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July 18, 2002


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced his appointments to the New York City Panel for Educational Policy. Philip A. Berry, Dr. David C. Chang, Dr. Ramona Hernandez, Dr. Augusta Souza Kappner, Susana Torruella Leval, Richard L. Menschel, and Marita Regan will serve on the 13-member panel established by the new school governance legislation. The Panel will also be composed of the Schools Chancellor and an appointment made by each Borough President.

"These appointees have rich and varied backgrounds that will help the Chancellor reform our City's schools so that every child can participate in the great American dream," Mayor Bloomberg said. "Each of these individuals possesses exceptional expertise and experience in the particular areas vital to the success of the school system. Their work will empower the future leaders of our City, the students of the public school system."

Philip A. Berry has over 25 years experience in various areas of human resources and management, expertise that is invaluable to a school system with more than 136,000 employees. His experience in strategic management and business development skills will help improve organizational performance, employee motivation and hopefully, customer satisfaction. Also, his experience with the City University of New York Construction Fund will be useful to the new Chancellor in creating additional classroom space and improving school facilities. Berry is currently Vice President of Colgate-Palmolive, Global Employee Relations & Best Place to Work where he oversees strategy and policy. Previously, Berry served as the Vice President of the European Human Resources Division and Vice President of the Latin America Division for Colgate-Palmolive. A product of the New York City public school system, Berry attended Manhattan Community College and received his BA in Sociology from Queens College. Berry also went on to receive an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. David C. Chang is a well-known and respected leader as well as an internationally known scholar in the fields of engineering, science and electromagnetics. The President of Polytechnic University in Brooklyn for the past eight years, he has made Polytechnic the metropolitan area's preeminent center for science and engineering education and research having increased enrollment by sixty percent. Chang is also a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Polytechnic. Chang is dedicated to ensuring that all students have an understanding and appreciation for the sciences by being a valuable resource to the Chancellor and Panel addressing the learning gap in the field of science. He is a member of the Committee on Appointments and was instrumental as a member of Mayor Bloomberg's Transition Team. Chang earned a PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University.

Dr. Ramona Hernandez's background uniquely suits her to advise the Chancellor on the needs of students whose families are new New Yorkers. As a Doctor of Philosophy who majored in Migration and Economic Development and a graduate of The City University of New York, she has more than twenty years experience as an educator and researcher specializing in the field of Puerto Rican and Dominican Studies. Currently, she is the Director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute as well as an Associate Professor. Hernandez is Vice President of the Dominican Studies Association and a member of the Latin American Studies Association.

Dr. Augusta Souza Kappner is currently President of the Bank Street College of Education and has held a variety of top educational posts, which make her uniquely suited to improve the quality of teaching in our public schools. She served as President of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Acting President of The City College of New York, and Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education. She has the vast experience to improve the quality of classroom education for students as well as instructor education. She will be instrumental in working with the Chancellor in regards to the new Federal education legislation and to increase teacher certification. Kappner earned her MSW from Hunter College and her DSW from Columbia University with a specialization in Social Policy and Planning.

Susana Torruella Leval served as Director of El Museo del Barrio, one of the nation's leading Latin museums for eight years after serving as Chief Curator for four years. Currently, she serves as Director Emeritus of El Museo del Barrio and is part of the Advisory Faculty of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and was recently appointed to the State Council on the Arts by Governor Pataki. Leval has the ability to integrate New York's incomparable cultural resources so our students become well-rounded individuals with true appreciation for the arts. Leval received a BA degree in Art History from Manhattanville College and an MA from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts.

Richard L. Menschel is Senior Director of Goldman Sachs, a firm with which he has been associated for more than forty years. His achievements in business are matched by his distinguished record of civic involvement, especially in the area of public health. Menschel is currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Hospital for Special Surgery and he is also the former Treasurer and Trustee of the New York Academy of Medicine. New York's public schools are frontline health providers for many students and his insights in the health field and his extensive management skills will help the Chancellor to ensure that our students are healthy so they can reach their full potential. Menschel earned an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business and a BS from Syracuse University.

Marita Regan has nearly 40 years experience in the New York City schools education system. A successful career educator, she has distinguished herself by holding positions such as Classroom Teacher at Public School 9, Reading Coordinator and Classroom Teacher at Public School 169, and from Assistant Principal of Public School 222 to Principal and most recently, Review Supervisor for Performance Assessment in Schools Systemwide (PASS) in District 22. Regan's experience will allow the Panel to focus on the importance of classroom curriculum. Regan's ascension in the educational system is representative of the dedication and hard work she will bring to assisting the Panel's Chancellor to attain the highest standards to educate the City's children. Regan earned an MS in Elementary Education from Richmond College and a BBA in Management from St. John's University. She also received a CUNY 6-year Certificate in Supervision and Administration from the College of Staten Island.

Contact: Edward Skyler / Lark-Marie Anton
(212) 788-2958