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PR- 066-11
March 1, 2011


Ms. Foster will replace Panel Member Philip Berry

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today appointed Freida D. Foster to the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP). She replaces Panel Member Philip Berry who resigned from the Panel yesterday. Ms. Foster is a Commissioner on the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board. Prior to joining the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board, she was a manager at Burston-Marsteller, where she participated in developing the firm’s multi-cultural practice. Ms. Foster also served as the Director of Community Affairs in Governor Pataki’s Administration and in 2006, she was appointed as a trustee of the Board of The City University of New York.

Phil has played an important role in our efforts to reform and improve New York City Public schools over the past nine years,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “I am confident Freida will be able to build on that success by bringing her experience as a Trustee at CUNY to the Panel, which fits well with our goals of improving the career and college readiness of our students.”

“I want to thank Philip for his service to New York City’s 1.1 million public school students,” Schools Chancellor Cathie Black said. “His business acumen and knowledge of government were a significant contribution to our efforts to provide more students with high-quality education options. Freida’s professional and personal experience will make her a wonderful addition to the Panel for Educational Policy.”

“In the nine years that I have served on the Panel, I have always felt and continue to feel that we are heading in the right direction to increase quality and accountability,” said Philip Berry. “Change is never easy, but if we don’t change our schools, we will not get the results that will prepare New York City’s school children for the future.”

“It is an honor to serve on a panel with such a profound mission and with such esteemed colleagues,” Freida D. Foster said. “As a product of the New York City school system, I am committed to serving with an open, fair, and balanced point of view to ensure New York City students are given the best school choices possible.”

Ms. Foster serves as a Member of the Harlem Community Development Corporation’s Board of Directors. She earned her B.A. from Hofstra University and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. She is also the widow of Terence D. Tolbert, who – prior to his death in 2008 – served as the Executive Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at New York City’s Department of Education.

The 13 member Panel for Educational Policy replaced the former Board of Education in 2002. The Panel is responsible for approving standards, policies, and objectives directly related to educational achievement and instruction, as well as the Chancellor’s regulations, significant changes in school utilization, and department contracts. The Mayor appoints eight panel members and each Borough President appoints one member.


Stu Loeser/Jessica Scaperotti   (212) 788-2958

Natalie Ravitz/Deidrea Miller   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141


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