Cynthia Hunter has been a facilitator/coach with NYC Leadership Academy since her retirement from the New York City Department of Education in 2005. Prior to her retirement Ms. Hunter served as Principal of the St. Albans School, Public School 36, located in Queens, New York. When Ms. Hunter became Principal of PS 36, the school had just been designated by the State as a School In Need of Improvement (SINI). Utilizing the many professional skills and talents of her staff and the support of the community, Ms. Hunter was able to move the school to a School of Excellence within three years. During her tenure as Principal, English Language Arts scores soared 30 percentage points and Mathematics scores soared 40 percentage points. Her school became the recipient of the New York State Reading Excellence Act Grant and was on the New York State Most Improved Lists for both Reading and Mathematics. Under Ms. Hunter’s leadership, the school became a Teachers College project school for innovative methods in balanced literacy and eventually became a model school for the entire city.
Not only did the students excel academically, but Ms. Hunter also insisted that the students develop a sense of community. One of her most successful projects with the students was the restoration of the community murals located at the St. Albans LIRR Station— treasured landmarks of community residents.
Ms. Hunter is a product of the New York City school system. She attended PS 113 and Wadleigh JHS in Harlem. Moving to Corona, Queens with her family, she graduated from Flushing High School. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York and a Masters of Arts from New York University.
Ms. Hunter served on the New York City Special Education Committee under Chancellor Joel Klein. She also served as a sitting principal mentor for new principals during her tenure as principal. In 2004, she was inducted as a member of the Cahn Fellows Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, a program for distinguished New York City Principals. She was awarded the New York State Businessmen’s Award for PS 36’s high academic achievement. She was honored and awarded a Community Service Award by the St. Albans Community for outstanding community service and a Congressional Achievement Award for exemplary achievement.