Leonardo Coello is an Afro-Latino born in New York City. Both of his parents are immigrants that came to this country poor, his mother from Dominican Republic, his father from Cuba and his descendants are from Nigeria. He’s a product of New York City Public School education, attending High School at John F. Kennedy in the Bronx and concluded his formal education by obtaining his Masters in Human Services in Leadership at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. He has a vast experience in corporate business, community-based organizations and school administration.
After 10 years of management experience in the corporate sector, Mr. Coello shifted career paths into the community organization and education field. Fueled by a lifelong drive of support and commitment to his community, Mr. Coello discontinued his career as a manager at a telecommunication company and took a job working at a New York City public school for the Children’s Aid Society. Next, Mr. Coello spent over ten years working for the Harlem Children’s Zone where he gained invaluable experience in positions such as part-timer at a Beacon Site, Program Coordinator K-12 grades, Assistant Director and Head Dean for Promise Academy.
Mr. Coello then took on the next challenge of co-leading a New York City Department of Education Transfer High School in the South Bronx called Bronx Haven. As the School Director for East Side House Settlement, Mr. Coello managed a yearly budget of over 180K for the schools LTW (Learn to Work) program which ensured high school scholars were placed into paid internship jobs that would provide valuable life and professional experiences. His other responsibilities were to develop and maintain all the school culture activities, as well as, behavior management and restorative justice. His staff at Bronx Haven High School consisted of Student Advocates, Social Workers, and many other non-pedagogy staff. Mr. Coello also took very seriously, the responsibilities of leadership in the form of mentoring, by providing personal and career development to many of the young professional in his care.
The next chapter in Mr. Coello’s journey, found him as a member of the leadership team at one of the most progressive and successful schools in New York State, The Neighborhood Charter school. This opportunity further expanded Mr. Coello’s knowledge and experience in the education sector – especially developing and educating Special Education and Autistic Scholars. His deep commitment to the Bronx, brought his career back to the borough as The Director of Student and Family Affairs at The Boys Prep Charter school. The unique experience of working at the only all boys k-8th grade school in the city, provided the last piece he needed to make the most important decision of his life, running for City Council representing District 16 in the Bronx.
Mr. Coello, a father of two sons and committed family man, will now pour his passion and commitment for helping underserved communities full-time. Together with a powerful team, he will forever be an impactful advocate for his community, while committing to be an agent of change in New York City politics.