Samona Joe Tait

Photo of Samona Tait

2019-2020 Gray Fellow


Dr. Samona Joe Tait began her career as a middle school teacher in the School District of Philadelphia after completing her BA and MEd at the University of Pennsylvania. Since returning to her native New York in 1994, she has served young people in several capacities including as director of college counseling services, program director for SURR schools (schools under registration review), principal, local instructional superintendent, and chief of staff to the NYC DOE Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Tait spent seven years in the charter school sector as a head of school and then as chief academic officer for a charter management organization. In 2014, she founded Inwood Early College, a career and technical education early college high school. Dr. Tait focuses her current work on developing models for college and career readiness and institutionalizing college access and success for all students. Her research interests include post-secondary preparation, program evaluation, and the role of quality public education in the generational transformation of underserved communities. She is a proud alumna of PS 49X, Prep for Prep, Horace Mann School, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.