De Blasio appoints Fariña to be schools chancellor

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his first major mayoral appointment today, selecting Carmen Fariña as chancellor for New York City’s schools.

De Blasio’s mayoral appointee will fill the role left vacant in March when outgoing Chancellor Joel Klein announced his retirement after 23 years at the helm of the nation’s largest school system.

Fariña is an accomplished educator, including serving as deputy mayor of education under former mayor David Dinkins.

De Blasio said today he wanted to appoint someone with “a strong record of identifying and implementing common sense and proven solutions to difficult problems.”

“I am grateful to Carmen for agreeing to accept this challenge,” de Blasio said in a news release. “She has devoted her entire career to educating our children and has a deep knowledge of the New York City public schools. She has my unwavering confidence, and I am certain that she will do an outstanding job of keeping our children’s learning at the forefront of our efforts.”

Fariña told a New York City news conference that she was “tremendously excited” to serve the city.

“What a wonderful opportunity to be able to be working in a system which takes the educational needs of our children very seriously,” she said.

Fariña is a Westchester native and earned a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College in 1963.

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