2015-07-08 / Features

Community Education Council Starts New Term

By Richard Gentilviso

Dr. Philip A. Composto began his 12th year as Community Superintendent and the new Community Education Council started a two-year term in District 30 on July 1.


“We all know that we have the very best superintendent in the city,” said CEC 30 President Jeff Guyton said at the June 18 meeting of Community District Education Council 30 held at the district office in Queens Plaza North, Long Island City. “But this is the time when we have to make an objective statement [for Dr. Composto].”


 Among the final duties of Community District Education Council 30 members whose terms of office expired on June 30 was to submit their annual evaluation of the Superintendent to New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.


Composto, entering his 40th year as an educator, was reappointed Community Superintendent of District 30 in October, 2014 after Chancellor Fariña announced new qualifications for community superintendents (10 years teaching and three years as a principal) and required all superintendents to reapply for their jobs.


Fariña replaced 15 of 42 superintendents (seven resigned, two retired, and the rest found employment elsewhere) including the community superintendents of Queens Districts 26, 27, and 28.


CEC 30 members commented on Dr. Composto as follows:


“I say we are spoiled here,” said council member Deborah Alexander. “This district is not the norm, not typical. We’re spoiled rotten.”


“You know your stuff,” said a second council member, Valerie Lamour.
“He is deeply involved,” said Guyton.


Alexander and Lamour, re-elected to the new council along with Ka-Trina Harris, will join Guyton, re-appointed by Borough President Melinda Katz, and six newly elected members, Nuala O’Doherty, Adriana Lynch, Martha Sanchez, Robert F. Novak, Cesar Eduardo Tejeira and Myrna Sobeyda Palacios and one new borough president appointee, Sabina Hodges.
Dr. Composto bid a fond farewell to outgoing CEC members Maritza Arroyo, Eileen Bendoyro, Lavern Maison, Victoria Medelius and student member Elba Santiago, presenting each with a plaque noting their “valuable and outstanding performance for CDEC 30.”


In January, Fariña announced the discontinuation of 55 school networks (established under Mayor Michael Bloomberg) instead giving greater oversight and responsibility back to the community superintendent.


“Beginning in the fall of 2015, superintendents will support and supervise schools, period,” said Fariña.


School principals retain control over their budgets and hiring.


The Department of Education (DOE) will open seven borough field support centers, two in Queens, with staff for instruction, operations, safety and health, student services, teaching ELLs, and special education, while superintendents will have six staff members, with at least two assigned to a welcome center for parents and families.


“The central element of our new approach is creating clear accountability and giving superintendents the authority and resources they need to improve what happens in our schools and in our classrooms,” said Fariña.

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