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News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott Announces the Departure of Senior Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg


Saskia Levy Thompson, Special Advisor to the Chancellor For Educational Research and Policy Will Assume the Role of Deputy Chancellor For Portfolio Planning

Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced the departure of Marc Sternberg, Senior Deputy Chancellor for Strategy and Policy of the Department of Education, who is leaving to become Director of Systemic K-12 Education Reform at the Walton Family Foundation. Sternberg joined the Department of Education in 2010 and has served as Senior Deputy Chancellor since April 2013.

Chancellor Walcott also announced that Saskia Levy Thompson will become Deputy Chancellor of Portfolio Planning. Levy Thompson is currently Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Educational Research and Policy.

“Marc Sternberg has been a spirited and devoted champion for school choice and has helped ensure that our 1.1 million students are receiving the best education possible,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “When we founded the Division of Portfolio Planning in 2010, we asked Marc to lead this critical new effort because he is a resourceful leader who brings a vital school perspective to the work. Our loss is the Walton Family Foundation’s gain and I am excited that Marc will continue his work around providing high quality school options for families across the country.”

Prior to his service as Deputy Chancellor, Sternberg served first as a teacher at Community School 66 in the South Bronx, and later as founding principal of the Bronx Lab School, a new small school that opened in 2004 on the Evander Childs campus.  In 2009 Sternberg was selected as a White House Fellow in the office of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

“Ten years ago I started a new small high school in the Bronx because I deeply believed in Mayor Bloomberg’s vision that every student deserved access to an excellent school,” Sternberg said.  “Today, I am extraordinarily proud of the work we have accomplished and the unprecedented gains New York City public school students have made under this administration.  Graduation rates have increased by nearly 40 percent, the dropout rate has been cut in half and we have provided 654 new school options for families across the city. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott for the privilege of serving the 1.1 million public school students in this city.”

Saskia Levy Thompson has been the Chancellor’s Special Advisor for Educational Research and Policy at the New York City Department of Education since 2012.  Ms. Levy Thompson currently manages a portfolio of high leverage research work around elementary school quality.  Prior to her current position, Ms. Levy Thompson served on Chancellor Walcott’s Cabinet as Chief Executive Officer of the Office of School Support and oversaw the roughly 60 Children First Network teams that deliver a broad range of instructional and operational support to the more than 1,800 New York City public schools. Ms. Levy Thompson joined the Department of Education in 2010 as Deputy Chief Schools Officer in the Division of School Support and Instruction.

Prior to joining the Department of Education, Ms. Levy Thompson served as the founding Executive Director of Urban Assembly, an educational non-profit organization dedicated to creating and supporting small, public, college-preparatory high schools in underserved areas of New York City. Ms. Levy Thompson also served as a Senior Associate at MDRC, a non-partisan social research organization. She began her career teaching Kindergarten in Public School 110 in the Lower East Side. Ms. Levy Thompson is the mother of four and lives in Brooklyn.

As Deputy Chancellor for Portfolio Planning, Ms. Levy Thompson will oversee the Department’s portfolio strategy, enrollment, and pre-kindergarten programming. The Department’s transition planning efforts, which Mr. Sternberg currently oversees, will continue under the direction of Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Buher and Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky.

“Saskia Levy Thompson intimately understands how schools operate and the challenges they face.” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “Her unique perspective as a practitioner, a researcher, and a senior Cabinet member at the DOE, provides her with insights that are critical to address our schools’ needs as they grow and soar to new heights.”

“The Department’s work creating hundreds of high-achieving community schools, and fostering school choice among families that historically had few options, has served as a model for the rest of the country and resulted in significant improvements in student outcomes,” said Thompson. “As a product of NYC public schools and the mother of children that attend them, I am personally honored to advance the goal that every family has access to a diversity of high-quality school options for their toddlers through their teenagers.”