Carmen Farina ‘61 Schools Chancellor

By Jose B Rivera

Saint Michael Academy Alunae Carmen Farina, Class of 1961 has been named New York City School Chancellor by Mayor Bill DiBlasio. Here are sniplets of the NY Daily News Article:

Incoming Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña is an old-school New Yorker, a born educator who grew up in Brooklyn before it was trendy and never left the neighborhood. The 70-year-old city schools veteran was lured out of retirement by Mayor de Blasio for the top job, receiving the high-profile appointment on Monday. The assignment caps a four-decade career as a city educator, one that she says was always inspired by her upbringing as the daughter of working-class Spanish immigrants.

Fariña attended elementary school at St. Charles Borromeo in Brooklyn Heights, where a teacher marked her absent for weeks because she couldn’t pronounce Fariña’s last name or identify her in the room. Fariña said the experience of being looked over taught her the importance of building strong connections between schools and families. She then attended an all-girls high school, St. Michael’s in Manhattan, and was the first in her family to earn a college diploma when she graduated from New York University. Schools Chancellor-designate Carmen Fariña was once a fourth-grade teacher at Brooklyn’s Public School 29, where she taught immigrant families who counted on her help as a Spanish speaker – and inspired future novelist Jonathan Lethem.

Now poised to take over the nation’s largest school system, the married grandmother of three aims to bring a progressive approach to running the city’s 1,800 schools. She faces a long list of daunting challenges as she attempts to follow through on de Blasio’s campaign vows to scale back the role of testing, remake the city’s school accountability systems and negotiate a new contract with the teachers union.

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