She’s 70 years old and was about to move with her husband from New York to Florida, now that they’re both retired. But when Carmen Farina got the offer to become Chancellor of New York City’s public schools, she stopped packing.
A former education advisor to Bill de Blasio, the city’s new mayor, Carmen has spent four decades in the school system, as a teacher, a principal, a superintendent and deputy chancellor for teaching and learning under long-time Mayor Michael Bloomberg. After two years in the last position, she stepped down to spend more time with her grandchildren.
Permanent retirement and grand parenting apparently weren’t in the cards for Carmen. While her husband still plans to settle down in warmer climes, she’ll have to settle for tackling some pretty heated education issues up north, including standardized testing, autonomy for principals, and school co-location (where two schools share one building). She’ll also be responsible for executing Mayor de Blasio’s promise to create universal pre-K seats for every four-year-old and expanded after-school programs for middle school students.
It’s thrilling to see a woman like Carmen recognized for her intelligence, passion, dedication and breadth of experience with New York’s public school system. She’s walking into a tough job, but she’s got the stuff to make it a success.
That’s why she’s FOF Woman of the Week.