Mayor-elect Eric Adams has officially named Department of Education veteran David Banks as chancellor of New York City’s school system.
Adams made the announcement on Thursday morning at PS 161 in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood where Banks attended elementary school.
Banks, 59, is the first major appointee to Adams’ administration.
“David is a visionary, an innovator… who has spent his career fighting for students,” Adams said at a press conference outside the school.
The mayor-elect noted he “didn’t have to do a national search to find someone that understands our city.”
“This is his life’s work. This is his moment and opportunity. We’re going to spend our entire four years in office focused on educating our children.”
Banks, who is a key adviser to Adams, added: “You cannot change New York City if you do not change the state of education and that is where we begin.”
The DOE veteran is best known for founding several city public schools — including a network that primarily educates boys of color.
The Queens native pivoted from a legal career and served as a principal before launching the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice in 2004.
He went on to establish the Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx in 2004, an all-boys school that later expanded to a network of six campuses by 2014.
Banks already signaled some of his educational priorities in a May op-ed ahead of being named head of the nation’s largest school system.
Among his priorities was a lessened emphasis on standardized tests, widening the cultural breadth of curricular materials, and instilling students with a greater sense of civic duty on issues like voting and climate change.