8 Aug 2012 09:28 AM EST
-by Rebecca Baird-Remba, Staff Writer; Image: Chancellor Dennis Walcott speaks to Stuyvesant High School Interim Principal Jie Zhang (Image Source: Department of Education on Twitter)
City officials have appointed an interim principal to run Stuyvesant High School in the wake of former principal Stanley Teitel’s sudden resignation and a high-profile student cheating scandal.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott selected Jie Zhang, a school network administrator who was principal of the Queens High School for the Sciences at York College—another one of the city’s specialized elite high schools.
The 52-year-old is not new to Stuyvesant; her son graduated from the school in 2008, and her daughter is currently a junior there.
Teitel, who led Stuvesant for 11 years, abruptly announced his resignation last Friday amid a city probe into a school-wide cheating scandal involving more than 70 students. The city ultimately threw out test results for 71 students suspected of sending or receiving texts about the state Regents exams and a city test.
Zhang told reporters Monday that she wasn’t aware of widespread cheating at Stuyvesant either as a parent or as an administrator.
“However, my top priority is to create a positive school culture that ensures integrity and zero tolerance for cheating,” she said.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Zhang was born in China and moved to New York to get a master’s degree in applied mathematics at SUNY Stonybrook. She began her education career teaching math at Rosewood High School on Rikers Island. Then she became a teacher and assistant principal at Forest Hills High School.
She also said she wants to increase racial diversity at Stuyvesant, which has been criticized for not reflecting the city’s racial distribution. At Stuyvesant, 72 percent of students are Asian, but citywide, 72 percent of students are black and Latino, according to Gotham Schools.
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