Daryl Rock| President / CEO
Dr. Daryl Rock served as the superintendent of the Promise Academy Charter Schools at the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) during the 2008-2010 school years. Students at HCZ, consistently out-perform their counterparts in New York City. Before coming to Harlem, Dr. Rock was the principal at Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development in Brooklyn. When he left Banneker High School after ten years, the graduation rate was 98 percent. This statistic was among the top 5% in New York State.
In addition to his duties as a principal, he mentored many aspiring principals and helped to write the plans for Bedford Academy, a new school that opened in the basement of Banneker High School. Ultimately Bedford Academy, under the leadership of a strong principal, George Leonard, received the second highest score on NYC’s annual progress report.
Dr. Rock also mentored Danika Lacroix, another first time principal who started Young Scholars Academy (YSA) in Brooklyn. Under her strong leadership, YSAin 2010 had more growth in ELA than any school in NYC. All of the students in Benjamin Banneker, Bedford Academy and YSA are Black or Latino. These positive results clearly demonstrate that the achievement gap can be closed.
Dr. Rock demonstrated his clear ability to educate students when he proposed along with colleague, Viola Abbott, the innovative Math Regents Pilot Program. The program involved taking eight graders from underserved middle schools and providing them with tutoring and Saturday classes, preparing them to complete high school algebra and pass the final regents exam. More than 90 percent of the participating students successfully passed. "Our students can and will do amazing things when they are provided with the necessary human resources," he says.
Dr. Rock's greatest strength lies in developing schools that meet the needs of students from urban areas and he honed these skills during his early years as a teacher. He began his career tutoring elementary school students, then transitioned into full-time teaching at middle and high schools. He taught at several area colleges, including Hunter College, New York University and Medgar Evers College where he served as an adjunct instructor and lecturer. In 1998, he became an administrator and has continued working in that capacity ever since. Over his career, he discovered one crucial concept that has guided his approach when working with a school community. "The primary factor that separates one school from another is not the students, but the character, will and commitment of the adults who interact with them. When the adults establish an atmosphere of trust, confidence and mutual respect, students thrive," Dr. Rock says.
He believes, "teachers are the most important adults in the building; therefore, they must be highly qualified and committed. Not only must all instructors be certified, they must have the ability to establish a constructive rapport with their students, while sustaining academic rigor. This type of staff is achieved through innovative recruitment and meaningful professional development."
While working as an educator, Dr. Rock was able to acquire two masters degrees and a doctorate in education from New York University. He has recently consulted with schools in Cleveland, OH, Milwaukee, WI and New Jersey. He will combine what he has learned as a student with his vast experiences as an educator to bring passion and determination to the schools and students that Rock Academic Services impacts. This new venture will allow him to service more schools as they transform the lives of underserved children.