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Aperture Education Honors 15 Districts and 19 New York City Schools for Focus on Social-Emotional Learning 

SEL Champions Recognized for Development of Impactful SEL Programs and Use of Assessments to Drive Continued Enhancements that Benefit Students, Schools and their Communities

CHARLOTTE, NC – Aperture Education, the leading provider of research-based social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments for K-12 schools, honored 19 New York City schools as SEL Champions for successful integrating high-quality SEL programs into the fabric of their school communities. 

“New York City doubled down on their investment in SEL to enrich students’ lives and prepare them for success throughout life by adding support staff, partnering with Urban Assembly to measure success, and closely integrating SEL into the academic curriculum,” said Jessica Adamson, Chief Strategy Officer, Aperture Education. “The schools honored as our SEL Champions show what can be accomplished when using SEL data to create safe and positive environments for learning, and emphasize a holistic approach to student success and career readiness.”

Superintendents awarded for exemplary use of the DESSA in their districts are:

  • Dr. Crystal Bonds, District 29
  • David Cintron, District 14
  • Dr. Tamera S. Collins, District 19
  • Dr. Philip Composto, District 30
  • Sean Davenport, District 5
  • Danielle DiMango, District 25
  • Danielle Giunta, District 26
  • Khalek Kirkland, District 23
  • Roberto Padilla, District 7
  • Renee Peart, Districts 7, 9 & 12
  • Dr. David Pretto, District 20
  • Manuel Ramirez, District 6
  • Dr. Jacqueline Rosado, District 12
  • Celeste Terry, District 18
  • Maribel Torres–Hulla, District 10

The schools awarded are: 

  • The Walter Crowley Intermediate School
  • The Ronald McNair School
  • The Henry Longfellow School
  • Intermediate School 230
  • Norwood Heights School
  • High School of World Cultures
  • P.S. 173 Fresh Meadows
  • P.S. 189M Magnet School of Inquiry and Expression
  • Art and Design High School
  • P.S. 247 Brooklyn
  • P.S. 066 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  • The Urban Assembly Unison School
  • P.S. 193 Gil Hodges
  • P.S. 069 Daniel D. Tompkins
  • P.S. 149 Danny Kaye
  • Riverdale Avenue Middle School
  • Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School
  • P.S. 183 Robert L. Stevenson
  • P.S. 130 Hernando De Soto

The NYC based districts and schools were selected based on their highly effective SEL programs that were incorporated through every phase of the school day and prioritized by administration and teachers.  

Underpinning the SEL success at these schools is a data-driven approach, which leverages the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA). This strength-based social and emotional learning screener objectively measures students’ social-emotional competencies, including self awareness, self management, personal responsibility, decision making, social awareness, relationship skills, goal-directed behavior and optimistic thinking. DESSA provides insights into students’  strengths in order to build on those and think more strategically about ways to support students when interventions are needed.

Leadership from these districts and schools were honored at the“SEL State of Mind Awards Ceremony” on June 27, 2023 at the Manhattan Penthouse, hosted by Aperture Education and Urban Assembly. 

About Aperture Education

Aperture Education has empowered nearly 8,500 schools and out-of-school time programs across North America to measure, strengthen, and support social and emotional competence in K-12 youth and educators. The Aperture System includes the DESSA suite of strength-based assessments, CASEL™-aligned intervention strategies, and robust reporting, all in one easy-to-use digital platform. This system enables education leaders to make strategic, data-based decisions about SEL within their organizations. Aperture has supported more than one million students in their social and emotional growth and continues to develop innovative solutions to bring the whole child into focus. To learn more, visit

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