Dr. Liz writes books based on her real-life experiences. Her books show how perseverance, love, and community can combat any circumstance.
Dr. Lisette Caesar, better known as Dr. Liz, is an educator with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Liz is the founding principal of Mosaic Preparatory Academy, a small school in East Harlem, New York
Dr. Liz became an educator to help children realize their fullest potential. For her, being an educator was a life-long dream and a fulfillment of a promise. As a child, she was a "striving" reader. She learned to read because of her mother's resiliency. She would help her read sight words, picture books, and play word games until she caught up to her peers.
The experience of learning how to read sparked her interest in teaching. At the age of eight, she promised herself that one day she would be a teacher and a doctor.
As a teacher and literacy staff developer, Dr. Caesar focused her work on helping children develop their own for reading. She worked tirelessly to build diverse libraries in all the schools she has worked in, knowing the importance of students seeing themselves positively in texts.
Today, Dr. Caesar has continued the work of fostering a love of reading in her students at Mosaic Prep, even during a pandemic. During the 2019-2020 school year, she started her YouTube channel Reading with Dr. Liz. This channel grew out of her desire to stay connected to her students while battling colon cancer.
Upon returning to the principalship on July 1, 2020, she saw a need to develop home libraries for her students, so she went to work applying for grants, book giveaways, writing letters for donations, and creating Amazon wish lists. Since July, every student has received more than 20 books to keep, monthly school supplies including art materials, stem kits, math board games for family game nights, and just recently caterpillars, ladybugs, bugs books, and bug collection kits.
Dr. Caesar has also connected the school with over 30 children's books authors who donated their time to read aloud their books to the students. Many of these authors have come back often to facilitate writing workshops for the kids. While sick from chemo, Caesar was determined to meet Chelsea Clinton and come to her school. That persistence paid off this year, and Chelsea virtually visited, sharing one of her books. Every student was gifted one of Chelsea Clinton's books by a donor.
Caesar has won several literary contests that have brought Peter Reynolds and Jeff Kinney to Mosaic over the years. Both authors gifted the community tons of books.
To help students believe they can be anything and go to college, Dr. Caesar has held virtual college fairs and has set up virtual assemblies with people in fascinating careers like an entomologist and a ventriloquist.
Caesar wrote the proposal to open NYC's first elementary college prep school back in 2007. Since then has held to its mission of exposing children to college life and helping children believe that they can achieve anything.
Not only does Dr. Liz work as a principal, but she also spends her free time helping to build leadership skills in aspiring school leaders as she recognizes the importance of helping prepare future leaders to take over for when she retires. She is also currently working on publishing her first children's book.