Members of Community District Education Council 22 (CEC 22) held their monthly meeting at P.S. 222, located at 3301 Quentin Road, on Tuesday evening, February 6th, which was also streamed live via Zoom to over 80 participants.
In honor of Black History Month, the group invited 3 guest speakers to discuss their forays into education and their work in District 22. Principal of P.S. 139, Tamika Harding explained that she is the first person of color to ever hold the position she is in and hopes to have helped to pave the way for others. Erica Kelly, longtime Principal of P.S. 245, explained that the vast majority of her students are black and brown and that throughout her 25 years in education, she has sought to make positive change and ensure her students have every opportunity to succeed. Assistant Principal Sharod Clarke, of P.S. 119, shared a lovely poem he wrote about being first a student and then an educator in District 22 and of the way his Carribean-Latino heritage shaped his life.
The board’s Treasurer also spoke, addressing contention around the group’s decision to hold a special meeting to vote, on a Friday evening, January 19th; when members of the Jewish community who observe the Sabbath, could not participate. He said that being Jewish himself and having known the President for so many years, he was confident she had no ill-will or any intention of excluding anyone from the meeting, and that it was all merely the product of a logistical issue among members of the board. He assured those in attendance that the group would be more careful when scheduling meetings going forward. During the public comment section of the meeting that immediately followed, elected officials and members of the community were given the opportunity to speak on that and other matters as well.
Also discussed at the meeting was the upcoming Town Hall with NYC Schools Chancellor David C. Banks, which is scheduled for Monday, March 4th from 6:30-7 p.m. at PS. 109, located at 1001 E 45th Street. The President explained that those who attend the Town Hall will have the opportunity to submit a question card to the Chancellor and that any questions he does not have time to answer there in-person, will be addressed afterward by his staff.
The next meeting of CEC 22 will be held on Tuesday, March 12th at 6:30 p.m.