New history-making NYC schools chancellor focused on what's ahead

NEW YORK (WABC) -- On the final day of Women's History Month, Eyewitness News is celebrating the woman now in charge of New York City schools.

While Meisha Ross Porter may not have been gunning for the city's highest education post, taking the job wasn't out of character.

"But who but a woman takes on such a task, in such a moment right? Like that's what we do, we jump up when we are most needed we step in when we're most needed," Porter said.

She stepped into the role of chancellor when her predecessor suddenly stepped out.

And instead of a nationwide search, the mayor chose quickly and chose from within, making Porter the city's first Black female schools chancellor.

She's a chancellor who rose through the system and even attended its schools.

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The Department of Education announced Bronx Executive Superintendent Meisha Porter will take over for Richard Carranza starting on March 15.



"I was an average student, I think it speaks to really seeing the potential of all of our students," Porter said.

She graduated from high school with a focus on plumbing and was one of two girls in the plumbing program.

"I think I've been a woman my whole life who has put myself in roles and positions people didn't expect me to be in," Porter said.

But the newest position entrusts her with the education of 1.1 million students -- the majority of whom are still schooling from home.
She knows the job comes with profound challenges - but it also provides a platform.



"I hope my leadership and chancellorship is an example of the role women can, should and will play moving forward in this system," Porter said.

With a teenager who currently attends a Manhattan public high school, she sees through the lens of both parent and educator.

"What's important to me is opening high schools which we did opening summer enrichment opportunities and opening in the fall," Porter said. "I'm focused on what's ahead."

And while she knows a new mayor could choose a different chancellor come next January, Porter has already made history.

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38-year-old Brandon Elliot was taken into custody Tuesday night.



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