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New York City’s schools chancellor just sent her first tweet, but people have been tweeting at her for years

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña observes a fourth-grade class at the Brooklyn Arbor Elementary School.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña observes a fourth-grade class at the Brooklyn Arbor Elementary School.
Alex Zimmerman

Back to school means means new sneakers, new friends and — if you’re the chancellor of New York City schools — a new Twitter account.

Carmen Fariña, who often refers to herself as an “abuela,” took to social media on Wednesday to send her first tweet, which was shared and liked dozens of times within hours of posting.

Though Fariña has had some time to start tweeting — she was tapped to become chancellor in 2013 — Department of Education spokeswoman Devora Kaye said now seemed like a particularly good moment to get on the social media bandwagon.

“As the chancellor’s said many times, September is her favorite month and a great opportunity to reinvent and try new things!” Kaye wrote in an email to Chalkbeat.

The chancellor’s account, @CarmenFarinaDOE (no accent on the “n”) was actually created in 2011, though Fariña doesn’t appear to have used it before. That hasn’t stopped people from tweeting their praises, frustrations and questions at her over the years.

Kaye said Fariña won’t be writing and sending her own tweets — that’ll be up to DOE staff — but the chancellor will send suggestions for pictures and messages to be shared.

Fariña isn’t the only high-ranking DOE official to get on Twitter lately. Phil Weinberg, deputy chancellor of teaching and learning, joined in August, and also sent his first message on Wednesday.

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