Meet the Team

Community Superintendent, Rafael Alvarez

 Community Superintendent, Rafael Alvarez 

I have enjoyed over 18 years as a principal leadership facilitator, principal, assistant principal, elementary teacher, AIS teacher, lead teacher, UFT chapter leader, and both literacy and math coach. 

I am eager and prepared to contribute my knowledge with New York City Public Schools, to foster leadership through the building of capacity to maximize student outcomes within the district. 

With experience in program initiatives, optimizing the learning atmosphere, staff development, and promoting a safe environment, I have a proven record for exceeding goals through effective internal and external communication. I have a firm commitment to student centered learning, while engaging all stakeholders including parents, community-based organizations, local politicians, staff, students and the field support center.

My uncompromising philosophy is that all students can learn, given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and enhances student confidence. It is my belief that a district educational mission is to create an environment where life-long learning is part of the culture, learning is enjoyable and exciting while ensuring there is academic rigor. I also believe if school leaders are wholeheartedly vested in their students those same students will be inspired, engaged, empowered and committed to learning.


Rafael Alvarez, Superintendent

Community School District 7

Deputy Community Superintendent, Dr. Nyree Dawn Dixon

 Deputy Community Superintendent, Dr. Nyree Dawn Dixon 

As the Deputy Community Superintendent, Nyree’s role includes, but not limited to:

• Fulfilling the role of the superintendent’s primary designee; may act as the superintendent’s designee for supervisory visits

• Supporting the superintendent in improving the performance of district principals with respect to educational effectiveness and school performance

• Conducting site visits and works with principals and

instructional staff to address areas of improvement or focus as identified by the superintendents or PLFs 

Ms. Nyree Dawn Dixon has worked as a professional educator within the New York City public school system for more than twenty years. 

She recently served as a Principal for 12 years and an administrator for 15 years in grades ranging from Prek-8. She has taught High School in Beijing, China and elementary school in Brooklyn, NY. Ms. Dixon’s leadership and school improvement are documented in A. Wade Boykin and Dr. Pedro Noguera’s book, "Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap."

Ms. Dixon was profiled in WNYC Schoolbook, Chalkbeat, New York Daily News, and several other publications. She received many awards and citations given by the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the New York City Council, Affinity   Healthcare, community, cultural, educational, religious and parental organizations. Currently, Ms. Dixon is completing doctoral studies in educational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.


Director of Early Childhood, Carlyn Rahynes

 Director of Early Childhood, Carlyn Rahynes 

As the Director of Early Childhood, Carlyn’s role includes, but not limited to:

• Supports and manages the district-wide implementation of Pre-K programs in district schools; provides direct oversight of district Pre-K centers, where applicable

• Coordinates closely with the Division of Early Childhood to ensure accountability and a continuum of supports

Carlyn’s journey with the Department of Education began over 20 years ago. 

As the Director of Early Childhood Education, Carlyn’s mission for all district early childhood classrooms is: to provide planned, purposeful, engaging experiences that provide the foundation for positive social emotional development and academic learning for all children.  Carlyn enjoys and has a passion for early childhood education; she believes we are the advocates for our youngest voices and a solid foundation is crucial for a successful school career.

Director of School Improvement (DSI), Maiysha Etienne

 Director of School Improvement (DSI), Maiysha Etienne 

As the DSI, Maiysha’s role includes, but not limited to:

• Assists with the coordination and implementation of the 

School Renewal Initiative

• Provides needs-aligned instructional and operational supports to a number of underperforming schools, including professional development, intensive

interventions, summer programming and extended learning opportunities, to ensure accelerated academic achievement for the schools served

• Supports school redesign evaluation procedures and processes to facilitate school improvement that results in a significant positive impact on student achievement

As a member of the District 7 Team, Maiysha’s goal is to support all school leaders to continually cultivate and sustain joyful learning environments that promote high levels of complex thinking and achievement for ALL students. She has over 13 years of experience in the DOE and has served as an elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, Principal, TDEC, and now Director of School Improvement. Prior to becoming an educator she practiced law for five years. 

Her areas of expertise include the Danielson Framework for Teaching, Data-Wise Improvement Process, designing high impact PL sessions, CEP development, progress monitoring, teacher teams, and collective bargaining agreements. Maiysha is a team player and looks forward in helping any school within the district at any capacity.

