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Newburgh Free Academy, West Campus Hosts Annual Poetry Slam


Students from Newburgh Free Academy, West Campus performed in and enjoyed their traditional Poetry Slam. Kayla Solis, grade 11, Michael Santiago, grade 9, and Chelsea Amaro, grade 9 opened the show with a beautiful performance of “Hallelujah.” Scholars and teachers performed some of their favorite poems, as well as original pieces.

Cormela Berkley, grade 10 and Anthony Barrett, grade 11 hosted the poetry slam. Special guests included: Dr. Padilla, Vice President of our Board of Education, Ms. Sue Prokosch,  Mr. Phil Howard, Board of Education member, Dr. Ebony Green, Director of Equity and Access, Ms. Melanie Roman, School Counselor at NFA, Main Campus, Ms. Harrold, School Counselor at NFA, North Campus, Ms. Torres-Pagan, School Counselor at South Middle School, Dr. Bixler, Division Chair and Professor in Education at Mount St. Mary College, and NFA Alumni who attend MSMC and act as mentors to our students.

For the finale of the Poetry Slam, NFA, West Campus students welcomed Ms. Asheena Baez, an Internationally renowned Mindful leadership Coach, Curriculum Developer, and Educational Consultant. Ms. Baez talked to the students about her journey and performed a few of her original works.

Asheena Baez currently serves the Summer Principal Academy Administrative Graduate Program at Columbia University, as a Leadership Coach and Summer Instructor. In addition, Asheena collaborates with Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence through the 1440 foundation as a curriculum developer for Social and Emotional Learning practices and techniques. Asheena internationally consults with the American School of Bangkok in Bangkok, Thailand, Kerela, India as well as in various areas of Haiti. She provides Administrators and Directors with high impact, train the trainer Professional Leadership Development training in Mindful Leadership to promote whole child increased learning outcomes. As a former Special Education Teacher, Director of Pupil Personnel Services and current Principal, in New York, Asheena uses her knowledge and expertise to enhance and advance the educational opportunities for students all over the world.


TEACHERS: Are you and your students doing something great? Please contact your Communication Strategist. We’d love to attend or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district! Grades PreK-5 Angela Wise (angela.wise@necsd.net) and Grades 6-12 Cassie Sklarz (cassie.sklarz@necsd.net).











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