Monique Darrisaw-Akil hired to fill Brentwood schools post

Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil was nominated as the upcoming Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil was nominated as the upcoming Assistant Superintendent for Brentwood, on August 14, 2014. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

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Brentwood school officials Thursday night appointed an experienced administrator to an assistant superintendent job in a unanimous vote, ending a controversial hiring process.

The decision to hire Monique Darrisaw-Akil, a director of leadership and instructional support for the New York City Department of Education, followed complaints from supporters of a middle school principal who sought the post.

This meeting, held after district officials convened behind closed doors, proceeded without debate. Board members voted 6-0 to select Darrisaw-Akil as assistant superintendent for secondary education with a yearly salary of $180,000. Board member Gail Kirkham was absent.

Darrisaw-Akil's appointment is effective Aug. 25.

She worked for the city schools in a variety of administrative roles for more than 12 years, including eight years as high school principal at the Academy of Urban Planning in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

She was among more than 130 candidates, said school board president Helen R. Moss, adding the board acted on a committee's recommendations.

"We had community people involved in this. This is not just a board decision," Moss said. "What impressed me very much is her professionalism, her vision, her innovativeness."

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Darrisaw-Akil went row to row greeting many of the more than 30 people at the meeting, but did not comment.

A July 24 vote to appoint Bergre Escorbores, 36, the principal of Brentwood's South Middle School, ended with a split 2-2 count and an abstention, with the same board member absent. His supporters demanded an explanation.

Escorbores, who is of Dominican heritage, would have been the second districtwide Hispanic administrator in Brentwood, where students were 76 percent Latinos and 14 percent black in 2012.

Moss did not comment on that vote.

Escorbores did not attend Thursday's meeting and declined to comment.

Residents praised the choice, with some saying that Darrisaw-Akil, who is African-American, brings diversity and experience to the job.

"We made a good decision for our kids and our community," said Elton George, 39, president of the Brentwood Residents Against Violence Everyday; employed as a district security guard. "From what I understand . . . this time around, it was a fair process, all the board members were involved."

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