Black’s second introduction of the day is to education staffers

Schools chancellor-to-be Cathleen Black introduced herself twice today.

One introduction was in person, made to parents, teachers and the press at a Bronx elementary school. The other came in the form of an e-mail sent to Department of Education staffers this afternoon.

“You might have heard or read a little about me in the past few weeks,” Black writes in the message. “But I would like the opportunity to tell you in my own words who I am and why I am excited about this job.”

She continues:

For four decades I devoted my professional life to blazing trails in the magazine and publishing industry. I got where I am today by working hard, making bold decisions, and listening closely to the strong teams I’ve had around me. I intend to proceed in the same way during my upcoming tenure at the DOE.

Black also gives a hint about the working relationship she could develop with new Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky and Chief Operating Officer Sharon Greenberger.

Steiner made Suransky’s appointment a condition of the waiver Black needed to become chancellor, prompting speculation that lines of command in the DOE might become confused. Mayor Michael Bloomberg brushed aside that criticism yesterday, saying “there will be one person in charge.”

In her e-mail, Black writes that Suransky will counsel her “on all matters relating to teaching and learning.” Greenberger will serve as her “key advisor on critical policy, governance, strategy, and communications issues.”

And Black suggests that while her main goal is to continue the agenda started under the mayor by outgoing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, some changes may also be on the way.

“I am especially excited about getting involved in the innovative work happening throughout the Department and beginning to identify areas for improvement and new opportunities,” she writes.

Read Black’s full e-mail below:

—–Original Message—–
From: Black Cathie
Sent: Tue 11/30/2010 5:46 PM
Subject: Hello from Cathie Black

Dear Colleagues,

I am reaching out to you to introduce myself and thank you for welcoming me to the Department of Education. Now that the State has officially approved the waiver, I am eager to become fully immersed in the exciting work ahead.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of a whirlwind for all of us, but like you, I am fully committed to our mission to provide every child in New York City with a high-quality education. That’s why I took this job — to build on the unprecedented progress that our public schools have made under the watch of Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein, and all of you.

You might have heard or read a little about me in the past few weeks, but I would like the opportunity to tell you in my own words who I am and why I am excited about this job.

For four decades I devoted my professional life to blazing trails in the magazine and publishing industry. I got where I am today by working hard, making bold decisions, and listening closely to the strong teams I’ve had around me. I intend to proceed in the same way during my upcoming tenure at the DOE. I know that this is my most important mission yet, which is why I will need all of you with me over the next three years as we continue to transform the system to put children first.

As you know, I will appoint Shael Polakow-Suransky as Senior Deputy Chancellor and Chief Academic Achievement Officer. In this new role, Shael will be responsible for the administration and supervision of all instructional initiatives and will serve as my counselor on all matters related to teaching and learning. Shael has more than fifteen years of experience in New York City’s public schools in nearly every capacity. I am thrilled that he has agreed to take on this critical position. I also look forward to working closely with Sharon Greenberger as my Chief Operating Officer. Sharon will continue to be responsible for managing operations and will also serve as my key advisor on critical policy, governance, strategy, and communications issues.

Over the next few weeks, I will be working with Joel, the Deputy Chancellors, and all of you to make sure this is a seamless transition. I am especially excited about getting involved in the innovative work happening throughout the Department and beginning to identify areas for improvement and new opportunities. I know that I have a lot to learn about the inner workings of the system, but I am also confident that my fresh perspective, combined with your deep experience, will help us rise to the challenge of preparing all NYC public school students for college and careers.

Thank you for your support. I look forward to getting to know you.

Sincerely,
Cathie Black

Source: Maura Walz