The Ascend Difference
Students of all backgrounds are valued, respected, and feel a sense of belonging.
Students are empowered to develop essential knowledge, skills and agency needed to succeed in college and beyond.
School buildings with spacious, light-filled classrooms and common spaces where students can learn collaboratively.
Our schools are rooted in our Brooklyn community.
Shannon-Re Ismael is the founding school director of East Flatbush Ascend Lower School. Ismael joined Ascend as a founding kindergarten teacher at Canarsie Ascend Lower School and then became the kindergarten dean of instruction and culture where she led her teachers and the school’s youngest students to outperform the network achievement goals. For the past year, Ismael has also participated in Ascend’s resident school director program, where she further honed her ability to support and train teachers and leaders in their push towards even stronger outcomes. Ismael started her career in education in the Bronx as a TFA Corps member. Her educational philosophy has always been based on the uncompromising belief that all students can learn and thrive when provided a positive learning environment, in schools where strong and knowledgeable leaders work in close partnership with families and the community. A Canarsie native, Ismael earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with a minor in psychology from Brooklyn College, and her master’s in school building leadership from Bank Street School of Education.
Find out more about our lower school program, approach, and values.