THE BRONX — Meisha Ross Porter is a graduate of New York City’s public school system.
Starting in mid-March, she’ll become the first Black woman in the city’s history to lead that system, the largest school district in the country.
“I am so honored and this is the great privilege of my life at this moment,” said Porter at the Friday press conference to announce she’d be replacing Richard Carranza, who is stepping down.
Porter grew up in South Jamaica, Queens and is the daughter of a New York City public school teacher.
“What I learned first from my favorite teacher, my mommy, is the importance that one teacher makes in the life of every young person,” Porter said.
Starting as a youth organizer in the Bronx, Porter was a founder of the Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice. She started working at the school as a teacher and rose to become the principal. As principal, Porter worked with local leaders, like Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson to secure more resources for her school.
“I saw so many qualities of being a leader,” Councilwoman Gibson told PIX11 News.
Porter rose within the department of education and was eventually named executive superintendent, overseeing Bronx schools.
“When she was first appointed to the position she did something which was really phenomenal,” Bronx Principal Dr. Asya Johnson explained. “Bring all of the principals together from the entire borough to like, sort of showcase what we never get to see which is sort of like the best of the Bronx.”
Shortly after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Porter would become the next chancellor, Porter reflected.
“I’m ready to hit the ground running and lead New York City schools to full recovery. It won’t be easy but clearly I’ve never done anything easy.”