Vaughan Toney, the Vincentian-born president and chief executive officer (CEO) of The Friends of Crown Heights Educational Centers, Inc., (FOCH), has been appointed a member of the Mayoral Transition Team that will advise Mayor-elect Eric Adams on education issues when he takes office on Jan. 1.
As mayor, Adams will lead the nation’s largest school system, and members of the education panel will be expected to work well beyond his inauguration to delineate a comprehensive policy covering all aspects of education in the city.
Other team members include an impressive array of career educators and advocates, current and former elected officials, and notable innovators from the business and non-profit sectors.
“This unprecedented collection of great minds and hard-working New Yorkers will prepare my administration for success, because they represent the many backgrounds and views of our great city, and they are committed to working together toward its bright future,” said Adams, the incumbent Brooklyn Borough President, in a statement.
“If we are going to tackle the many challenges in front of us as a city, the advocacy, nonprofit and business worlds must all be at the same table, working in collaboration,” he added. “And that is exactly what this transition is doing.”
Toney has described his appointment to the Mayor’s Education Committee as “a once-in-a-lifetime privilege and opportunity to help shape the destiny of our city.”
“I look forward to working collaboratively with this distinguished panel of experts in equipping all of our children with the tools they will need to successfully navigate a future of lifelong learning and accomplishment,” he told Caribbean Life on Wednesday.
Toney’s contribution to the work of the mayoral committee will be informed by more than three-and-a-half decades of related experience in public service, together with a lifelong commitment to child-care advocacy and high-quality, universal early childhood education.
After several years on the staff of the New York State Education Committee, under former Senator Leonard Stavisky, Toney traded Albany for City Hall, where he served as chief-of-staff to the trailblazing former New York City Council Member Dr. Una Clarke, the Jamaican-born, first ever Caribbean-born woman to be elected to the City Council.
Toney subsequently served in the same capacity to Belizean-born, former New York City Councilman the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Henry.
Under Toney’s leadership, as FOCH’s president and CEO, the organization has grown to become the premier not-for-profit provider of subsidized child care and Early Childhood Education in the City of New York, with over 23 daycare centers, primarily in Brooklyn, throughout the city.
Toney also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Day Care Council of New York, a membership organization of 93 sponsoring boards that operate more than 200 publicly-funded childcare centers and family child care programs in New York City.