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Chancellor Shakes Up School Leadership, Replacing 15 Superintendents

By  Julie  Shapiro and Danielle Tcholakian | October 21, 2014 9:58am | Updated on October 21, 2014 3:58pm

 Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña replaced 15 out of 42 school superintendents, officials announced.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña replaced 15 out of 42 school superintendents, officials announced.
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DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

NEW YORK — In a major leadership shakeup at the city's schools, Chancellor Carmen Fariña has replaced 15 of the city's 42 superintendents, officials said Tuesday.

Fariña announced earlier this year that Department of Education superintendents would be required to have additional qualifications, such as ten years of experience in schools, including at least three years as a principal.

Superintendents were also required to show that they had improved the schools under their watch and listened to input from the community.

All 32 community superintendents, who oversee district elementary and middle schools, and all ten high school superintendents had to reapply for their jobs and were evaluated based on the tougher standards.

Two were grandfathered in — Gale Reeves of Harlem's District 5 and Anita Skop of Park Slope's District 15 — even though they did not meet the new qualifications, DOE officials said, but others were replaced.

Seven of the existing superintendents resigned during the new review process, two retired and others found jobs elsewhere in the city, according to the Daily News, which first reported the shakeup.

"I am thrilled to welcome this group of highly qualified leaders — they have the necessary experience, knowledge and understanding of what it takes to support principals, teachers and ultimately students," Fariña said about the new hires in a statement.

"I want leaders at the helm who understand what it takes to ensure a supportive school community, and this is an exciting step forward to make sure our school system creates environments where all students and school staff will thrive."

At District 2's Community Education Council meeting Monday night, superintendent Mariano Guzman bid an emotional farewell to the principals and parents he has been working with for the past three years in the district, which runs from TriBeCa to the Upper East Side. Guzman said he will continue to work with the DOE, helping Fariña reorganize the city's public schools.

"I can’t tell you how shocked I was a few weeks ago when Carmen approached me," Guzman told a crowd of District 2 principals and parents. "She said, ‘I need you to come work with me… I need you to help me reorganize the system. I need you to help me think through what our next phase of work is.'"

Guzman will start his new job at Tweed Courthouse next week, after he helps incoming District 2 superintendent Bonnie Laboy adjust to the position.

The new superintendents are:

District 2 - Bonnie Laboy
District 6 – Manuel Ramirez
District 8 – Karen Ames
District 9 – Leticia Rodriquez Rosario
District 11 – Maria Lopez
District 12 – Rafaela Espinal
District 17 – Clarence Ellis
District 22 – Julia Bove
District 26 – Danielle Giunta
District 27 – Mary Barton
District 28 – Mabel Muniz-Saduy
District 31 – Anthony Lodico
High School – Michael Prayor
High School – Fred Walsh
Transfer High School – LaShawn Robinson