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Education Is Common Thread Among Some of Community Board 12's New Members

By Nigel Chiwaya | April 17, 2013 4:02pm
 Ayisha Ogilvie has lived in Washington Heights for 33 years. 
Ayisha Ogilvie has lived in Washington Heights for 33 years. 
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DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

NORTHERN MANHATTAN — Manhattan Community Board 12 is about to get schooled.

The board, which represents Washington Heights and Inwood, is welcoming twelve new members to its ranks — many of whom are involved in the city's education system.

The new members, appointed by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and city councilmen Robert Jackson and Ydanis Rodriguez, include community activist Ayisha Oglivie, assistant school director Lorena Jimenez-Castro and assistant principal Luis Tejada.

Oglivie, 38, found her way to the community board after speaking at a December 6 forum about uptown schools organized by Rodriguez. There, the longtime Washington Heights resident told the crowd about her experience challenging the Department of Education over the education of her son, Jamil.

 Lorena Jimenez-Castro is a lifelong resident of Washington Heights and Inwood.
Lorena Jimenez-Castro is a lifelong resident of Washington Heights and Inwood.
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Lorena Jimenez-Castro

When he was a first grader at P.S. 173, Jamil was labeled as disruptive by teachers. After he was discovered with an auditory processing disorder, Oglivie had her son transferred out of the school. Jamil, now a 16-year-old student at Legacy High School on Roosevelt Island, is an A student.

"Not every parent knows how to represent themselves," Oglivie said. "I'm a parent, I know how it is."

Jimenez-Castro, 33, is a lifelong uptown resident who was born in Inwood and lives in Washington Heights. The mother of two is assistant director at the Salomé Ureña de Henríquez Campus campus school on 196th Street and Broadway, including the school's teen and parent engagement and after-school programs. She previously worked at the Children's Aid Society School for 10 years.

Joining the community board has always been an interest for her, but Jimenez-Castro, who received Master's in Public Administration from Baruch College, was held back from applying in the past as she worked for the Children's Aid Society's policy division.

Now, free of what she felt was a conflict of interest, Jimenez-Castro is looking forward to working on the Youth and Education Committees and addressing issues of disparities in education among schools in struggling neighborhoods.

"My life's work has been around service young people and their families," said Jimenez-Castro. "What better way to continue that work than joining the board?"

Another new CB12 member with an education background is Luis Tejada, the assistant principal of Inwood Intermediate School 52. Tejada is a graduate of Mercy College and a member of Phi Beta Sigma.

Karen Arthur is an adjunct professor at New York Institute of Technology and a former deputy director of public affairs for Mount Sinai Hospital.

Here are a list of other new members of Community Board 12.

► Shahabuddeen Allay is an attorney with a law degree from Hofstra University. Ally is a member of the New York County Bar Association and a member of the New York City Family Court.

► Maceo Raysor is the vice president of the Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association and has worked in the past to organize youth programs.

► Jason Miller is the director of Edison Properties, a real estate company that owns property in Inwood. He is also a member of the Washington Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.

► Rud Morales is a volunteer at Home for the Homeless.

► Lorenzo McGougan is the president of the Sugar Hill Neighborhood Association and a volunteer with the 159th Community League.

► Ulises Noboa is a computer engineer that has lived in Washington Heights for 25 years and is passionate about health and healthy eating.

Liliana Saneux is a professional translator and a member of the New York City Police Museum.

Juan Mejia is the Vice President of Operations at New York Presbyterian Hospital, a member of the Children's Hospital Association and a board member of the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives