Dillingham ready to bring change to education in Queens
by Jason Cohen
Feb 19, 2014 | 7349 views | 0 0 comments | 191 191 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Borough President Melinda Katz has named Forest Hills resident Deborah Dillingham the new Queens representative on the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP).

“I am honored that Borough President Melinda Katz has selected me as her appointment to the PEP,” Dillingham said. “She has long been an advocate on the education front, and I am pleased that she has enough trust in me to represent Queens.

“I think her commitment to restart the “education war room" to hear the concerns of the borough is an important step, and I plan to coordinate with her in order to track and manage our progress,” Dillingham added. “Melinda Katz and I share a passion for improving education, and I am excited to take this journey with her.”

Dillingham has served the city’s educational system in several capacities, including as the Queens borough appointee to District 28’s Community Education Council, where she served as president.

She has also served on the Queens Borough President’s Parent Advisory Committee, the District 28 Leadership Team, and the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Committee, as well as president of the Parent’s Association of P.S. 101.

With three children in the city’s public school system, Dillingham said the teachers in the borough are amazing and hardworking, but there is always room for improvement.

“I know this is a borough that believes in education,” she said. “When kids, parents, teachers, and principals come together, it is exciting to witness.”

While each school has its own issues, Dillingham said the biggest problem with education is inadequate funding for programing. Parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials need to work together to provide children the proper educational tools that will allow them to succeed and become leaders.

“In Queens, we also cannot accommodate all of our students, and there is no immediate plan that will resolve that problem,” she said. “While I think I have seen great passion in Queens for education, we are still missing a key ingredient to help all students succeed.”

As she looks to begin her new role on the PEP, she said it’s important to remember that things can’t change overnight, but that children deserve a safe school with a nurturing and warm leaning environment.

“When students and teachers leave each day, they should do so with a smile,” Dillingham said. “Their backpacks should also have some room left in them so kids have some time to play, relax and regroup for the next day.”

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