Director of Student Services, Staten Island | New York City Department of Education
Staten Island Hub | USA
Dear Members of the Compassionate Systems Awareness Community,
Let me take a minute to introduce myself. I’m the Director of Student Services of New York City District 31, Staten Island. I entered the Department of Education at the beginning of the movement of accountability, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards and No Child Left Behind. I hold a New York State permanent certification in School, and District Administration/Supervisor, and Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) certification, with 20 years of experience in New York City schools. I served in the role of math teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal and principal. I have had the pleasure of serving as “turn-around” principal for two renewal schools. Both schools were under state review for closure. With the collective work of the entire community, and a commitment to combining the pursuit of education with character building and preparing students to function in the global market, we were able to improve the status to “school in good standing”.
As the Director of Student Services, my primary task is to improve the school culture, safety, mental health, school climate and attendance. I support approximately 73 schools ranging from Pre-K to 12. My division is directly responsible for the safety, well-being and social emotional learning of approximately 80,000 students and staff.
Our current reality requires the practices of compassion and mindfulness more than ever. This crisis has elevated our anxiety, emotional response to stress, our worries for our loved ones, and our way of life and the future. All community will need a safe, compassionate space to address the stress and trauma being experienced at this time. My goal is to create a compassionate district that provide the opportunity for healing, self-care and unification. I truly believe that this initiative will be instrumental for staff, students and community during this time of uncertainty. It will also be very impactful upon returning to in-person instruction.
The purpose of developing a District Compassionate Systems Initiative is to provide opportunities for teachers to support the social emotional needs of their students, school community and develop stronger interconnection to one another. With the creation of this networked learning community, and space to develop an embodied mindfulness compassionate practice, school staff will be able to respond to their students and community in a way that is both meaningful and skillful toward developing self-regulation skills. Additionally, these practices will establish and nurture a safe space to learn and grow, increasing student achievement and resilience, while simultaneously addressing the extraordinary social and economic imbalances in our current education system.
With over a decade of experience in the New York City Department of Education as an administrator, I maintain my commitment to superior education, student-family advocacy, diversity, and bringing new opportunities and support to all stakeholders. I look forward to meeting with all members of the team to discuss the various supports, opportunities and possibilities.