The Chantilly Agency specializes in PR, marketing, booking and educational solutions for businesses, the world of academia and artists. Some clients have included London based corporate video production company Kings Cross Media, The Other Enlightenment, The Cultural Impact of Kanye West published by Palgrave Macmillan, staff for The White House Advance Team for First Lady Michelle Obama, and The Brooklyn Public Library. We have garnered press with The Huffington Post, Atlanta Black Star, The Amsterdam Newspaper, BBC Radio, O Magazine and much more.
We would like to welcome our newest clients, Bevon Thompson, education expert & principal of Imagine Me Leadership Charter School, George E. Leonard, education expert & principal of CAMPA Charter Middle School located in Brooklyn, NY and AJ Woodson, editor-in-chief of Black Westchester & hip hop historian.
“…Mr. Thompson had the highest passing rate for Regents Physics in New York State.”
— Dr. Lester Young Jr.,
Former Deputy Chancellor NYC, New York State Board of Regents
Bevon Thompson, principal of Imagine Me Charter School located in East New York, Brooklyn, embodies dedication, compassion and leadership. As cited by The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education, he holds an effectiveness score of 99%. Through his leadership, IMLCS was classified by The New York State Department of Education as a Reward School for the 2016-17 school year.
With nearly twenty years as a progressive educator, this education expert was instrumental in turning several schools around by providing holistic education with a prime element being parental involvement. Imagine Me Leadership Charter School’s ELA scores skyrocketed 583% since 2013 and math scores rose 270% as of June 2016. The school was also granted a 3-year renewal and became the number one school in City School District 19.
Monumental strides in education has garnered Thompson recognition from the New York State Legislation for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership and the United States House of Representatives of Excellence in Teaching and Leadership. Thompson also received recognition from New York City School District 13 for Excellence in Teaching and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adam’s Office for Outstanding Contributions and Making a Positive Impact in the Community.
“Under the Friends of Bedford group, in just its first year here, the portion of students testing proficient or advanced in reading went from 38 to 53.6 percent at Coolidge and from 18.2 to 31.9 percent at Dunbar. No other high school in the city came close to making such gains in a subject in which improvement here has been rare.”
— Jay Mathews,
The Washington Post
“Mr. Leonard is a man of many solutions, many of them innovative…”
— Susan Dominus,
New York Times
George E. Leonard is a dedicated educational industry leader with solid experience achieving unparalleled results from low income students living in urban areas. He has superior ability in creating strategic alliances with organization leaders to effectively align with and support innovative educational initiatives. Mr. Leonard, the third of four sons, was born and raised in Spanish Harlem. Defying the odds and rooted in the virtue of hard work equating success, the positive yet strict guidance of his parents resulted in all four brothers receiving college degrees. This was accomplished in spite of the inner-city pressures which face most black and Latino males. As an educator, George would credit his ability to reach and inspire this profile of youths to his having sat in their chairs, walked in their shoes, and lived their experiences and throughout acquiring the tools to success despite the obstacles. At a young age, he resolved that he would serve as an agent of positive change in his community – little did he know that he would touch the lives of a far broader and ever expanding community.
- Read George E. Leonard's Full Bio
- Upon graduating from Seward Park High School, Mr. Leonard entered into the City University of New York at York College where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology. He would continue his studies and receive a Master’s of Science in Education/Cellular Biology from Long Island University, a certificate in Supervision/Administration from Touro College and the completion of one year at State University of New York at the Health Science Center at Brooklyn’s M.D. /Ph.D. program in Cellular Biology. Mr. Leonard’s has also served as an adjunct professor at Medgar Evers College, the College of New Rochelle, and New York University.
George’s educational career began as a Biology teacher at Boys and Girls High School in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn under the leadership of Principal Frank Mickens for ten years. Despite being a new educator, his students enjoyed great success on the New York State Regents examination in Biology giving him the highest passing percentages in the school of 5,000 students. Continuing to exceed all expectations, Mr. Leonard, began to prepare students for science competitions including the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and broader competitions including the NAACP ACT-SO competition. While still at Boys and Girls High School, George decided to join the Science Skills Center -an academic after-school program for Elementary aged students in School District 13 in Brooklyn. For four years he sought to repeatedly prove that the high school science curricula could be taught to young students enabling them to pass the associated Regents examinations. In 1985, with 15 students between the ages of 8 and 12 taking and passing the Biology Regents and thereby exempting them from the course when they reached high school, he proved overwhelmingly his point. Mr. Leonard’s groundbreaking accomplishment and the great academic strides achieved at the Science Skills Center was chronicled in the PBS special documentary – “Who Will Teach Science.” Later that same year, the New York State Legislature recognized his work by presenting George with a Proclamation of Academic Excellence.
In 1994, Mr. Leonard became Dean and Science Coordinator of Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development in Brooklyn. Still in its infancy this new high school, was viewed by Mr. Leonard as his first opportunity to shape an entire building in the philosophy that success is the only option. During the next nine years, Banneker Academy would exceed the expectations of the Department of Education in Regents examination results, graduation rates, and college acceptance and graduates. His impact on the success of this school has been monumental and highly regarded.
After being appointed principal of Bedford Academy High School in 2003, Mr. Leonard spearheaded the most exciting learning institution that this city has ever seen. A school designed to accelerate a population who have achieved little academic success, its students have earned a place in the top 2% of the city. In 2007, Bedford Academy High School solidified its title as one of the best schools in New York City with the announcement of the 2007 – 2008 School Progress Reports. With a score 103.6, Bedford Academy was named the #1 school in Brooklyn and the #2 school in New York City. It has been rated the best in Regents passing, attendance, graduation rates, college entrance, and performance. Labeled an “Apple Ivy” school by the New York Post, Bedford Academy has received numerous Proclamations of Academic Excellence and Achievement from New York City Council, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Senator Ed Towns, and the New York State Legislature. It has also been featured in various papers including Our Times Press, the Daily Challenge, the New York Post, the Daily News, the New York Times and the Washington Post. The school has even received international recognition through media coverage in Haiti and China. His ability to strive for excellence and inspire students of all ages to perform beyond their best is never ending. Before he retired from the Board of Education in 2008, Bedford Academy High School was rated as the number one high school in New York State for low income students.
In 2008 Friends of Bedford, Inc., an educational consultancy, with Mr. Leonard as its Chief Operating Officer, was contracted by Michelle Rhee, the former Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, which led to advance her reform efforts through turnaround efforts at two failing schools – Paul Laurence Dunbar and Calvin Coolidge Senior High Schools. During its tenure in the nation’s capital, Friends of Bedford accomplished the near impossible by achieving the highest gains in “state” examinations for both schools within one year, helping to raise the District’s national educational ranking. Friends of Bedford, Inc. has received recognition by the Washington Post for its’ work in achievement and continues to raise the bar for others to follow as it continues to battle the never ending war against failing schools in low income neighborhoods in this country.
“AJ is a reflection of the integrity and transparency of modern journalists. He has brought into our media a new and fresh edge of coverage never before experienced by our African American community in Westchester. This is truly a phenomenon created by and for the people-keeping us informed and expressing our questions while demanding answers…”
— Lena Anderson,
President of NAACP White Plains/Greensburgh Branch
AJ Woodson is editor-in-chief of Black Westchester, producer of People Before Politics Radio and co-owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. UrbanSoul Media was founded in 2014 by AJ Woodson & Damon K. Jones. AJ is a father, author, writer, rapper, radio personality, hip-hop historian and freelance journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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