When I became Chancellor this March, I was deeply moved to have the honor of leading the school system that I grew up in as a student, sent my children to as a parent, and served throughout my entire career. We are not only the largest system in the country by far, but also the most extraordinary, thanks to the remarkable diversity and dedication of our students, families, and educators. I see that especially now, families across the City are doing all they can to keep communities safe from Omicron.
From day one, we shared the important goal of fully opening our school buildings in September to all students. That long-awaited homecoming welcomed students back with new support systems to address their social and emotional needs, curricula that reflect their lived experiences, and technology that builds on the lessons we learned during the pandemic.
As we head into the holiday season and I transition out of my role at the end of this year, I want to thank you for doing so much to make our homecoming and the first months of this school year safe and successful for everyone in our schools. This continues to be an extraordinarily challenging time, but your partnership has enabled our students to thrive as they returned to the community of the classroom, where they learn best. I could not be more proud or grateful for what we have accomplished together.
I am heartened that my former colleague and friend, David Banks, will be carrying the torch from me as your new Chancellor, and know that he will further build on the progress we made for our students.
On my final tour of schools last week, a student said to me, “Thank you for helping me out as a young Black girl. You set a great example of success as the first Black woman Chancellor, and that gives me more hope than ever before.” I will always remember the people I met in this role, from that young woman, to our incredible educators and our steadfast support staff members who make New York City public schools possible.
I am proud of what we accomplished together for our students, and I am hopeful that children like that young woman are empowered to follow in our footsteps and find success in chasing their dreams.
Happy Holidays, and much gratitude to you all!