By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A Bay Ridge high school principal is graduating to a new job as a right hand man to City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
Phil Weinberg, the principal at the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology at 350 67th St., has been appointed by Fariña to serve as deputy chancellor for teaching and learning. The announcement was made on Jan. 29.
Weinberg, who has more than a dozen years as a principal and nearly 30 years of experience in New York City public schools, will oversee all professional development and curriculum, performance and accountability, Common Core and college-readiness initiatives.
Weinberg said he was thrilled to be joining Fariña’s leadership team.
“I first became a teacher because I believed it was the most authentic way I could contribute to our community. In this new role as deputy chancellor, I have the ability to work with, support and empower those on the ground doing the hard work of educating our students each day,” Weinberg said.
“The most important thing to a student’s success is the quality of a teacher, and all of my focus will be on developing and streamlining ways to enhance instruction,” he said.
The High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology, where Weinberg has served as principal since 2001, has achieved a more than 35 percent increase in graduation rates since 2005, according to the Department of Education (DOE).
The school, in which more than 70 percent of students come from families below the poverty line and are eligible for Title I programs, saw a great deal of innovation under Weinberg’s leadership, according to the DOE. Among his achievements was the creation of small learning communities.
In 2012, Weinberg received the Sloan Award for Public Service.
In one of his first acts as deputy chancellor, Weinberg named Anna Commitante as his executive director of curriculum, instruction and professional development. A 27-year veteran educator, Commitante was previously a deputy cluster leader of curriculum, instruction and professional development.
Fariña also announced that she has appointed Dorita Gibson, who had been serving as deputy chancellor for equity and access, to the post of senior deputy chancellor, a role that puts her as the chancellor’s second in command.
Dr. Gibson, a 30-year veteran of the public school system, has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, regional and supervising superintendent, and a deputy chancellor.
“This is a new era for our schools, and these appointments send a clear message: our focus is on improving each and every classroom across the five boroughs,” Fariña said in a statement.
“Having three educators with such extraordinary expertise about our city’s schools will help us channel all of our energy into quality instruction. Principals, teachers, and staff should know they will have leaders who will not only listen, but take action to support them,” the chancellor said.