Courtesy of the Bronx borough president's office
<em>Courtesy of the Bronx borough president's office</em>

No one can accuse Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. of being unprepared for the possibility that mayoral control will expire tonight. Diaz just named his potential appointee to the theoretical Board of Education.

That person is Dr. Dolores Fernandez, a professor of urban education at CUNY’s Graduate Center who retired as president of Hostos Community College in 2008.

Fernandez’s appointment will become effective at midnight tonight if the 2002 mayoral control law expires and the Senate does not pass a law to replace it.

Diaz said in a statement today that he is “a supporter of some form of mayoral control.” Asked if Diaz would recommend that his appointee to the board vote to retain Joel Klein as chancellor, John DeSio, a spokesman for the borough president, would not comment yesterday. “He has mixed opinions on the chancellor,” DeSio said.

Fernandez could not immediately be reached for comment. In a release put out by Diaz’s office, she said:

“For me, it is an honor to be thought of by Borough President Diaz to represent The Bronx on the Board of Education. I look forward to serving our borough, and its children, in an admirable and professional way.”

Between 1988 and 1990, Fernandez was deputy chancellor for instruction and development for the Board of Education. She served under chancellor Richard Green, the system’s first black chancellor, who died suddenly a year into his tenure of an asthma attack, leaving the school system in disarray. Fernandez has a Master’s in Education and a professional diploma in Educational Administration.

The full press release follows.

BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT RUBEN DIAZ, JR ANNOUNCES HIS APPOINTMENT FOR THE BOARD OF EDUCATION

Dr. Dolores Fernandez will be the Bronx representative on the newly reconstituted Board of Education, effective following the sunset of mayoral control on July 1.

Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., announced the appointment of Dr. Dolores Fernandez as the Bronx representative on the newly reconstituted Board of Education, effective following the sunset of mayoral control on July 1.

A resident of City Island, Dr. Fernandez had served as the president of Hostos Community College from 1998 until her retirement this year. She currently serves as a professor of urban education at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center in Manhattan.

“Though I am a supporter of some form of mayoral control, and I am disappointed that the current law was allowed to expire, the business of our children is too important to wait for Albany to act. Dr. Fernandez is a highly qualified, well respected educator with a long resume of accomplishments, and she will be a strong voice for the over one million public school children of the City. I am proud to appoint Dr. Fernandez to the Board of Education, and I look forward to working closely with her to craft an ambitious education agenda for the students of The Bronx and all five boroughs,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

“For me, it is an honor to be thought of by Borough President Diaz to represent The Bronx on the Board of Education. I look forward to serving our borough, and its children, in an admirable and professional way,” said Dr. Fernandez.

In addition to her work at Hostos Community College, Dr. Fernandez served as deputy chancellor for instruction and development for the Board of Education under Chancellor Richard R. Green from 1988-1990. Dr. Fernandez also served as director of education and deputy commissioner for program services for the New York State Division for Youth under Governor Mario Cuomo. An educator since 1978, Dr. Fernandez has also served as a teacher in Queens District 29, as well as the Long Island communities of Long Beach and Hempstead, during her career.

Dr. Fernandez graduated cum laude from Nassau Community College, earned a B.S. in Education from The State University of New York (SUNY) at Old Westbury, and received a Master’s in Education, as well as a professional Diploma in Educational Administration, from Long Island University (LIU) – C.W. Post College. She then earned her Professional Diploma in Reading and her Ph.D., in Language and Cognition from Hofstra University.