Matthew Bromme, new superintendent of District 27, spoke to Rockaway residents at a meeting in early October.
By John McLoughlin
Approval by interim schools Chancellor Harold Levy is all Matthew Bromme needs to be officially named superintendent of School District 27. The former junior high school principal and present interim acting superintendent of District 27 was chosen in a 8-0 vote by school board members on Monday evening, February 28 to be the next superintendent.
Bromme is not new to District 27. A 30-year educator, in 1991 he became principal of JHS 210 in Ozone Park, where he gained a name for taking an "ordinary" overcrowded school and forging partnerships with colleges and cultural institutions, introducing gifted and talented programs, and increasing morale among faculty and students.
After former superintendent Brenda Isaacs retired, Bromme was chosen to be the interim acting superintendent of the district. Familiar with mainland schools and issues, one of Bromme's initial acts as interim acting superintendent was the appointment of deputy superintendents Marty Weinstein and Michelle Lloyd-Bey, both Rockaway residents and former principals of Rockaway schools.
Bromme was one of five candidates for the superintendent's position recommended by the C30 Committee, a community-based screening committee. Joanne Greenberg, a member of the committee, responded positively to the school board's choice of Bromme. "Bromme got off the ground running as an acting superintendent and there is no reason to think that he wouldn't continue in a very diligent manner," Greenberg said. "He comes to the job with a wealth of experience."
Bromme's job is not expected to be an easy one. The district, which includes all of Rockaway, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill, faces low test scores and overcrowded schools. "I have a commitment to the community to address test scores, pupil attendance, summer school issues and moving District 27 to a much higher level," Bromme said.
Bromme plans to help raise the performance in local schools by having in place by September a comprehensive training program for all new teachers. A full-time staff developer in each school will assist new teachers in reaching their goals and how to deal with students. Bromme also plans to "eliminate busing in the future" and reduce overcrowding with additional construction of schools and extensions. According to Bromme, with the recent increase in housing development in the Rockaways, school officials are looking at sights for a new school on the peninsula.
"My administration is pro-child and pro-parent," said Bromme. "Our goal is to enhance schools to enhance the community."
Board of Education officials said the
chancellor should render a decision on Bromme's appointment within 30-days.
Residents are now hoping that Bromme's appointment will make clear for a C37 Committee to get underway to search for a permanent principal at P.S. 114. Gerald McCarthy has been the acting principal at the Belle Harbor elementary school since Phyllis Mellone left as principal last spring.