​The Legacy Academy is the vision of students, parents, social workers, and educators from Far Rockaway and extended communities who have recognized the patterns of low student performance and engagement in our community schools. The founders have also seen   that these patterns span generations of families and know that, if we want students who are better prepared for academic success, then our institutions must aim to simultaneously develop students who are prepared for academic tasks and adults who can foster a successful community. We have watched ourselves, our children, our families, and neighbors matriculate through Far Rockaway and New York City public schools and we have decided that a necessary step in the progress of Far Rockaway and her people, is to create a school that is tailored to the needs of our community by people who are from our community.

Both Kendra and I are artists and educators, we met through creative circles during undergrad ten years ago. Our university, supported our culture and creativity, and normalized the coexistence of Black passions with academia, 
economic wealth, and 
all other systemic owers. NCCU was able to do this so well
because Historically Black Colleges and Universities are equally as dedicated to the progress of Black communities as they are to the progress of Black students. 
The public schools in my South Queens hometown resemble HBCUs. If our high schools  provide institutional support in the ways that our universities have, then we will positively impact social, political, and economic empowerment in majority Black communities. We're inspired by the work of progressive scholars and sociologist in education, and we hope the research and efforts that create Legacy Academy in 
Far Rockaway, New York will contribute to that work. 

board of directors

Regina Glover Johnson

  • Black Facebook Icon

Both Kendra and Regina are artists and educators, who met through creative circles during undergrad ten years ago, where they received their Bachelor's degree from North Carolina Central University. Regina Glover Johnson is a Far Rockaway native with more than a dozen family members who matriculated through Far Rockaway Public Schools. After obtaining her Bachelor's she immediately moved back to New York to begin her Master's in Education and to start teaching at the age of 21. After teaching for five years, she decided there was more she could do to help. She partnered with Kendra, a behavioral redirection specialist and holistic educator, in schools as well as private homes in New York City to improve the state of public education and the communities where public education has failed. Regina and Kendra has been researching the methods of innovative schools around the world and earning another Master's degree, for School Leadership. Legacy Academy is the product of  Reginas experiences as a student, teacher, and community member and her contribution to the revitalization efforts in Far Rockaway. 

Kendra Barnes

Brandon Hicks, Legal

Brandon Hicks is a graduate of Historically Black University, North Carolina Central University, and Washington and Lee Law School. As the National Organizer for Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Brandon continues his mission to contribute to the uplift and liberation of the disenfranchised.

Margot Sigmone, Chair 

Margot has lived in Far Rockaway for 20 years. She is the Education Director at Therapy Learning Center. She is School Building Leader Certified, School District Leader Certified, and has extensive experience creating and maintaining specialized education programs. 

Felix Omozusi

Felix Omozusi is an Artist, Educator and Community Leader.A former Nigerian teacher, Constituent Liaison at a New York State Senator’s Office and is currently the Community School Coordinator at a public school in Far Rockaway.

Francesca Henderson,


Francesca is a school leader at High Tech High in San Diego, the primary inspiration for the Legacy Academy academic model. She developed teachers, created school wide systems, and launched  other schools who are both inspired by the HTH academic model and have a demographic that is similar to Far Rockaway.

Keasha Williams,

Social Work

Keasha is a Rockaway native. She and her husband are lifelong residents who are raising two boys: a high school student and a kindergartener. Keasha has been a social worker for nearly a decade and works directly with families as well as training and managing teams of social workers to positively impact child outcomes.

Dr. Deborah Hoyle

Dr. Deborah Hoyle is a Rockaway Non Profit Director Director of The Child Center NY in Arverne, Educator, Novelist, and Community Leader.

Alfie Kohn

Scholar on K-12 Education, and author of  The Schools Our Children Deserve and Schooling Beyond Measure

Founder of Profound Gentlemen, an organization that recruits and trains Black men to be teachers for schools with majority Black students


Scholar on K-12 Education, Vocal Artist, and Director of Education for the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation

Mario Shaw

Fritzie Cassis

Rockaway Resident and active community member

Scholar on K-12 Education and founder of Village Academy Middle School in Far Rockaway, Queens NYC


Matthew Scott

Matthew is a licensed Associate Real Estate Broker in New York City



Joshua is A Senior Account Manager, leading a team that supports a $480M division at Aon Hewitt.

Dr. Maria 



Vice President for Student Affairs at Atlanta Metropolitan State College.

Leslie Abrew

Leslie attended Harvard Graduate School of Education for her Masters in Education Administration

Contact Us

57-10 Beach Channel Drive

Far Rockaway

New York City, NY 11692


Plan with us
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Google+ Icon