Yolanda Torres (162698)
Credit: Contributed

Bronx native and longtime educator Yolanda Torres was appointed executive superintendent of the Division of Family and Community Engagement Aug. 26. Torres will lead FACE’s renewed efforts to create welcoming environment for all families to develop stronger relationships between schools and their communities.

“It’s very important to find different strategies to reach out to every single parent,” stated Torres. “We are looking at professional developed parent leaders, parent ambassadors and parent coordinators to ensure that they are an integral part of the partnership we need to continue to build with our parents.”

Torres, who has been an educator for 30 years, was most recently superintendent of Community School District 7. Torres is focused on involving parents and the community in the academic success of students.

“Research has proven that when parents are involved and engaged in their children’s education, there is academic success,” stated Torres. “From a child I saw education as an important goal in my life. Going through my struggles as a young student and so on, I always appreciated the fact that there was always someone there that held my hand and really encouraged me to continue moving forward.

“Even attending school in Puerto Rico, I always had someone who encouraged me, to the extent that I visited my teacher in Puerto Rico every year until she passed away two years ago. Education is something that is vivid in me, and it’s something I believe in and am passionate about.”

Torres is also a grandmother of children in the public schools. “I believe in public school and ensuring the conversation, and I hope that through my passion, people see that I really want us to be successful.”

Upcoming parent-teacher conferences will be held Sept. 17 for elementary school, Sept. 16 for middle school and Sept. 30 for high school.

“This is a great opportunity for schools to meet with parents and share with them the academic expectation, attendance and the coalition between attendance and academic expectation. We really want to reach out and make sure that this year we are really addressing parents’ issues and concern for student success,” stated Torres.

In educating students, Torres is hoping to also educate parents so that they are learning alongside their children. She believes that no matter your background, language or upbringing, every student needs to have educational goals to gain a better chance of becoming successful.