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NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams names education transition team members. Here’s who made the cut.

Eric Adams led the crowded field of Democratic mayoral hopefuls as of Tuesday night. A sign for the candidate on the street in front of a Brooklyn polling site.
The transition team includes longtime education advocates, charter school leaders, high-ranking officials from the former Bloomberg administration, and many others. Above, A sign for the candidate on the street in front of a Brooklyn polling site.
Alex Zimmerman/Chalkbeat

Mayor-elect Eric Adams on Friday unveiled his transition teams, including about 100 members who will advise the mayor-elect on education issues.

As mayor, Adams, who will be sworn in on Jan. 1, will also lead the nation’s largest school system with roughly 1 million students.

Among the leads on the transition team is David Banks, a former Bronx principal who founded a network of public schools for young men of color and is widely regarded to become the next chancellor. He’s joined by six others, including Bronx teacher Tashnima Choudhury, and Saskia Thompson, who was a deputy chancellor and held a number of other high-ranking roles in the education department under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The team includes other notable figures who worked under Bloomberg, who pursued aggressive education reforms in his time as mayor, closing large, struggling schools, making room for charters to expand, and often clashing with the teachers union.

Former Bloomberg officials now on the transition team include Dan Weisberg, who handled labor issues and until recently led TNTP, which focuses on teaching issues; Sonia Park, who led the department’s charter schools office and currently serves as the executive director of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition; and Josh Thomases, a former deputy chief academic officer and current charter network leader.

Also on the team are some alumni from the outgoing administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, such as Richard Buery, a former deputy mayor, and Chris Caruso, who led the city’s high-profile work opening community schools. Both are now at the nonprofit Robin Hood Foundation.

Other members include Jasmine Gripper of the Alliance for Quality Education, an advocacy group that has long fought for more school funding and has been closely aligned with the teachers union; DeNora Getachew, leader of the youth-advocacy nonprofit DoSomething; and Debbie Meyer, a parent advocate for better instruction for students with dyslexia.

Adams has not fleshed out many of his education plans, so the transition team members may offer some clues about the policy direction his administration might pursue.

Leadership for the next education department will have an overflowing plate, deciding how to allocate millions of dollars in federal relief money, support schools continuing to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus, and setting safety standards against a constantly evolving health threat.

Here’s the list of members who will have Adams’ ear as he takes the reins.

Lead: David Banks

Lead: Saskia Thompson

Lead: Dr. Cristina Melendez

Lead: Hazel Dukes

Lead: Hector Bautista

Lead: Lorraine Cortez Vasquez

Lead: Tashnima Choudhury

Youth Co-Chairs: Darleny Suriel

Youth Co-Chairs: Ismail Hasaballa

Youth Co-Chairs: Jonathan Lam

Youth Co-Chairs: Mia Payne

Member: Angel Vasquez

Member: Anita Gundanna

Member: Ann Tisch

Member: Arva Rice

Member: Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman

Member: Carlos Moreno

Member: Council Member Rodneyse Bichotte

Member: Crystal Mcqueen-Taylor

Member: DeNora Getachew

Member: Doris Cintron

Member: Dr. Demetrius Carolina

Member: Eddie Silverio

Member: Edu Hermelyn

Member: Elizabeth McCarthy

Member: Fred Wilson

Member: Geoffrey Canada

Member: Gladys Ward

Member: Henry Ocasio

Member: Jane Martinez-Dowling

Member:Jasmine Gripper

Member: Jean Desravines

Member: Jeff Aronson

Member: Jennifer Raab

Member: Jerry Russo

Member: John Tritt

Member: Judy Dimon

Member: Kevin Cummings

Member: Khary Lazare-White

Member: Kim Sweet

Member: LaKeesha Walrond

Member: Lourdes Zapata

Member: Maria Figueroa-Dean

Member: Nancy Sunshine

Member: Phoebe Boyer

Member: Rabbi Bob Kaplan

Member: Rabbi David Zwiebel

Member: Ramona Hernandez

Member: Rev. Jacques DeGraff

Member: Richard Buery

Member: Richard Kahan

Member: Shawn Morehead

Member: Shirley Aldebol

Member: Sonia Park

Member: Vaughan Toney

Contributor: Abby Jo Sigal

Contributor: Abenaa Frempong-Boadu

Contributor: Brigid Ahern

Contributor: Carolyne Quintana

Contributor: Casey Lamb

Contributor: Cass Conrad

Contributor: Cassie Schwerner

Contributor: Cesar Zuniga

Contributor: Charissa Fernandez

Contributor: Chris Caruso

Contributor: Christopher Caruso

Contributor: Crisanta Duran

Contributor: Dan Weisberg

Contributor: David Adams

Contributor: Dawn Heyward

Contributor: Debbie Meyer

Contributor: Desmond Blackburn

Contributor: Dia Bryant, Ed.L.D.

Contributor: Dionne Grayman

Contributor: Dr. Anne Williams-Isom

Contributor: Dr. Asheena Baez

Contributor: Dr. Askia Davis

Contributor: Dr. Jawana Johnson

Contributor: Dr. Kara Ahmed

Contributor: Dr. Karren Dunkley

Contributor: Dr. Sabrina Hope King

Contributor: Dr. Sandye Johnson

Contributor: Dr. Sydney McKinney

Contributor: Dr. Tom Liam Lynch

Contributor: Dr. Wenimo Okoya

Contributor: Dr. Yvette Jackson

Contributor: Hope Lesane

Contributor: Irma Zardoya​

​Contributor: Jade Grieve

Contributor: Josh Thomases

Contributor: Karine Apollon

Contributor: Kelvin Chan

Contributor: Kenita Lloyd

Contributor: Lorelei Vargas

Contributor: Luke Rhine

Contributor: Marielys Divanne

Contributor: Marjorie Parker

Contributor: Maury Litwack

Contributor: Michael Rothman

Contributor: Nora Gomperts

Contributor: Paymon Rouhanifard

Contributor: Robert Lubetsky

Contributor: Rochelle Sinclair

Contributor: Ron Russell

Contributor: Sandra Escamilla

Contributor: Saskia Traill

Contributor: Savita Bharadwa

Contributor: Sherry Cleary

Contributor: Tala Manassah

Contributor: Tara Gardner

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