The principal of the city’s most prestigious public schools is stepping down.
Stuyvesant High School Principal Eric Contreras will be leaving his job leading the specialized high school effective July 31, according to New York City’s Education Department.
"For the past four years I have served the Stuyvesant community with a great sense of awe and pride. I’ve been humbled and inspired in unimaginable ways by the work and dedication of staff, students and families. It has been a privilege and honor to serve the school, and I will continue to promote and champion the needs of our community, staff and students,” Contreras said in a statement.
The search for a new principal — conducted through what’s known as the C-30 process — will begin immediately. If a permanent principal is not found by the end of July, an interim one will be appointed.
The departure comes as the city’s schools are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, which necessitated a citywide shutdown of classrooms and move to virtual learning in March.
It also comes as the city’s specialized high schools, of which Stuyvesant is perhaps the most famous and competitive, are faced with criticism for serving few Black and Hispanic students when compared to the city’s overall school population. Admission is based solely on a single high-stakes test: this year only ten students were admitted to the school.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has previously called for scrapping the entrance exam and using other measures to admit students; efforts to repeal a state law requiring the exam failed repeatedly in Albany, leading him to eventually concede he would need a new strategy to diversify the schools.