With a BS and an MA in education from New York University and a professional diploma in school administration from Iona College in New Rochelle, Erica Zigelman went on to become the principal of Middle School 322: The Renaissance Leadership Academy in Washington Heights. In her role as principal, Erica Zigelman is involved in many projects and initiatives to support her students and the community at large. She recently met with Northern Ireland’s minister of education John O’Dowd and representatives from the Children’s Aid Society National Center for Community Schools (NCCS) at Salomé Ureña de Henriquez School, a community school in Washington Heights.
The Children’s Aid Society focuses on supporting New York’s children, especially those facing poverty. Since 1992, the organization has worked with the New York City Department of Education to set up community schools in vulnerable neighborhoods. The NCCS was created in 1994 to focus solely on community schools when it became clear that more organized support was needed to meet the demand for these types of schools in New York.
Since that time, the NCCS has sponsored 15 conferences nationally and sent representatives to community school conferences all over the world, including to Wales, Indonesia, and the Czech Republic. The organization has also welcomed over 15,000 visitors and helped establish New York City as the United States’ largest community school network.