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September 13, 2022
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JP O'Hare

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Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission Members Announced

Vice Chancellor Finn and Regent Chin to Serve as Co-Chairs of the Commission

64 Commission Members Encompass Diversity in Backgrounds, Ethnicity, Geographic Regions, and Areas of Expertise

The Graduation Measures Blue Ribbon Commission will be co-chaired by Vice Chancellor Josephine V. Finn and Regent Judith Chin, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. Under the direction of the co-chairs, the 64 members of the Blue Ribbon Commission will undertake a thoughtful and inclusive process to explore what a state diploma should signify to ensure educational excellence and equity for every student in New York State. Commission members represent a diverse cross-section of stakeholders, including educators, administrators, researchers, school counselors, professionals from business and higher education, parents, and students.

Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “Our review of the state’s graduation measures is about ensuring all students are provided with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the way that best suits them. To create equity, we must be able to take all young people from where they are and bring them to where they want to be so their dreams can be fulfilled. This work is not about lowering standards, it’s about making sure the standards work for all our state’s students. I look forward to reviewing the Commission’s recommendations on this valuable endeavor.”

Commissioner Rosa said, “Forming the Blue Ribbon Commission is a significant milestone in our efforts to review the state’s current graduation measures. We used a deliberate and thoughtful process to convene a diverse group of experts to help ensure educational excellence and equity for every student in New York State. I thank all the nominees for their interest in this exciting initiative, and I look forward to learning from the esteemed members of the Commission.”

In addition to serving as Co-Chairs of the Commission, Vice Chancellor Finn and Regent Chin will lead the Steering Committee and oversee each of the subcommittees. Commission members will serve on either the Program Requirements and Learning Experiences Subcommittee or the Measurements and Assessment Subcommittee. ​Regent Frances G. Wills and Regent Aramina V. Ferrer will also sit on the Commission. In addition, the Department will form a parent advisory committee and a student advisory committee to weigh in on proposals throughout the process. ​

Board of Regents members and stakeholder groups submitted nominees for consideration for the Commission. In addition, members of the education community and the general public could submit applications. In total, the Department received over 400 completed applications and used a rigorous process to review applications. ​

In selecting members for the Commission, careful consideration was taken to ensure the Commission will include members who reflect the diversity of our state with varying experiences, perspectives, and expertise.

The Blue Ribbon Commission will develop recommendations to the Board of Regents on what measures of learning and achievement could better serve New York’s diverse student population as indicators of what they know and of their readiness for college, career, and civic life. The Commission will begin meeting this fall and will meet regularly through spring 2024.

Recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission will be developed through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Commission’s final report is expected to be presented to the Board of Regents for consideration in the late spring or summer of 2024.

In addition to Vice Chancellor Finn, Regent Chin, Regent Wills, and Regent Ferrer, the list of members is below. In addition, the Department will select at least three additional students to serve on the Commission in the coming weeks.

