In July, NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks announced the new and returning superintendents for the 45 NYC public school districts. The new acting superintendent for NYC Department of Education (DOE) District 14 is David Cintron.
“A core value in my work has always been that together we can achieve more than we can as individuals, and to that end the district team will explicitly work to strengthen systems across schools that foster collaborative inquiry with a focus on disrupting inequities.”Acting District 14 Superintendent David Cintron
Superintendent Cintron began a listening and learning tour throughout his district in mid-July. He found a continual theme that emerged was the need to bring the community together around common goals and priorities. “This has been communicated across all constituent groups including our families. A core value in my work has always been that together we can achieve more than we can as individuals, and to that end the district team will explicitly work to strengthen systems across schools that foster collaborative inquiry with a focus on disrupting inequities. We can do this by leveraging strength that already exists across our community to ensure that we are continually sharing what works and learning together,” said Cintron.
What distinctive qualities did Cintron pick up on in District 14? “I often tell people that District 14 feels like a small town in that everyone knows one another and there is a rich tradition of diversity and commitment at the grassroots level. We have heard countless multigenerational stories of staff and community members who have been a part of District 14 their whole lives. People live here, work here, raise their families here, and deeply care for their neighbors. I am in awe of the deep roots and commitment to the community that is on full display in District 14,” he answered.
His comprehension of the importance of and the power of collaboration is what he sees as one strength he will bring to his superintendent’s role. “Leadership is challenging, but doable, and requires a team of people who are committed to the greater good and a common vision. It is through a collaborative approach to leading that I have found that a team can be forged over time when stakeholders are afforded the opportunity to help shape the direction of the district and play a role in achieving those goals,” said Cintron.
Cintron began his career in education as an English teacher; then in 2008 he became principal of P.S. 214 in the Bronx, which taught levels PreK–8th grade. He revealed his father inspired him from an early age to pursue a career in education. “He instilled in us from as far back as I can remember that education is the single most important factor in achieving success and happiness in life, and as we grew up, that messaging morphed into the single most important factor in affecting the greater good in society. As a result, I recognized that through teaching I could operationalize these values in a meaningful way that enable me to pay my blessings in life forward,” said Cintron.
“From very early in my career I realized that leadership matters in education and that there is a direct correlation between leadership and student achievement, and as principal I bore witness to this every day.”Acting District 14 Superintendent David Cintron
I asked, “What would you like to bring to education as superintendent that couldn’t be done from the principal level.”
“From very early in my career I realized that leadership matters in education and that there is a direct correlation between leadership and student achievement, and as principal I bore witness to this every day. However, I also recognized that there are various layers to the complex work of education that extended beyond the walls of my school, and I became interested in pursuing leadership in order to affect change, and positively impact the lives of more students and families. The superintendent has the unique perspective and opportunity to broadly engage and collaborate with the various business, faith-based, nonprofit, community-based, governmental agencies, and general community to ensure that schools function as the connective tissue for families in NYC, and thereby serve that purpose-driven greater good mentioned earlier. It is an awesome responsibility that I do not take for granted,” said Cintron.
He says he will bring a different perspective that will serve the children and families of North Brooklyn well. “Although my work up to this point was centered primarily in the Bronx, I’ve also had the opportunity to serve students throughout the City. I can already see that we have more in common throughout our great city than differences, and that in our diversity there is great strength and beauty. It is my honor to serve the families of District 14.”