CRANFORD - The Cranford Board of Education has named Zakiya Atkinson the new Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts. Atkinson replaces Anthony Rafaniello, who resigned on July 1.

Accordint to the release, Ms. Atkinson was selected after an extensive search process which included multiple interviews with the selection committee, reviews of work samples, and a very thorough reference check.

Atkinson began her career in K-12 education as a dance teacher and dance program director in the Performing Arts Academy at Memorial High School in West New York, NJ. During those ten years, she served as a district Performing Arts Facilitator, developed curricula, participated in county and state arts initiatives, directed performances, facilitated social justice education, and collaborated with district leaders and staff on performing arts and STEAM programming.     

She earned her MA in Dance Education from New York University, BA in Communications & Theatre from Temple University, and a Certificate in Holocaust & Genocide Education from Saint Elizabeth University. She is the founder of Zaman Dance Theatre Collective and the Essex County Metro West Dance Festival. Atkinson has served on the faculties at William Paterson University, New York University, and Bronx Community College. She has also been the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Education Association, Bates Dance Festival, the Body Politic Laboratory at Gibney (NYC), and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is also a doctoral student and an Arnhold Fellowship recipient in the Dance Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University.