Nearly every week since becoming chancellor in April 2011, Dennis Walcott has sent a message to principals in their weekly bulletin of announcements and reminders.
This week was his last before turning over the Department of Education at the end of the year to whomever Mayor-elect de Blasio chooses as chancellor.
Walcott kept the swan song brief, calling city school leaders “the most outstanding group of principals in the country” and thanking them for their “hard work, commitment, and dedication.” (Mayor Bloomberg called principals “unsung heroes” in an unusually positive speech last month.) Walcott’s entire message is below:
I’m writing today to thank you for your hard work, commitment, and dedication. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the most outstanding group of principals in the country.
In my time as Deputy Mayor and as Chancellor over the past twelve years, I have witnessed your exemplary efforts on behalf of all of our students. Everywhere I turn – in phone calls and emails, during school and neighborhood visits, and even on trips to the supermarket – I have personally seen the many hats you wear and the hours you devote to preparing our students for the future. I understand how all-consuming your jobs are and how deeply you believe in this work. There is no doubt in my mind that, at all hours of each day, you make a significant difference in the lives of your students and in your school communities.
Thank you for your leadership as we persist in providing hundreds of thousands of students with the skills they need to graduate, go to college, and succeed in life. I wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday and a wonderful new year.
Dennis M. Walcott