The concept of Amani began at their kitchen table. Founders Charles and Debra Stern then formed a coalition to bring a high performing charter school to Mount Vernon, NY. The Sterns, along with other public school parents, educators and business people joined forces to develop the school's charter application. In 2010 the New York State Education Department authorized Amani Public Charter School. Amani is the first and only charter school in Mount Vernon. Admission is open to all children, including those with special needs and English language learners. Nearly all of our students reside in Mount Vernon. Students are admitted through a random lottery held each April.
Mrs. Stern brings to Amani her experience as a college administrator, adjunct faculty member and social worker. She is also a public school parent and an active member of the Alumni Council of Cornell University. She holds a Masters in Social Work from College of New Rochelle, and a Master of Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University. A New York City native, Debra grew up in New Rochelle and then lived in Mount Vernon for many years, where she founded the Friends of Mount Vernon Public Library, and also served as President of the districtwide PTA Council. This unique background makes her exceptionally qualified to lead the organization as it grows and pursues its mission of educational achievement.