Beloved Queens superintendent reappointed after DOE’s threat of termination

Queens Superintendent Philip Composto DOE
District 30 Community Education Council member Deborah Alexander celebrated the reinstatement of Superintendent Philip Composto. (Photo by Alexander Marion)

Superintendent of District 30 schools Dr. Philip Composto was reappointed after the Department of Education (DOE) planned to oust the longtime educator by not allowing him to reapply for the position he held for decades.

In May, the DOE had told the current — and beloved — Superintendent Composto that he was not able to move forward in the rehiring process. However, the DOE was forced to walk back on this decision after an outpouring of support for Composto brought attention from local media and elected officials including state Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan. 

After going through the rehiring process, Composto was chosen to remain in his position, marking a win for the community who fought hard to keep him. Deborah Alexander, a District 30 Community Education Council (CEC) member, said that she is “elated and relieved” that Composto will remain as their superintendent of schools. 

“We have come to expect ‘fake engagement’ from years and years of prior administrations pretending to listen to our community, so we had no expectation that this process would be any different, despite all the insistence that they were listening to us,” Alexander said. 

Alexander along with other CEC members were extremely critical of the DOE and Chancellor David Banks after the administration threatened to oust Composto without any initial input from the community. However, since the news of Composto’s reappointment, Alexander walked back on her harsh words. 

“This is a chancellor who backs up his talk with walk,” Alexander said. “He said he would not only engage but truly listen to parents and the community and that’s precisely what he did. Banks has District 30’s gratitude and support and welcome back to our one and only, Dr. Composto.”

Gianaris also said he was relieved to hear the news about Composto. Gianaris had previously held a press conference, calling on the city to allow Composto to reapply for his position back in May.

“Dr. Composto is a capable administrator who has earned the respect of families, students and the general community for his engaging leadership,” Gianaris said. “I am pleased the city listened to the wishes of those stakeholders and opened their process to allow for Dr. Composto to be reappointed.”