Strong Schools, Strong Communities
Executive Directors of Field Support Centers
Chancellor Fariña announced the creation of the Office of Field Support and the directors of the seven Borough Field Support Centers and one citywide Affinity group. Each of the Field Support Centers will provide high-quality, differentiated support in instruction, operations, and student services such as safety, health, and wellness, as well as support for English Language Learners and students with special needs.
Cheryl Watson-Harris currently serves as the Senior Executive Director for the Office of Field Support. She rejoined the DOE in 2015 serving as the Director of the Brooklyn South Field Support Center. She returned from her position as a Network Superintendent for Boston Public Schools. She has served in that role since February 2013, helping to develop a new district structure and supervising and evaluating 16 principals. Watson-Harris previously served as a principal in Boston for 15 years, where she implemented a Community Schools model to significantly improve a struggling, high-poverty school and mentored new and aspiring principals. Watson-Harris started her teaching career in 1993 at Brooklyn’s PS 81.
Executive Directors of the eight Field Support CentersAlexandra Anormaliza – Affinity (Districts Citywide)
Alexandra Anormaliza started her career in public education as a high school teacher in 1992. She served as founding principal of The International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn from 2004 to 2010. Most recently, she was the Executive Director for the Office of Instructional Support, where she oversaw the development of yearly citywide instructional expectations and the implementation of aligned citywide professional learning experiences, and the inaugural leader for the Progressive Redesign Opportunity for Schools of Excellence (PROSE) program. Anormaliza is a graduate of New York City public schools and the City University of New York. She was a member of the first cohort of the New York City Leadership Academy.
Yuet Chu – Manhattan (Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Yuet Chu has led Children’s First Network 103 since September 2007. In that position, she has facilitated a cross-functional team supporting 30 schools, mostly in Manhattan. She has focused on collaborating with superintendents and community partners to open, restructure, and reunify schools as determined by community needs; expand CTE, ELL, and early college programs; and develop leadership pathways for teachers and administrators. Chu started her DOE career at Manhattan’s School of the Future in 1996, and spent ten years there as a teacher and Middle School Director.
Jose Ruiz – Bronx (Districts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Jose Ruiz has served as Cluster Leader of Cluster 6 since January 2010, where he has worked to guide school leaders to best serve their students and families. A native of the Dominican Republic, Ruiz began his teaching career at Taft High School in October 1991.He has been a Deputy Regional Superintendent, principal, and assistant principal in the Bronx, and also the CEO and Deputy CEO of the DOE’s Leadership Learning Support Organization.
Bernadette Fitzgerald – Brooklyn (Districts 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 23, 32)
Bernadette Fitzgerald has been the principal at PS 503 since September 2008. She has focused on instituting the six elements of the Framework for Great Schools, and will continue this focus to build capacity in Brooklyn schools as Borough Field Support Center Director. During her tenure as principal, she was nominated as a Cahn Fellow, selected as a Teachers College Reading & Writing Project principal mentor, chosen as a demo school for Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project, designated as a Host school for the Learning Partners Program, selected as a mentor for the NYC Leadership Academy’s Aspiring Principals/A.P. Program, and most recently picked to participate in the Chancellor’s Fellowship.
Mauricière de Govia – Brooklyn (Districts 17, 18, 20, 21, 22)
Mauricière de Govia possesses more than 20 years of experience in the New York City Department of Education. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, de Govia is a graduate of New York City public schools and CUNY Brooklyn College for her undergraduate as well as graduate work. In her most recent role as Superintendent of District 23, she fostered change via empowerment, instructional leadership, and culture and community building in Oceanhill-Brownsville. She has also held roles as principal, executive director of academics and instruction and deputy CEO for the Office of School Support. De Govia has embarked upon a doctoral studies program with Sage College-Esteves School of Education.
Lawrence Pendergast – Queens (Districts 24, 25, 26, 30)
Lawrence Pendergast has been the Network Leader for Children’s First Network 603 since 2011, currently supporting 33 schools. He previously served as Executive Principal at Leadership and Public Service High School, where graduation rates increased over 20% during his tenure, as well as founding principal at Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction, where students experienced project-based learning while receiving guidance from architectural and engineering partners.A former Social Studies teacher and instructional specialist, Pendergast also promoted professional development and collaboration as a peer coach early in his career.
Marlene Wilks – Queens (Districts 27, 28, 29)
Marlene Wilks has served schools in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx as the leader of Children’s First Network 209 since 2007. During her time as Network Leader, she has focused on recruiting, appointing, and developing effective school leaders as well as training teachers to become highly effective in order to improve student achievement. In her 38 years in education, including 26 in service to the New York City public school community, Wilks has served as Local Instructional Superintendent in Districts 28 and 29 in Queens, principal in the South Bronx, assistant principal in District 2 in Manhattan, and as a middle school math teacher in District 32 in Brooklyn.
Kevin Moran – Staten Island (District 31)
A longtime Staten Island resident, Kevin Moran brings nearly two decades of experience in DOE instructional and operational support to his new position.Since March 2014, he has served as the Executive Director of Field Support for the DOE’s Division of Operations, monitoring and addressing safety, health,facilities and other operations issues across the City’s 1,800 public schools. He has also served the City’s students and families as an Executive Director in the Office of School Support, a Deputy Cluster Leader, a Regional Safety Administrator, and in the District 31 Superintendent’s Office. Moran started his educational career as a teacher at Staten Island’s IS 2.