Kristina Jelinek

Photo of Kristina Jelinek

2021-2022 Gray Fellow


Kristina Jelinek currently serves as a middle school principal in Manhattan, NY. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology with a minor in Spanish and concentrations in Human Services and Public Policy from Albion College in Albion, Michigan. After undergrad, Kristina studied Migration and Ethnic Studies at the Universitat van Amsterdam as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. As a member of the NYC Teaching Fellows, she earned her MS in Urban Education with a Bilingual Extension from Mercy College. She completed her MEd in Educational Leadership through the Summer Principals Academy at Teachers College, Columbia University. Kristina began her career as a Bilingual Special Education Teacher at a NYCDOE middle school in the Bronx. She then became the Director of Student Services and Interim Executive Director of a small charter school in the Bronx. Kristina worked in a variety of roles for the DOE’s Central office, including Director of the Common Core Lab and Director of School Programs and Policy. Eager to return to a school setting, she became an assistant principal at a new K-8 school in Queens prior to becoming principal of her current school. Kristina believes that education = opportunity and that schools have a great responsibility to foster student voice, engage families as partners and provide a culture of continuous learning for staff.