Founder & Head of School
Founder & Head of School Ben Samuels-Kalow spent his career as a public-school teacher in the South Bronx, teaching middle and high school Computer Science and Economics, developing innovative curricula, and leading professional development. He was selected for the nationally recognized Building Excellent Schools (BES) Fellowship, a year-long school design and leadership program that trains founders on the management, design, operations, governance, and accountability of public charter schools. He holds a BA from the University of Chicago, a MS in Education from St. John’s University, and a sincere belief in the capacity and promise of young people in the Bronx.
Family, Community, and Office Coordinator
Family, Community, and Office Coordinator Lorena Machado is born and raised in the South Bronx. Prior to Creo College Prep, Ms. Machado worked in the bodily injury field where she assisted families in need of legal aid. She holds a BA in Speech Language Pathology and a minor in Early Childhood Education from Lehman College. At Creo College Prep, Ms Machado will help family and community members be actively involved in the education of our students, ensuring that students receive the support they need and deserve in order to thrive.
Director of Operations
Director of Operations Joshua Canela was born and raised in New York City and is a proud alumnus of All Hallows Institute in the South Bronx. Previously, Mr. Canela was an Operations Manager at Success Academy. He holds a BA in Political Science from Stony Brook University where he was a student athlete and coached middle school students. He believes that every student deserves the opportunity to receive a free and excellent education regardless of background or location and will ensure all students are prepared to learn, grow and use the skills we teach every day to better our community in the future.
Dean of Student Supports
Dean of Student Supports Ambar Hernandez is a native New Yorker with a proven commitment to teaching in her community. Prior to teaching, Ms. Hernandez directed a non-profit teen center and college preparation program. As a career Special Education teacher, she brings expertise in teaching, coaching, and designing curriculum accessible to all the students. She holds a BA in Psychology from Long Island University, C.W. Post and an MA in Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is excited to be part of the passionate team at Creo College Prep and looks forward to ensuring all students have a voice and are successful.
Dean of Students
Dean of Students Ishmael Hall has spent the last 15 years of his life pushing norms and expectations to benefit every student regardless of where they are in life. This passion led Mr. Hall to work in a number of fields as a caseworker, Director of After School Programming, ELA teacher, and as a Dean of Students for the past 3 years. He holds a BA in Psychology from John Jay College and is currently pursuing a double degree MA in Special Education and Educational Leadership at Liberty University. With the belief that every student can succeed in school, college and beyond, Mr. Hall is confident that Creo will not only prepare for their future by building the framework now.