Yonkers School District officially has a new superintendent. When former Superintendent Michael Yazurlo abruptly stepped down from the post in November, the school board tapped Dr. Edwin M. Quezada for the job. On March 17, they made it official—dropping the interim from his title.
Quezada, a member of the Yonkers School District team since 1998, made the board’s choice easy. “During his tenure as Interim Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Quezada has demonstrated that he has the skills, knowledge, leadership and compassion to move our school district to greater heights,” says Board President Dr. Nader J. Sayegh.
In February, the board conducted a ‘Permanent Superintendent Process Survey’ in order to identify what characteristics the community valued the most in a superintendent. The research results indicated the Quezada was the man for the job. “[His] characteristics, experience and skills are in sync with the results of the online survey,” says Sayegh.
Leading Westchester’s largest school district—there are 26,800 students—requires the superintendent to understand the diverse needs of the community. A major component of future success is engagement, both from the parents and adults in the community. “The goal is to empower as many adults as possible,” says Quezada.
Parental involvement is critical to the success of the students. Other local districts have implemented practices designed to increase this level of participation. Part of what Quezada hopes to do is replicate these systems in Yonkers in order to better serve the students.
As superintendent, Quezada will have to work hand-in-hand with other community leaders. “His ability to connect and relate to our student body has been vital to the evolving dynamics of our district,” says Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “I look forward to continuing our work together in moving our schools forward.”