General Bankstreet News

Fern Khan, Educator & Advocate, Retires

Posted by Farhad Asghar on June 27, 2012

Fern Khan

On June 21, the Bank Street College community gathered to mark the close of Fern Khan’s remarkable tenure at Bank Street College.

Over the years, Fern has been a School for Children parent, a parent trustee, a statutory trustee, Dean of the Division of Continuing Education for 22 years, and most recently, Special Advisor to the President for Community Affairs.

Former Bank Street president Gussie Kappner and Fern Khan in earlier yearsFor over two decades under Fern’s extraordinary leadership, Continuing Education extended Bank Street’s mission to a larger and more diverse community through outreach and exemplary programs. Each of these education-focused programs was connected to Bank Street’s mission—be it at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, where prisoners with children learned to parent effectively; or providing supervision and technical assistance to “Arts and the Garden,” a summer program for 25 underserved children in Central Harlem that enables them to continue to learn during the summer.

With the most positive of energies, Fern developed several direct service and professional development programs guiding her staff through the many difficulties associated with operating programs that serve the most vulnerable amongst us. Whether expanding after school services for underserved youth in Liberty LEADS or bringing Bank Street to Newark Public Schools through Project New Beginnings (documented in the book Putting the Children First), Fern led the charge, driven by the belief that education can change lives in profound and powerful ways.

As we approach Bank Street’s centennial, many of the innovative programs Fern developed continue to ensure that children, parents, and teachers from all walks of life have ready access to Bank Street’s incredible knowledge of teaching and learning. The College’s investments in increasing its influence in the education policy sphere and expanding online education to reach those we could not before give credence to Fern’s optimism about Bank Street’s lasting impact in the world.

Bank Street College is proud of Fern’s accomplishments over the decades and wishes her well in what will undoubtedly be a busy and productive retirement. 

About the Author

Fern Khan and Farhad Asghar

Farhad Asghar serves as the Assistant Vice President for College Relations and Associate Dean for the Office of the Dean at Bank Street College. Prior to that he worked closely with Fern Khan as the Associate Dean for the Division of Continuing Education and the Director of Liberty LEADS, a highly successful college access/dropout prevention program.