Queens South Leadership

Mauricière de Govia, Ed. D. - Executive Superintendent

Mauricière de Govia, Ed.D. is a leader with over 20 years of experience in the field of education. She is committed to transforming communities and redefining generational legacies via high quality teaching and learning experiences in public schools. Throughout her career she has led and supported schools as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and policy maker with the firm belief that a child’s zip code, origin, race or class is not a pre-determined hindrance to learning; but an opportunity for a new narrative that tells a story of success and achievement for all students who attend public school.

In December 2017, Mauricière completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership. This experience elevated her leadership via conducting a qualitative research study about successful leadership practices in turnaround schools. One conclusion that surfaced in her research is that schools have a “knowing” vs. a “doing” gap. This deficit is created when applicable research or information is known, but deliberate action doesn’t occur; preventing needed change from happening. Her career trajectory has enabled her to eliminate the knowing-doing gap as she has successfully held a variety of leadership positions that have taught her how to influence, mobilize, and execute for impact. She is a strategic team player who believes in creating win-win situations for all stakeholders. She views leadership as an opportunity for fluidity and connection towards a greater purpose.

As a leader, she has led from the top, in the middle and from the bottom. As a principal, she successfully phased out a school and then served as the founding principal of a “Well Developed/A” school with an approximate budget of 2 million dollars. As Deputy CEO for the Office of School Support (a central level position), she supported and influenced the city-wide roll out of the Common Core standards, Quality Review (rubric design and professional learning about the tools usage), and designed and facilitated professional development for Network Leaders and Superintendents. The latter included the development of a rubric entitled the Network Performance Management Tool which was designed to assess the quality of Networks. In this role, she also developed a curriculum to train Superintendents within their work streams as governed by Chancellor Regulation C-37 and principal management and supervision needs such as the Principal Performance Review (PPR). This evaluation tool was used to assess the effectiveness of principals at that time. As Vice President for National Initiatives at the NYC Leadership Academy (NYCLA; a non-profit organization) she facilitated the creation of principal training programs for national as well as international NYCLA partners. As a Superintendent (a district level position), she mobilized a fragmented community towards unification via effective use of resources and redefining the purpose and opportunities available in schools. Lastly, as Executive Director of Brooklyn South Field Support Center (BSFSC; school support level) she orchestrated and coordinated teams into strategic action as she currently leads 126 members to support 7 superintendents across 188 schools. Additionally, she laterally manages same-level constituents (the Superintendents), oversees a budget of approximately $480K, and creates cross-functional opportunities across BSFSC’s six divisions of Special Education, Teaching and Learning, Student Support Services, English Language Learners, Operations, and Human Resources and Finance to expand resources and impact school communities.

Mauricière received her Bachelor of Arts in Film Production (1995), Masters of Science in Elementary Education (1999), and her Advance Certificate in School Administration (2003) from Brooklyn College, The City University of New York. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Sage College, Albany (2017). She is the recipient of the Outstanding Student in a Doctoral Program Award, The Sage Colleges, April 2017, the District 23 Legacy Award, July 2016, the Brooklyn Borough President Citation for Leadership, June 2016, the United States House of Representatives Proclamation, June 2016, the MHBA- She is Me Courage Award, April 2016, the Above and Beyond Award- Community Education Council, D23, Spring 2003, and the DOE/Broad Foundation, Exceptional Leadership -1st yr. Principal Award, Spring 2005. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and is the mother of two elementary age children.

Laura Kaiser - Executive Director

Laura Kaiser has joined the Queens South Team as Executive Director. Ms. Kaiser has worked in the Department of Education for 27 years and has a strong instructional, operational and administrative background. Her extensive experiences as a DOE educator include: classroom teacher, staff developer, certified reading teacher, Regional Instructional Supervisor, Assistant Principal, Principal, Deputy Network Leader, Network Leader and Director of Teaching and Learning. Her expertise and successful background in utilizing a coaching leadership style has allowed her to lead and manage large teams that work collaboratively with great efficiency and effectiveness. Laura Kaiser is dedicated to assisting our school communities in building capacity, utilizing assessment to drive instruction and strengthening teacher practice to increase student achievement. Laura Kaiser brings a passion and wealth of instructional and operational knowledge to the role of Executive Director of Queens South.

Narine Bharat - Director of Operations

Narine Bharat is currently the Director of Operations at Queens South NYCDOE Borough Office, where he oversees the coordination of resources and management of all matters related to operations that impact the schools, students, and families served by the QSBCO. He has been an educator in the New York school system since 1992. He served 5 years as a Science teacher and Robotics Coach at IS 77 and as a Science Department Chair for 5 years at Harry S Truman HS. Narine served as a Network Achievement Coach with CFN 611 where he provided specialized support to all schools in CFN 611 on Teaching and Learning in science and provided guidance, counsel and training to principals and school staff on Citywide Instructional Expectations, Advance Initiatives and Quality Review preparation. He has also served as an Assistant Principal at Progress HS and the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation. In addition over the last two years, as the Support Services Liaison, he has worked closely with the leadership team of the QSBCO to ensure the adequate provision of coordinated support services to the schools in Queens South.

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.

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.