When the new year starts in the Uniondale Faculty District, group customers for the 1st time will come upon a sea of female faces of color ahead of them at meetings.

In what is believed to be a initial, the school district will have not only an total board produced up of Black and Hispanic gals but also a Black superintendent.

“In phrases of currently being an all-woman board of coloration with a superintendent of shade, I do consider it’s really distinctive on Prolonged Island,” explained Superintendent Monique Darrisaw-Akil, who was appointed in July.

She reported the board demonstrates the community’s expanding range. In accordance to the most the latest U.S. Census Bureau info, extra than 40% of Uniondale citizens are Black and more than 39% of people are Hispanic of any race.

Darrisaw-Akil, 51, pointed out that nationwide, though the greater part of teachers are ladies, they rarely appear to move up into leadership roles inside districts.

“I believe a ton of females shy away from these roles simply because of what they’ve listened to, that you just can’t be a mom and a chief . . . that sure pieces of the career are really difficult, but gals can do difficult issues, we know that,” she explained.

A 2020 study by the American Affiliation of School Administrators’ Faculty Superintendents Association identified that ladies make up a lot less than 27% of all superintendents nationwide and that only 8.6% of all superintendents are folks of coloration.

“For me, this minute is about reworking what we believe management seems like,” Darrisaw-Akil stated. “All of us women and women of all ages of shade, who signify so quite a few unique, superb areas of the Uniondale community serving in management at this degree, will tell the pupils below that women of all ages can be just about anything they want.”

There are other all-female boards on Prolonged Island, these types of as in North Bellmore, and Uniondale is not the very first district to have all females of colour on its board and as superintendent: For a 12 months now Roosevelt has had a Black woman superintendent and all-Black female board. On the other hand, getting two these kinds of boards at the exact time seems to be exclusive for Extensive Island.

Lorraine Deller, executive director of the Nassau-Suffolk College Boards Association, claimed her group does not keep data on the make-up of college boards.

“But I’d venture that two all-woman/all-girls of shade college boards, alongside woman superintendents of coloration, is a to start with for Prolonged Island,” Deller said.

Roosevelt Superintendent Deborah Wortham reported she and the women of all ages of the board have been doing the job in harmony this previous calendar year.

“It is an astounding dynamic that I’m just so honored to be a part of,” she explained.

For Uniondale board president Addie Blanco-Harvey, 47, primary a board of women has been an emotional however empowering knowledge.

“Who understood that the little lady who arrived to the United States in 1981 from El Salvador would one day expand up to be president of this board?” she claimed. “Back again then I hardly ever noticed a person like me in that position, so I in no way observed the risk of me remaining in that posture. For me to now be president, it is like I’m telling all the tiny ladies that seem like me, ‘Hey, when you improve up you can do this much too.’ “


Addie Blanco-Harvey, president, elected 2019 — Public relations director and regional supervisor at Premier Endodontics of Lengthy Island with oversight of 5 workplaces.

Carol Eason, vice president, elected 2019 — Licensed social employee and a licensed everyday living coach with a personal apply, doing work as a social employee at a constitution school in Brooklyn.

Mary Bediako, trustee, elected 2020 — Retired educator with additional than 40 years of service starting off as a math instructor and afterwards turning into a school district administrator.

Charmise Desiré, trustee, elected 2018 — Assistant director for alumni affairs at Hofstra College.

Natalie Longsworth, trustee, elected 2021.

Emily Kalika, university student board member, elected 2021 — Senior in higher school, served as vice-president of the Uniondale student council.

Source: Uniondale Union No cost College District