Queens superintendent behind controversial diversity plan retiring


A Queens schools superintendent who once initiated a controversial diversity plan announced her retirement Monday, The Post has learned.

Mabel Muniz Sarduy, executive superintendent of Queens North, told her principals in an email that she is stepping down from her post effective this week, or exactly two years since she took the helm.

“I want to encourage everyone to have the strength and fortitude to continually build out students’ social emotional well-being and their critical-thinking skills to lead them through the 21st century and beyond,” Sarduy wrote in her farewell missive Monday.

As head of Queens North, Sarduy oversaw Districts 24, 25, 26 and 30 — all of which boast several top Gifted and Talented programs and screened schools.

District 30’s Bard High School is considered one of the premier academic bastions in the city.

Exterior of DOE Queens Plaza North
Sarduy oversaw multiple Queens districts that boast several top Gifted and Talented programs and screened schools.
Google Street

Sarduy formerly led District 28. While there, she secured a grant for a diversity plan that was met with intense backlash from some parents who said the proposal failed to adequately engage the community.

Ms. Mabel Muniz-Sarduy
Mabel Muniz Sarduy announced her retirement on Monday in an email to principals.
Superintendent Sarduy/Twitter

“Even though we are diverse as a district, many of our students from different ends never get to know or interact with one another,” Sarduy wrote at the time.

“In addition to considering admissions practices that encourage integration, we hope that this grant can help us develop strategies to connect students with different backgrounds and celebrate what they all bring to our community.”

The initiative — which has since been put on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic — led to several raucous meetings in late 2019.

Sarduy left District 28 in the midst of the controversy to assume the newly created executive superintendent position that expanded her sphere of authority.

Several Queens principals said Monday they were taken aback by the timing of her exit this week.

“To do this in the middle of a pretty uncertain school year is unusual,” a Queens administrator told The Post. “But these days, nothing is all that surprising.”

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