On July 1, Marcia Lyles will vacate her post as the regional superintendent of Region 8 to become the city Department of Education’s (DOE) new deputy chancellor for teaching and learning.
She will replace Andrés Alonso, who was appointed to the position after Carmen Fariña, also a Region 8 veteran, retired. Alonso will become chief executive officer of the Baltimore public school system.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Lyles “an outstanding choice” for deputy chancellor.
An educator with 30 years experience, Lyles started out as an English teacher at Curtis High School on Staten Island, later became an assistant principal at Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush and, eventually, principal at Paul Robeson High School in Crown Heights.
As the head of Region 8, she supervises schools in Districts 13, 14, 15 and 16, which span Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Red Hook, Park Slope, Sunset Park, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“Marcia is an extraordinary leader and educator,” said schools Chancellor Joel Klein. “I have great confidence in her ability to serve our students, teachers and principals in her new capacity.”
“I am excited and honored to take on this new challenge,” Lyles said. “We have seen tremendous progress under the Children First reforms. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on these gains as we seek to provide the education that every student needs and deserves.”
Lyles was in charge when a middle school fiasco rocked District 15 two years ago.
It was then that more than 500 students were left without schools after the DOE attempted to place fifth-graders by looking at their top three middle school choices.
The problem was that most students applied for the same seats in a handful of popular schools – Upper Carroll School, Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, New Voices School for Academic and Creative Arts, Sunset Park Prep, and M.S. 51.
At the time, Klein blamed the DOE for the situation saying, “We screwed up.”
After a second application process placed the remaining students, District 15’s Community Education Council (CEC) and Lyles began an outreach campaign to introduce parents to less coveted and often overlooked area middle schools.
The CEC held events where middle school principals were allowed to promote their schools and Lyles addressed parents.
With parents now considering other middle schools in District 15, the application process has been running fairly smoothly.