Carmen Fariña is chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest and most diverse public school system in the nation. Over the past 40 years, Fariña has worked in virtually every capacity—from teacher to district superintendent to deputy chancellor—and has distinguished herself as an innovative educator committed to improving the lives of students, teachers, and principals. Her people-oriented management style, which emphasizes communication and collaboration, has inspired educators throughout the five boroughs.
As schools chancellor, Fariña is committed to increasing professional development by encouraging teachers and principals to visit one another and share their successes; by boosting social studies, science, and arts instruction; and by making schools more welcoming to parents. She believes that school system change must happen “with” people, rather than “to” them, and that parents, teachers, and school leaders must all be part of the conversation if students are to succeed.
Fariña is a Brooklyn native. A daughter of Spanish immigrants, she was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Brooklyn College as well as three master’s degrees: an M.S. in Education from New York University, an M.S. in Bilingual Education from Brooklyn College, and an M.S. in Administration and Supervision from Pace University. Fariña is coauthor, with Laura Kotch, of A School Leader’s Guide to Excellence: Collaborating Our Way to Better Schools (Heinemann, 2008).