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PR- 082-04
April 14, 2004


“Join New York’s Brightest. Teach NYC” Campaign Results From a Collaboration Between the New York City Department of Education, the Appleseed Foundation, and the Advertising Council

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced the launch of a comprehensive new campaign to help New York City attract its largest pool of teaching candidates, to increase candidate quality, and to elevate the status of teachers.  The campaign, “Join New York’s Brightest. Teach NYC,” celebrates the heroic calling of New York City’s teachers.  The Mayor and Chancellor announced the campaign at the Department of Education headquarters with United Federation President, Randi Weingarten, Executive Director of the Appleseed Foundation, Ellen Rouse Conrad, the Ad Council, and advertising agency, Agent 16.

“Teachers are the lifeblood of our schools, and we need to attract the best and the brightest to teach New York City’s school children,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “I am delighted that so many segments of our City have come together to create and publicize this new recruitment campaign that truly celebrates the teaching profession and honors those dedicated men and women who teach our children.  I want to especially thank Appleseed, Joel Schumacher and the Ad Council for their commitment to our City.  This campaign marks the first time in the Ad Council’s 61-year history that they have sponsored a local campaign.”

The comprehensive media campaign consists of TV and radio announcements that will air on broadcast and cable beginning this week. Participating media outlets include WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, WNYW-TV (FOX 5), WPIX-TV, Cablevision, Infinity Radio, Clear Channel Radio, and Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES).  A newspaper advertising campaign is already underway and will be complemented by a new interactive teacher recruitment website,; a teacher recruitment video; new recruitment materials, brochures and outdoor advertising.

“Our students will succeed only if they receive a high-quality education, and this can only happen with the help of great teachers,” said Chancellor Joel Klein. “We’re currently engaged in the new teaching hiring season and this year – thanks to this new campaign – it has an entirely new look and feel.  Teachers deserve our thanks and our support and this campaign helps us honor the profession publicly.  We’re grateful for the support of our partners, the Appleseed Foundation, Agent 16 and the Ad Council, and know that their hard work should yield the best teacher recruitment season ever.”

“Join New York’s Brightest.  Teach NYC” is the result of more than a year-long collaboration between the Division of Human Resources in the New York City Department of Education and the Appleseed New York City Project.  Appleseed was instrumental in bringing high-level professionals in the fields of advertising, marketing, market research, human resources, executive recruiting and website technology together to design a world class system of teacher recruitment and retention.  The campaign was created on a pro bono basis, by the advertising agency, Agent 16, and directed by noted filmmaker Joel Schumacher, also on a pro bono basis.

“This project has far reaching implications,” said Ellen Rouse Conrad.  “It is an unprecedented public/private partnership where high-level professionals are not creating blue ribbon reports or writing checks but rolling up their sleeves and using their expertise to deliver real world solutions.  The results have been outstanding – far surpassing what any of us hoped was possible.  School systems throughout the country should take note and follow the lead of the New York City Department of Education.” 

Agent 16, a New York City advertising firm, has been working pro bono on this effort for the past year.  Working together with Appleseed and staff from the DOE, they led the research effort to explore the motivations of the best teachers in New York City, and then developed an integrated ad campaign that features real New York City public school teachers.

Clark Moss, Chief Creative Officer, Agent 16, said, “When was the last time you saw an ad with a celebrity saying, ‘Here’s something more important than I am?’”

The versatile and renowned Hollywood director, Joel Schumacher, agreed to direct the filming of the ads on a pro bono basis.  Mr. Schumacher was born and raised in New York City, attended New York City public schools, and graduated from the Parsons School of Design. He said, “I still remember some of the teachers who made a difference in my life – the people who do this are heroes.  They deserve our support.”

“We are proud to partner with the New York City Department of Education on this critical campaign that can benefit so many of our City’s children,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council.  “Even before its launch, many major New York media outlets have come forward and offered their support.  As a result of the important message of this campaign, and the compelling creative, we are confident that the PSAs will be generously supported by all of the local media.”

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization that has been using PSAs to address critical social issues and create positive social change in America for 61 years.  This effort marks the first time in the Council’s history that the organization has chosen to support a local New York initiative.


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958


Jerry Russo / Michelle McManus   (DOE)
(212) 374-5141

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