BY LUIS GRONDA
After 12 years as the head of School District 27 in Queens, Michele Lloyd-Bey is taking a step back.
Lloyd-Bey has announced that she will retire as Superintendent of D27 effective July 1, leaving the position as one of the primary avenues for parents to discuss their questions and concerns. District 27 encompasses schools from Rockaway to Woodhaven.
In an interview with the Queens Tribune, Lloyd-Bey said she is retiring from the job for several reasons, but mainly to focus on doing things for herself and spending more time with her family.
“You’ve got to look at yourself and say ‘well maybe I’ll give some time to myself and my family’ because it’s kind of hard to do that while working. I put the job first,” she said. “I think it’s time to pull back just a little bit.”
The soon-to-be former superintendent said retirement will allow her to travel across the country and the world; Lloyd-Bey said she has family in South Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania that she hopes to visit.
Lloyd-Bey said she was able to accomplish most of the goals she set out to achieve when she first took the position, including improving literacy standards among the students in D27. She said that many students struggled in that area in the past, but now that is not the case.
Math is still a struggle for D27 students, Lloyd-Bey said.
“That’s an area we need to continue to work on,” she said.
Training parents in instructional initiatives is another goal that Lloyd-Bey said she accomplished. More parents were given the opportunity to learn English as well as study the common core standards that the kids have to meet, according to Lloyd-Bey.
She said she will miss several aspects of being superintendent, including the different people, whether it be parents, teachers, elected officials, she collaborated with on a daily basis to work on problems that affected the district. Witnessing the impact teachers can have on students is also something she will miss, Lloyd-Bey said.
“Watching teachers stand in front of a classroom and really take kids and engage them in such a profound way that makes you go ‘wow, these kids really are getting it,’” she said.
As for who will be her successor, a Dept. of Education spokesperson, David Pena, said they are still in the process of interviewing candidates for the position and no one has been appointed yet. The schools chancellor is responsible for selecting a new superintendent.
Lloyd-Bey was honored at her last Community Education Council meeting on June 16, with a standing ovation and several community members and parents saying their goodbyes to Lloyd-Bey.
Three principals in the district were also honored as they are also retiring at the end of this year. The retiring trio is Nina Auster from PS 64 in Ozone Park, Linda Spadaro from PS 207 in Howard Beach and Valarie Lewis from PS 124 in South Ozone Park.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.