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Top Success Academy Leader Joins Partnership Schools as New Chief Academic Officer

When Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee joined Partnership Schools four years ago, she knew that she would need to build a team of world-class educators who had both a deep respect for the history and legacy of urban Catholic schools and also the knowledge and skills to help drive excellence in an era of increased competition and accountability. Over the past four years, Kathleen and the entire Partnership team have done just that— elevating and developing existing talent and bringing on board accomplished leaders who have experience and a deep passion for Catholic education.

This spring, we’re proud to add a new leader to the mix. Christina Danielsen joined as Chief Academic Officer (CAO) in April, and is working with our amazing teachers and leaders to take the schools to the next level.

For Kathleen what made Christina Danielsen such a stand out, in addition to her professional bona fides with 13 years of teaching experience including supervisory roles as principal and assistant principal, was her attention to what students need to succeed.  “When Christina visited each classroom, what impressed me most,” notes Kathleen, “was her focus on what each student was doing—and on how much potential each child had. That sold me.”   It was this combination of optimism and high expectations that confirmed Kathleen’s already resolute decision that Christina was the perfect choice for this critical position of CAO.

Christina comes to Partnership Schools from Success Academy Rosedale in Queens where she was founding principal of the 435 student school.  The combination of focusing on what her students were learning, along with providing  dedicated coaching for her  teachers, and expertise in curriculum, Christina led her school to a top 1% ranking of schools across New York state, with 100% of her students passing the state math exam and nearly 90% passing ELA.

As Christina explains, “I have spent my career in service of young children. As a teacher and an administrator, I always strive to create an environment where children can reach their maximum potential. As principal I focused extensively on curriculum development and implementation as well as teacher development.”

Christina recently shared the lens she uses when evaluating teachers.  “I’m a mother, and as such I use that lens and ask the question: is this instruction, attention, and outcome good enough for the expectations I have for my daughter?  If not, then there’s work to be done.  Our students deserve the same excellence that we demand for our own children.  And what I’ve seen in Partnership schools confirms that our teachers are on the same page.”

The move to join the Partnership was a homecoming of sorts for Christina. Though her teaching experience comes from NYC public and charter schools, Christina was educated in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn, where she also taught CCD. She points out, “I can’t tell you how much I enjoy starting my day with students in prayer.  It centers everyone in the building and sets us all up for a positive day filled with untapped possibilities.”