Nov 29, 2012


Remember back in school, how the administration seemed like some mysterious, mythical cabal of unmatched power? Teachers I could comprehend. They all sounded like my mother, and wore vests made of blue jeans. That made sense to chubby ol' me. But what about the others?

The first time I got sent to the Vice Principle, she made sense too because she yelled like my father. She was a short, squaty black woman from the North who never stood. Beyond that though, she and my dad were like family. But after her, the mystery got pretty Mason-ish. There was the principle, whose voice I knew from morning announcements, but what they looked like? Who could say? And then there was the principle's boss, who the old timers just called "Superintendent."

Now, finally, the riddle of who, or what, this "Superintendent" is will be solved. That's because at this very moment, WIFE is taking a test to be licensed as one, and I couldn't be prouder. And not just any Superintendent: a New York City Public School Superintendent. New York, as in, "the biggest school system in the nation." Hashtag #LIKEABOSS

From her terrible driving record, though, I know that a license alone doth not make one good at something. With this one though, there's no doubt that she'll be one of the best. Here's why: she gives a damn. WIFE got into teaching because it pays well here, and the benefits are top-shelf (suck that Union hating fools with crappy insurance and no pay raises any time soon). But mostly, she did it because she cares about kids. I've seen her in action. Her class gets treated with the same kindness as MONSTA and MILLATIME. It's exactly what kids need. Of course the other stuff matters.  But in elementary, and especially in the neighborhood where she works, kids need a safe, supportive place where they can feel secure, protected, and worth something. And this is what she gives them, every single day.

One day, when WIFE retires, she'll tell me all about what a Superintendent does. And I'll die knowing one of the great secrets of our time. More importantly, a lot of kids in New York will be better off for having a serious, demanding but also incredibly caring person like WIFE in their corner.