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Chapter Leader Shoutout

Kudos to Beverly Greene, PS 55, Bronx

For bringing harmony to her school
New York Teacher
Beverly Greend
Jonathan Fickies

As a math coach, Beverly Greene knows every problem has a solution. And that’s been her motto in her role as the chapter leader at PS 55 in the Bronx.

“We can figure everything out together,” she said — with the emphasis on together.

When Greene became chapter leader in the spring of 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she felt her school’s principal, Luis Torres, was expecting an argument every time she came to him.

“But he noticed that I’m a listener, interested in coming up with a solution,” she said. “That I’m not here to fight. Slowly, we built trust.”

She also made it clear to the UFT members in her chapter that “I have no degree in school building leadership and, therefore, cannot make decisions for the principal. However, I can work collaboratively with the principal on any issue or concern.”

Her philosophy has brought “harmony and cohesion to her school,” UFT District 9 Representative Aqeel Williams said. “She has found a way to get great results — namely, fewer grievances and fewer disciplinary meetings for her members.”

Greene and Torres worked together to help place the school’s educators in roles that best suit their abilities — which she called a “win-win for the teachers and their students.”

During the 2021–22 school year, she stopped an assistant principal from making teachers create an online document for data that they were already compiling as a grade team. “I brought it to the principal’s attention, pointing out this redundancy,” Greene said. “He instructed the AP to cease and desist because it was a violation of our contractual rights.”

Greene has made sure to have input on school hires, too.

Her belief that everyone in the school should have a voice prompted her to change the representation on her UFT consultation committee. “I added people from 3-K, early childhood, special ed, math, ELA, paras,” she said.

Literacy coach Maria Santiago said the “culture of collaboration” that Greene has built “among the members and administration” has worked wonders.

“I like to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty,” said Greene. “I believe in ‘show me, don’t tell me.’ It’s the best way to make sure the members and students benefit most.”

Related Topics: Chapter Leaders