  • Jaan Aarismaa, Welding Instructor, Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES
  • Francine Almash, Adjunct Professor, City College Center for Worker Education
  • Richard Altabe, Principal and Executive VP, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach
  • Elizabeth Angeles, VP for Advocacy, United Way of NYC
  • Stephen Beovich, Superintendent, Mount Pleasant-Cottage School District
  • Donna Bonanno, Principal, Public School 60, NYCDOE
  • David Brown, Superintendent, DeRuyter Central Schools
  • Samantha Bruno, Recent Student, Eastern Suffolk BOCES
  • Dia Bryant, Executive Director, Education Trust - New York
  • Kerri Bullock, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Support Services at Broome-Tioga BOCES
  • Joyce Carr, Supervisor of Special Education and Support Services, Elmira City School District
  • Amanda Centor, Special Education Teacher, NYCDOE PS 182
  • Pagee Cheung, Co-Executive Director, Math, Engineering, and Science Academy
  • Alexandria Connally, DEI Director, Nyack School District
  • Tim Cox, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Services, Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES
  • Gladys Cruz, District Superintendent, Questar III BOCES
  • Juliet Eisenstein, Staff Attorney, Advocates for Children
  • Kristie Farr, Theater Educator, Indian River CSD
  • Kim Fontana, Superintendent, Pawling Central School District
  • Sheree Gibson, Former Chair of the Chancellor's Parent Advisory Council and Member of the Title 1 Committee of Practitioners
  • Jordan Gonzalez, Lead Resource Specialist, Long Island RBERN
  • Tricia Gonzalez-Johnson, Social Studies TOA, Rochester City School District
  • Stanley Harper, Superintendent, Salmon River CSD
  • Tolga Hayali, Superintendent, Science Academies of NY Charter Schools
  • Catherine Huber, District Superintendent, Otsego Northern Catskills BOCES
  • David Hursh, Professor, Warner Grad School of Education, University of Rochester
  • Jo James, Special Education Teacher, WSWHE BOCES
  • Brian Jones, Director of Center for Educators and Schools, New York Public Library
  • Cynthia Jones, Principal on Special Assignment, Niagara Falls City School District
  • Lorna Lewis, Superintendent, Malverne UFSD
  • Daniel Lindsay, Math Teacher, NYCDOE
  • Susan Lipman, Board Trustee, Eastern Suffolk BOCES
  • Timothy Lisante, Executive Superintendent/Chancellor's Cabinet Member, NYCDOE
  • Donna Lobato, Principal, New Dawn Charter School
  • Tamara Mariotti, Coordinator of Accessibility Resources, Mohawk Valley Community College
  • Stephen Marositz, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Archdiocese of New York
  • Jeffrey Matteson, District Superintendent, Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES
  • Winonah McCoy, Instructional Coach, LaFayette CSD, and Principal, OCM-BOCES Regional Summer School
  • Alprentice McCutchen, Social Studies Teacher, New Rochelle High School
  • Melissa Melkonian, Executive Director, American Dream Charter School II
  • Frankie Miranda, President, Hispanic Federation
  • Fatima Morrell, Associate Superintendent, Office of Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Initiatives, Buffalo Public Schools
  • David Mumper, Resource Specialist, Southern Westchester BOCES/Hudson Valley RBERN
  • Edward Placke, Executive Director, Green Chimneys
  • Michael Prayor, Superintendent, NYCDOE Brooklyn South
  • Edwin Quezada, Superintendent, Yonkers Public Schools
  • Carolyne Quintana, Deputy Chancellor of Teaching and Learning Opportunities,  New York City Department of Education
  • Amber Rangel-Mooney, VP of Workforce Development, Empire State Development
  • Roberto Rijos, NYS PTA; VP and CIO, Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc.
  • Linda Romano, CTE/Health Teacher, Newburgh Enlarged City School District
  • Christopher Rosa, President and CEO, The Viscardi Center and Henry Viscardi School
  • Sagario Rudecindo-O'Neill, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Student Support, Beacon City School District
  • Stephen Sireci, Professor, College of Education - Center for Educational Assessment - UMASS Amherst
  • Robert Snyder, President, NYS Loving Education at Home
  • Andrea Soonachan, Dean of K-16 Initiatives, CUNY
  • Marion Terenzio, President, SUNY Cobleskill
  • Terjuana Teruel, Principal, Universal School
  • Andre Torres, Head of Guidance/College & Career Counselor, Manhattan Bridges High School
  • Luis Torres, PS 55 Principal, NYCDOE
  • Sarah Truelsch, Researcher, CUNY
  • Jachan Watkis, K-12 Director of MST, Rocky Point UFSD
  • Christopher White, Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development, NYS Department of Labor
  • Kelly Whitney-Rivera, Director of Counseling, Valley Stream Central High School
  • Bobson Wong, Math Teacher, Bayside HS

Additional information about the Graduation Measures initiative can be found on the Department’s Graduation Measures website