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From the Presidential Search Committee

January 21, 2014

Dear Members of the Bank Street Community:

We are pleased to announce that we have successfully concluded the search for a new president. The Board of Trustees has accepted the recommendation of the Search Committee and voted to appoint Shael Polakow-Suransky to be the next president of the College. Shael will take office on July 1, 2014.

The Search Committee was unanimous in its recommendation. We found in Shael an exceptional combination of a deep commitment to progressive education values and practices, experience as an innovative classroom teacher and school leader, and effectiveness in developing and promoting educational policies that shape public education in New York and beyond. As Shael wrote in his application letter, “I have spent nineteen years working as an educator at every level of the New York City public school system, and have sought to bring a perspective rooted in progressive education into a policy environment often… unfamiliar with these ideas. In the process, I have learned a tremendous amount about what it takes to lead large scale change, build strong relationships across the policy spectrum, and create meaningful spaces for practitioners to do innovative work to transform their schools.” We believe Shael will find ways to infuse our ideals, expertise and experience into the local, regional, national and international efforts to improve public education for all children. He will also enhance the important work of teachers and principals who bear the responsibilities for creating vital communities of learning.

We want to thank the members of the Search Committee for exceptional service. Over the past ten months, hundreds of resumes have been reviewed, multiple interviews have been conducted, and numerous references have been checked. The names of the members are listed at the end of this message. We hope you will take a moment to acknowledge these individuals for their commitment and many hours of hard work as volunteers. Special thanks are due Akilah Rosado-McQueen for her tireless efforts as committee staff.

As a Bank Street alumnus, Shael is knowledgeable, of course, about our mission and values. We hope to help him quickly become part of our community by learning about Bank Street today and the aspirations we have for the future. We want to introduce Shael to the many individuals and groups that make up our wonderfully-varied Bank Street community. We will welcome him to campus as President-elect on Tuesday afternoon, January 28th, and will host an informal reception in the Bank Street cafeteria so members of the community can come by to meet him. Shael wants to have his own “listening tour,” and we will be working with him on a schedule of visits to campus in early March.

Thank you.

Yolanda Ferrell-Brown, Chair
Presidential Search Committee
Anthony Asnes, Chair
Board of Trustees

Prior Updates

Update: January 6, 2014

I hope that the holiday season has been joyous and restorative for everyone. As promised, I am writing to provide another short update regarding the status of the Presidential Search process. Read more.


Update: November 13, 2013

The Presidential Search Committee continues its work. Read more.


Update: September 19, 2013

The "listening tour" and recently sent out survey areboth designed to provide multiple opportunities for engagement and additional information gathering for the Search Committee as the committee continues its work.  Read more.


Update: September 18, 2013

The Chair of the Search Committee and Chair-Elect, Yolanda Ferrell Brown, explains how to participate in the search process. Read more.


Update: August 27, 2013

Presidential Search Announcement

As the Bank Street College of Education approaches its centennial, it seeks a visionary educational leader to preserve and expand its legacy of teaching and learning for children and adults into the next century. Read more.


Update: July 15, 2013

Dear Bank Street Community,

We are pleased to present the following membership roster for the 2013 Presidential Search Committee and want to thank each member in advance for agreeing to participate in this important effort.

Trustees: Yolanda Ferrell-Brown, Chair Elect, Tony Asnes (SFC Alum), Chair of the Board of Trustees, Jonathan Cole, Sarah Gund (GSE Alum), Sue Kaplan, Joel Moser, Elizabeth Pforzheimer, Sandra Pinnavaia, Anne Shutkin (SFC Alum), and Lynn Straus (GSE Alum). Read more.


Update: June 14, 2013

Dear Bank Street Community,

As you are aware, Bank Street’s President, Elizabeth Dickey, has announced her decision to retire at the end of the summer of 2014 after six years of service to the institution. We are writing to update you on the upcoming Presidential Search process.

We will be engaging the search firm of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, LLC to assist us in the process. Shelly Weiss-Storbeck of Storbeck/Pimentel worked with Bank Street on the last two presidential searches and has an almost 20-year relationship with the institution. She knows our culture and values well and we are confident we will be well-served by her and her firm yet again. Read more.