Challenge Prep Charter School Arverne Applicant Group/Board of Trustees

Lead Applicant

The Rev. Dr. Les Mullings is our Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Challenge Preparatory Charter School (CPCS).

It is his tireless vision to develop and create the proposed Challenge Preparatory Charter School Central to serve the needs of the Far Rockaway community and CSD 27 projected to open for the 2016-17 school year.

As Founder of CPCS, he led the school through every stage of our development. As Lead Applicant he chaired the Planning Team and navigated the team through the extensive charter process, CPCS was chartered by the NYS Board of Regents on February 9, 2010.

It was fitting that Dr. Mullings was elected as the founding Chair of the CPCS Board of Trustees.  He managed the Board and initial staff through the development and startup phase of our school making sure we were ready to open in late August 2010 with our first Kindergarten and First Grade classes.

As Board Chair, Dr. Mullings oversaw the operations of the school and lead the process of the development of the our school’s new facility located 710 Hartman Lane, Far Rockaway, NY. CPCS moved into the building in early April 2012.

On July 1, 2012 Dr. Mullings became CEO of CPCS.  As CEO, he on a day-to-day basis oversees all aspects of CPCS. Annually, he develops and recommends to the CPCS Board of Trustees the operations budget and staffing plan. Additionally, Dr. Mullings represents the interests of CPCS will all of our school’s stakeholders.

Mullings holds a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from the University of London Chelsea, a Masters in Counseling/Psychology, and a certificate in Business. He is enrolled in graduate work for Advanced Education Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Education and Community Experience

Dr. Mullings has extensive experience in education, youth development and building collaborative community-wide initiatives through his work as Youth Development Specialist with the NYCDOE and as Executive Director of the Rockaway Center for Community Development.

Dr. Mullings is also the Senior Pastor of the Community Church of the Nazarene in Far Rockaway.  He has led the church through the development of multiple programs that serve the Far Rockaway community. The church has gone through several expansions and remodeling projects during his term as pastor. The church is currently in the development stage of a forty-five million dollar affordable housing complex and new church facility.

Dr. Mullings has been very active serving New York City through multiple initiatives. He served former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative. He led the Far Rockaway community’s response to the American Airlines crash in November 2007 for NYC. He helped provide counseling for children and adults around the clock after 9/11. He has been active in responding to various crisis situations involving the public schools, race relations and police actions on-behalf of NYC.

Under current Mayor de Blasio’s administration, Dr. Mullings has hosted multiple city events including the Resource and Recovery Job Fair that brought a few thousand people together from across the borough.

Dr. Mullings has had a long-standing strong relationship with the Governor’s office. In 2013, Mullings spoke as part of the State of the State Address in Albany. He opened the 2014 NY State Democratic Convention. Most recently, he served as host for the 2016 Regional State of the State Address.

Challenge Pre Charter School Arverne Applicant Group Members

Lead Applicant/Founder
Rev. Dr. Les Mullings | Email

Board Members/Officers - Proposed
Karon McFarlane, Chair | Bio
Andrew Barnes, III, Vice-Chair | Bio
Ben Waxman, Secretary | Bio
Jeremiah C. Gaffney, Treasurer | Bio

Frederica Jefferies, Member | Bio

Additional Applicant Group Members

Debra Sostre | Bio
Tameeka Richards | Bio
Carolyn Thomas | Bio
Nicole Griffin | Bio

Jason Strumwasser | Bio


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