The State Department of Education’s (DOE) Board of Regents has appointed member and longe-time educator Dr. Lester W. Young, Jr. as its brand new Chancellor today. The board’s first Black chancellor since the board was established in 1784, reported the Times Union.
The new chancellor is considered by many for his local, national education, and civic education organizations for his professional contributions, including Assemblymember Latrice M. Walker (D-Brownsville) and Borough President Eric Adams.
“I’m so proud of my friend, mentor, and fellow Brooklynite Dr. Lester Young, a visionary on uplifting the most disenfranchised students in our schools. It’s a truly timely appointment for someone who can create [a] needed cultural shift at the Board of Regents,” said Adams via Twitter.
Young began his career with the New York City (NYC) Department of Education as a teacher, guidance counselor, Supervisor of Special Education, and Principal of P.S. 183 in Ocean-Hill Brownsville in 1987. He was recognized as a School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED). He also served as Assistant and Associate Commissioner with the NYSED from 1988 to 1993.
In 2008, Young was appointed to the New York State (NYS) Legislature. His leadership in this area led to the establishment of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative (MBK), which former President Barack Obama established at the federal level in 2014. It’s an interagency effort focused on closing and eliminating the opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color through education and enrichment programs. New York State remains the only state in the nation to have the (MBK) enacted into NYS law.
“Ocean Hill- Brownsville has a rich history of producing the best and the brightest educators and pupils from international presidents of unions to elected officials to Regents to Chancellors. We salute Dr. Lester Young on his educational journey,” said Walker.
“His commitment to education is evident in his dossier which speaks to not just what Dr. Lester Young has done but also to who Dr. Lester Young is. He has a heart for our children and the education that they receive. I firmly believe that at this time in our education system he has the requisite knowledge and passion that will propel our students to the next levels that are needed in our state. New York remains an education system that serves two populations unequally. It has taken this long to elect an African American to this position and no better person of any race could have been chosen,” she added.
Walker wholeheartedly congratulated Young, and said that she could not wait to see what he has in store for the education system.
She said his legacy has had a lasting impact on School Districts 23 and 13 and his ascension to Chancellor of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is a natural progression for an educator of his stature and tenure.
City Councilmember and Borough President Candidate Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Norther Crown Heights) also lauded Young becoming the chancellor.
“I am thrilled at the news of Dr. Lester Young’s new position as Chancellor of the NYS Board of Regents. He exemplifies the best in educational excellence and equity. There is no reason that children in our neighborhood can’t succeed without the proper support by adults. Dr. Young is someone who will give them the support and leadership our schools need. We have a largely minority student body, and given our challenging political climate, it is reassuring and inspiring to see an African-American finally hold the position of Chancellor,” Cornegy said.