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C'est la Z

Passing The Torch

Passing another miletone on the way to retirement this week. I didn't think it would be this many steps - I figured I'd say I'm retiring, fill out a form, and be done.

It turns out it's a multi stage process.

This week, my contract with Hunter officially ends and as of Friday I'm on Travia leave - that's terminal leave to public school teachers. I basically get full pay and benefits while my reserved sick days get used up at a 2 sick for one real day rate. In about 2 weeks, I can finally file my retirement forms and then on Dec 4th or so, it's all over.

More importantly, my replacements are now both, well, in place.

On the Daedalus honors undergraduate CS side, Hunter hired my replacement about month ago. A terrific instructor who already, as an adjunct has proven herself both in terms of teaching and also in connecting with her students. She's terrific but we only knew each other because we were both at Hunter. I have no doubt that she'll take the Daedalus program to the next level but due to personal connections, I'm more excited about the new hire for my education school work.

On that side, to run Hunters CS Teacher Education programs, they've brought on Edgar Troudt. Edgar's spent a good amount of his career in the CUNY system but has also made stops at LIU and Vaughn College. Like my Daedalus successor, Edgar is a highly regarded classroom teacher, is a strong computer scientist and brings a lot of extras to the table.

For me though, it's extra special because I've known Edgar for years. Back in the day, he was in my CS classes when he was a student at Stuyvesant (note: I was not on the hiring committee so other than telling Edgar and a few other people to apply, I had nothing to do with the process). Since then, we've become friends and we've worked together on a couple of projects.

I'm particularly excited because Edgar brings things to the position that I lacked. We both have strong CS backgrounds but where my other strength is K12 education and pipeline from start to industry, Edgar's spent his career not only creating but more importantly growing programs with a focus on entrepreneurship.

That background in program growth is what Hunter and in fact, NY needs now. I planted the seed and got things off the ground but now the program needs someone adept at growth and sustainability and that's a special that Edgar brings to the table. I started the Masters in CS Ed program but it's in a seedling state. A handful of students a year. The next step for Hunter is to nurture it and grow it. At the same time, the advanced certificate program will probably see reduced demand but I've written on that before.

What gets me excited about Hunter's programs futures is that the person they chose to succeed me has the unique skill set to take the programs to the next levels. Something that maybe I could have done, maybe I couldn't but passing the torch to someone with a history of program growth is the right move.

Nine years ago, it was time for me to leave Stuyvesant. I had done my thing there, for better or worse and it was time for someone else to take the reins. There and then it was JonAlf who I describe as being very similar to me but with a better big picture view and a higher upside. He hasn't disappointed in the role. I was happy then that he succeeded me and just as delighted now. Same with Edgar.

I left Stuy confident that I left the program there in better hands. Now that my successors at Hunter are both in place, I feel the same way.

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