Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
“It has been the greatest honor to serve as your chancellor and I look forward to our shared work ahead,” Fariña said in a note to her colleagues.
By Michael V. Cusenza
City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced on Thursday that she will retire – again – this spring after leading the nation’s largest public school system for the past four years.
“It has been the greatest honor to serve as your chancellor and I look forward to our shared work ahead,” Fariña wrote in a thank-you note sent to colleagues.
Fariña, 74, who already was retired when Mayor Bill de Blasio asked her in late 2013 to join his leadership team and become Schools Chancellor, originally intended to step down at the end of the school year in June.
“And so, with great excitement and enthusiasm, I said yes to Mayor de Blasio. I did so because of my faith in the promise of public education to level the playing field, transform lives, and give every child opportunities regardless of their ZIP code. I took the job with a firm belief in excellence for every student, in the dignity and joyfulness of the teaching profession, and in the importance of trusting relationships where collaboration is the driving force,” Fariña wrote. “These are the beliefs that I have built over five decades as a New York City educator, and they have been at the heart of the work we have done together for the past four years.”
Fariña used her 800-word missive to say thank you:
• “to our 1.1 million schoolchildren, who deserve hope in your lives, success in and out of the classroom, and a meaningful future. You are the reason we strive every day to be of use.
• to our superintendents and your teams, who rise to the occasion to support principals and cultivate success.
• to our principals and your teams, who understand that a good night’s sleep only comes when there is a strong teacher in every classroom and that collaboration brings about positive results. Your days are long, your sacrifice immense, and your reward indescribable.
• to our teachers, who know that public education changes lives. You work tirelessly for every student and family, and infuse the excitement of learning in every classroom and school.
• to our families, who are our children’s first teachers. Only by continuing to work together can we help ensure our children reach their full potential. I have total admiration for the sacrifices you make – as newly arrived immigrants, single parents, families juggling multiple jobs, or even adults trying to communicate with students at the most difficult age group, teenagers.
• to our custodians and facilities experts, who make each building welcoming, joyful and safe. Your commitment is deeply valued, and your dedication makes a difference for our students, our staff, and our families.
• to the administrative support teams, who make the impossible seem easy.
• to the school safety agents and school monitors, who know that relationships are at the core of what we do for our children. You set the tone for each student, parent, and guest who visits our schools.”
The national search is on for Fariña’s replacement. City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) on Thursday made it clear who his choice would be.
“I hope @NYCMayorsOffice will consider NYS Regent Dr. Kathleen Cashin for @NYCSchools Chancellor,” he tweeted. “She’s brilliant, diplomatic and ready to lead on day one. Our kids deserve nothing less.”