From the Principal
Principal Barbara Abbey’s core values about education ring true in Nelson Mandela’s quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is her firm belief that a solid education can change the trajectory of the future of a child and empower them to become successful throughout their life. She is committed to sustaining an educational environment that includes collaboration and open communication with parents and the community.
Mrs. Abbey was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She is the daughter of immigrant parents from Antigua & Barbuda, West Indies. She attended NYC Public Schools from kindergarten through high school. During her senior year in high school, she competed in the 1988 Olympics held in Seoul Korea, representing Antigua & Barbuda. She went on to receive a full track scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin.
Upon graduating from the University of Texas in 1993, she began her educational career in the New York City Public Schools, giving back to the community that gave so much to her. She taught at Morris High School in the South Bronx and then in Harlem at the Frederick Douglass Academy. While teaching she received her first Master’s Degree in Science Education at Lehman College and her second Master’s Degree in Administration & Supervision from Baruch College. She joined the Mount Vernon City School District community in 2005, teaching biology and AP Biology at Mount Vernon High School. She accepted her first administrative position in 2015, serving as the Science/CTE Chairperson. Mrs. Abbey became Assistant Principal at the newly created Mount Vernon STEAM Academy in 2018, where she had the opportunity to work closely with Principal Sharon Bradley, who is remembered dearly by the Mount Vernon community. She sees it as an honor and a privilege and is very excited to lead alongside the talented faculty, staff, and students at the amazing Nelson Mandela/Dr. Hosea Zollicoffer School in September 2023.