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Aquabah Gonney

Principal at Leslie Lewis School of Excellence

Aquabah Gonney-Buckner is the principal of Leslie Lewis School of Excellence (Lewis), a turn-around school within the AUSL Network. Driven by a desire to change the trajectory of the lives of her students, Aquabah and her team have increased attendance data by four percent, decreased suspensions by 75 percent, implemented parent volunteer programs and moved the school from intense support to a Level 2+ status.

Aquabah began her journey as an educator 10 years ago in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York as a fourth and fifth grade public school teacher. While teaching, she learned the importance of strong leaders and setting high academic expectations for students. After moving to Chicago, she became a fourth grade teacher and academic coach at Chicago International Charter School (CICS) Irving Park. Her desire to make transformational change led her to the New Leaders Program for administration, where she served as resident principal at Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy.

Aquabah looks forward to collaborating with her fellow educators to identify new and innovative ways to address systemic issues, support the social emotional development of children and reinvent the definition of “school” in order to reach new levels of success.

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