and heard. She empowers everyone to guide students in discovering their unique talents, desires, and purpose. Through her relentless advocacy for all students and their families, she serves as a resource to enable parents to help their children.
She is honored to take on the role of Vice Principal at Quitman Street School, where for almost a decade, she remains actively involved, passionate, and committed to supporting the needs of teachers and families to ensure that all students can succeed. In her new role as Vice Principal, Ms. Armstrong will lead the Middle School Grades 6-8 and oversee Special Education and School Climate and Culture. She is prepared to use her talent for organization, relationship building, and coaching to create a culture of high academic and behavioral expectations while emphasizing a joy for learning and commitment to the team. Ms. Armstrong remains actively involved and work closely with students, teachers, parents, and the school community to support the whole child, improve the academic achievement and behavior of all students, and provide leadership to classroom teachers in implementing intervention initiatives.
“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it” ~Marian Wright Edelman