Queens South Leadership

Andre D. Spencer, Ed. D. - Executive Superintendent

Currently, Dr. Andre D. Spencer serves as an executive superintendent overseeing schools in Queens South (District 27, 28 and 29). He works alongside superintendents and the Executive Director of the Borough Office to improve achievement outcomes for all scholars to ensure that they contribute to the common good in our society. He strongly believes that every scholar should receive an equitable education that will prepare them for college, a career and life.

Andre served as superintendent of schools for Harrison School District 2 in Colorado Springs, Colorado from 2013-2018. He has also worked in the Baltimore City Public School System for 13 years as a science teacher, assistant principal, principal, and network team lead (area support superintendent). In addition, Andre spent three years as a school leadership officer (regional superintendent) in the Houston Independent School District.

Andre is a graduate of the National Superintendent Certification program through AASA: The School Superintendents Association. He is also the Superintendents’ Commission Chairperson for the National Alliance of Black School Educators; and was recognized as the Superintendent of the Year by The Education Center in Denver, Colorado. Andre is a graduate of The Broad Academy Class of 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a Master of Science degree in Science (Biology) from Morgan State University, Doctoral Fellowship in Science Education from Morgan State University and a Doctor of Education degree from Capella University. Andre also holds a Strategic Marketing Management Certificate from Rice University, as well as a Human Resource Management Certificate from Southern New Hampshire University.

Marlene Wilks - Executive Director

Marlene has been the Executive Director of Queens South NYCDOE Borough Office since its inception and was previously a Children’s First Network (CFN) Leader from 2007 to 2015. In her tenure at the CFN, she served schools in Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. As the Network Leader, she focused on recruiting, appointing, and training the top teaching talents in the DOE. She guided a plethora of educators to become highly effective teachers and school leaders. In her 28 years of service to the New York City public school community, Wilks has served as a Local Instructional Superintendent in Districts 28 and 29 in Queens, Principal in the South Bronx, Assistant Principal in District 2 in Manhattan, and as a middle school math teacher in District 32 in Brooklyn.

Pierre Galvez - Director of English Language Learners

Pierre Galvez is currently the Director for English Language Learners at the Queens South NYCDOE Borough Office, where he ensures the consistent and effective application of proven ENL instructional practices, citywide initiatives and NYSED mandates in Districts 27, 28 and 29. Previously, in District 4, he served the community both at the school level, as a founding member of an ESL Middle School and at the Regional level. While at the Regional level he served as a Literacy/ESL Coach, designing professional development and mentoring teachers. He served as an ELL Network Support Specialist at the Integrated Curriculum and Instruction Learning Support Organization where he worked side by side with renowned leaders in the field of linguistics. In later years, he served as the Director of Student Services and as a mentor for teachers and administrators. Pierre’s commitment and expertise with English as a Second Language will surely elevate the academic achievement of more than 16, 000 English Language Learners in districts 27, 28 and 29.

Rashan Hoke - Director of Teaching and Learning

Rashan Hoke is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning of Queens South NYCDOE Borough Office. Over the past 17 years, Rashan has committed himself to serving the needs of all children in our NYC public schools. He previously served as a Principal of a District 13 Pre-K to 8 in Brooklyn where he focused on lifting the level of instruction and building a collaborative community. Before then, Rashan was an administrative intern in the Bronx in District 12 and in Manhattan in District 3. He proudly served as an elementary school teacher in District 6 for 11 years where he focused on addressing the needs of a predominantly ENL population.

Rachelle Lewis

Rachelle Lewis - Director of Student Services

Rachelle Lewis is currently the Director for Student Services at Queens South NYCDOE Borough Office, where she directs Attendance, Crisis and De-Escalation, Climate and Culture, K-8 guidance, High School guidance and Health for the schools under the Queens South NYCDOE Borough Office purview. She began her career in 1999 at a school in Brooklyn. While in the district she served as a teacher in Spanish, English as a Second Language, Business and Technology. During that period, with her expertise in technology she was asked to work with several principals to assist in learning how to collect and use data effectively for instruction and school improvement. She has also served as a dean and school administrator. As a school administrator, she supervised the attendance team, dean and guidance departments and has worked closely with CBOs and other outside organizations to provide a warm and nurturing environment for the school and campus. In addition, she worked as a teacher and supervisor for the Adult and Continuing Education Program with in the New York City Department of Education overseeing ESL and GED programs in Brooklyn and Queens. Rachelle’s drive, passion, expertise and commitment to educational outcomes will assist Queens South schools in improving the various systems and structures under her functional areas.

David Raubvogel - Director of Operations

David Raubvogel has been an educator in the New York school system since 1993. He served 10 years as a Social Studies teacher at Van Arsdale HS and as an Assistant Principal for 5 years, first in the New Beginnings Program and then at Richard R. Green HS of Teaching from 2008-2012. From 2012-2015, David served as a Network Leader and as Senior Director of Student Support at the Central field level where he coordinated support to over 300 schools in a portfolio of functional areas including youth development, safety and security, academic policy, family engagement and data support. In addition over the last two years he has supported school improvement and helped foster effective school leadership through the conducting of Quality Reviews and Principal Performance Observations.

Barbara Wedderburn-Simpson - Director of Special Education

Barbara Wedderburn-Simpson is the director for special education for Queens South school districts. In this capacity, she works with a team of administrators, associates, supervisors, and managers to improve the learning outcomes of students with disabilities and provide mandated Individualized Education Programs (IEP) supports and services.

Barbara believes that every child can learn and that every educator should be prepared to meet the needs of the children they serve. This is the philosophy that has guided Barbara’s transformation as an educator. She joined the New York City Department of Education in 2001 as an international teacher from Jamaica where she taught for five years. In New York City Public schools, she worked as a general education teacher and also taught students identified as gifted and talented. She later was a special education coach, coordinator of early intervention services, school psychologists, special education school improvement specialists (RSE-TASC), Supervisor of Psychologists, and Administrator of Special Educator.

Barbara is an alumnus of Bethlehem Teachers’ College, Northern Caribbean University, Touro College, and Hofstra University. She has a Diploma in Teacher Education, a Bachelor Degree in Primary Education, Master Degrees in General and Special Education and School Psychology, an Advanced Degree in Educational Leadership and is a Doctoral Candidate.