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Hanzila Geneive Jones Johnson

She was born in Kingston.
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Hanzila Geneive Johnson (nee Geneive Jones Johnson) is an instructional consultant, public speaker, and almost 20-year veteran speech-language pathologist. Presently, she is a Staff Developer for the Office of School Performance with the Buffalo Public School District. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, she is the eldest child born to Barrington and Marlene Jones. She has two sisters, Caroline Jones and Marje Jones Edwards, and one brother, Christopher Carvey. Her only child, Kahlil Barrington Jones Johnson is her pride and joy.

Hanzila's family immigrated to the United States in 1978, where she completed high school at August Martin High School in Baisely Park, Queens. Initially intending to pursue Deaf Education as a profession, she earned her B.S. in Communication Disorders from State University of New York College at Buffalo in 1985. She was awarded the Patricia Roberts Harris Graduate Fellowship upon graduation, and earned her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology in 1987. Recruited by the Buffalo Public School District, she chose to make Buffalo her home.

Hanzila has remained pro-active within her profession. She chaired Best Practices Committees in the school district's Speech-Language-Hearing Department, where she routinely provided training on Inclusion, Technology, Collaborative Teaching, and Poetry. She has chaired curriculum action teams and facilitated the School-Based Management Team at the Makowski Early Childhood Center during her 11-year tenure there. A strong teacher-leader, her passion is children, and she has developed a unique rapport with children and their parents. She believes there is no more important variable in successful education than the home-school partnership. Hanzila is also a certified School District Administrator, graduating top of her class from Niagara University, Class of 2004 with her second Masters degree. She is a member and Chapter Historian of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society for educators at Niagara University. Additionally, Hanzila is an Adjunct Lecturer, and member of the Advisory Council for the College of Education at Niagara University.

Early in her teaching career, Hanzila chose to revisit her first love, writing. The opportunity to do so presented itself in the form of a fellowship in the Western New York Writing Project, at Canisius College, in 1991. The WNYWP is an affiliate of the National Writing Project in Berkley, California. It is a university-based teacher-centered program. The Project seeks to advance cutting edge, diverse, and proven methods of teaching writing. She served as director of the Project's Summer Young Writers Camp for three years. A high point in her involvement with the Project came in February of 1999, when she presented a lecture demonstration, "Quilt Stories" at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site's Black History Program, then the first such program at that site.

Her Catholic faith is most important to Hanzila. She believes strongly in taking a proactive role in the institutional Church. In July 2002, Hanzila graduated with a Certificate in Ministerial Faith Leadership from the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans. This qualifies her as a lay ecclesial minister for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. As an active member of St. Martin de Porres Roman Catholic Church, she is a group facilitator during Scripture Study, leads a weekly prayer service, and is the Coordinator of Liturgical Ministries. She is a member of the Implementation Team for the Office of Black Ministry in the Diocese of Buffalo, and is a delegate to the National Black Catholic Congress. Hanzila is currently the President of the Board of Consulters for Catholic Central School of East Buffalo, completing the last in her three-year term. She also sits on the core committee for the Catholic Education Strategic Planning Process and the Center for Excellence in Catholic Education.

A terminally determined woman, Hanzila credits her mother as her primary role model. She views her mother as a deeply principled woman, and a tremendous example of grace under fire, and survival. Hanzila strives daily to lead a life that brings honor to her mother's love, support and sacrifices.