By Adam Nichols
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN — New York's next Schools Chancellor has hit out at critics who say her privileged multi-millionaire lifestyle makes her unable to relate to public school parents.
"I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth," she told Channel 7 in her first interview since she was selected to fill the post by Mayor Bloomberg.
The choice has been widely criticized because she lacks education experience. Several groups are considering legal action to challenge her selection.
"I've been working steadily, supporting myself for 40 years," she told the station.
"I've had a successful career. It didn't land in my lap like a gift from God. Do I live well? Yes. But am I an empathetic person? Absolutely yes."
She also played up her management skills as an executive at Hearst publishing, and said that made up for her lack of education experience.
"We're all human beings," she said.
"After all, it is about people. They can be little people - as students, young students - or principals and teachers."
In dealing with them, she said she was a "proven manager" who knows how to make "hard decisions."
One of the first hard decisions she will have to make is what to do with 1,200 teachers who are on full pay, but don't have regular jobs, according to the New York Post.
The teachers have been unassigned to posts after schools were phased out or downsized.