Director of School Improvement (DSI), Nicky Kram Rosen

 Director of School Improvement (DSI), Nicky Kram Rosen 

As the DSI, Nicky’s role includes, but not limited to: 

  • Engaging our Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools in cycles of Continuous School Improvement  
  • Empowering school building leaders to self-assess and identify their high-leverage instructional and operational needs in order to strategically coordinate collaborative school support inclusive of professional development, tiered interventions, after-school & summer programming and grant-funded opportunities that accelerate students’ learning and improve teacher practice 
  • Elevating schools’ practice around progress monitoring, distributive leadership, capacity building and sustainability 

Nicky is driven and deeply committed to improving the ability of NYC public school students to think and communicate so that each might become a good citizen, earn a decent living and lead a good life; helping young people make bold and valuable decisions with their lives while acting as a force for positive social change, and ensure students read well, write clearly, study effectively, reason soundly and question thoughtfully. She is fueled by the values instilled in her by her family, her education and the equal importance given to human development and social justice. She is a proud, committed public servant and a strong believer in the power of education, especially a high-quality public one; each day she asks, “How are weworking together to make this happen for the children and the families we serve?” 

Nicky has over 23 years of experience, and worn many hats, in the NYCDOE -- classroom teacher, UFT delegate, district staff developer, mentor, grant director, Gifted & Talented/Enrichment Instructional Specialist, elementary school principal – and public-school parent. 


Her areas of expertise include the curriculum design and development, systems-thinking, delivering PD, CEP goal setting and action plan alignment, progress monitoring, the School-wide Enrichment Model (SEM), programming and project-management. Nicky is the consummate teammate and a valued thought-partner; she is excited to work with all across Community School District 7. 

 Teacher Development & Evaluation Coach (TDEC), Florentino Rosa


As the TDEC, Florentino’s  role includes, but not limited to:

• Ensures that school leaders have the information and support they need to meet the expectations of the Framework for Great Schools through effective implementation of Advance and Common Core Learning Standards

• Supports instructional leaders in using Advance to assess teacher practice, utilize measures of student learning to assess teacher effectiveness, and deliver high-quality developmental feedback to improve teacher effectiveness and student learning

• Informs central efforts to develop and refine systems, research tools and program policies that support school leaders in providing meaningful evaluations and targeted professional development to teachers

Instructional Support Liaison (ISL), Dana Queen

 Instructional Support Liaison (ISL), Dana Queen 

As the ISL, Dana's role includes, but not limited to:

• Supports the work of aligning supports to school needs by ensuring comprehensive assessment of schools based on a variety of data sources, and coordinating the alignment of supports from the ISL to schools

• Supports schools with any concerns regarding ISL services and provides guidance on streamlining supports

• Acts as an intermediary between the superintendent’s office and ISL

As the Instructional Support Liaison, Ms. Queen brings over 20 years of diverse experience in education. She started her career in education as an elementary school teacher after leaving a career in business, and over time has served as a mentor, Literacy coach, Response to Intervention Coordinator and Assistant Principal. ​

Dana's areas of expertise include; Response to Intervention, Implementation of the Reading and Writing Workshop Model and Teacher support and development.​

Family Leadership Coordinator (FLC), Timothy Coleman

 Family Leadership Coordinator (FLC), Timothy Coleman 

As the FLC, Timothy’s role includes, but not limited to:

• Supports work related to parent leadership and community engagement

• Provides guidance for developing family involvement and leadership at the school and district levels

• Collaborates with Parent Associations/Parent-Teacher Associations (PA/PTAs) within each of the school communities and the district’s District Leadership Team (DLT),

School Leadership Teams (SLT), District Presidents’ Council, Title I Committees, and Community Education Council (CEC)

Timothy 'TDC' Coleman is Broadway performer and former Executive Director of a large non-profit agency. In his current role as the Family Leadership Coordinator, Timothy develops and implements 2 workshops per week hosted at the District office in the new Parent Empowerment Center, he works closely with Parent Coordinators providing ongoing support and professional development and supports the District's PA/PTA teams. In partnership with NY State he has lead citywide trainings on Title 1 and School Leadership Teams. 

During his 18-year career working in non-profit, Timothy was directly responsible for raising over $10M to support high quality STEM-focused after-school and summer programs that he created for students who live in under-resourced neighborhoods.

Family Support Coordinator (FSC), Melodie Duran

 Family Support Coordinator (FSC), Melodie Duran 

As the FSC, Melodie’s role includes, but not limited to:

• Serves as the point of contact for family concerns; may be contacted directly by families for resolution and escalation of any concerns

• Supports the development and implementation of DOE policies and strategies to strengthen family empowerment at all levels of the DOE, and provide a single point of entry for families to resolve concerns
• