Dr. Laruth Gray dedicates herself to improving the quality of education, the quality of life for children (particularly those of vulnerable populations), and social issues that address equity and opportunity.
A retired Superintendent of Schools in Westchester County, she currently serves as Scholar in Residence at NYU's Steinhardt School of Education's Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Tranformation of Schools. Prior to that, she served as affiliate faculty at NYU and deputy director of the Center.
Among the accomplishments attributed to Gray is the design and development of the plan, process, and implementation to reorganize the New Rochelle Public schools to address the twin problems of minority isolation and declining enrollment. As the Assistant Superintendent of schools, she garnered federal and state dollars to engage the larger community and the entire educational community in ways that have enabled sustainability of the reorganization features to date.
During her tenure as Superintendent of Schools, she was honored by the Kennedy Center's Alliance for Arts Education as an outstanding educator contributing and supporting the arts in education.
She maintains membership in numerous professional and community organizations that reflect her intense devotion to quality of life improvement includign but not limited to The Westchester Library System (past President), Arts Westchester (President Emeritus), The County's Fair Campaign Pratices Committee, and the Westchester Children's Museum Educational Advisory Committee. She serves on serveeral boards of national professional organizations.
Susana De Jesus
Dr. Susana C. DeJesús obtained her doctorate in Administration and Educational Policy from Columbia University, Teachers College, where she conducted research in public schools with majority Latino student populations. Her MA is in TESOL from New York University. Until January 2011, she was Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Department of Graduate Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, where she was a Clinical Professor of Administration & Supervision, and the Coordinator of Center for Educational Leadership. She also taught English, in the Department of English and Linguistics, in the Faculty of Humanities.
Dr. DeJesús is a researcher, writer, consultant and presenter on Dual Language and effective programs for English language learners. Prior to joining the Metro Center, she was Director of Title III, Bilingual and ESL Education in Newark Public Schools, where she developed and implemented innovative programs for English Language learners, restructured Professional Development for more than 350 Bilingual/ESL teachers, and other teachers in the district. She spearheaded numerous workshops and presentations for Parents on district and state levels, helping them understand the educational value of maintaining and developing L1, the home language. Prior to moving the UPR, she was on the Graduate Faculty of the Bank Street College of Education. Dr DeJesús has a unique background, as researcher and professor at the University, academic level as well as in day-to-day practice on the public education level – as teacher, professional development manager and administrator.
Dr. DeJesús created a successful Dual Language model in which students from poor urban environments outperformed their suburban peers on district and state measures. She currently participates on several Early Childhood and Education Policy committees for the New Jersey Department of Education, the New York State Education Department, and New York City not- for-profit businesses. Her research and writing focus is measuring the impact of Dual Language and Bilingual programs, beginning in early childhood, and on issues of administration and policy for implementing effective programs for English Language learners and other urban students.
Dr. DeJesus has written or co-authored about $7 million in grants to fund Dual Language programs and foreign language instruction for English language learners and urban students; she has written performance evaluations, annual performance reports, and correction action plans for the US Department of Education; she has been a peer reviewer for FIPSE, OBEMLA and OELA, as well as a Federal Monitor for six years, in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Dr DeJesús has written widely on Dual Language program development and administration, Cooperative Learning, Creole languages, and effective methodology for teaching English.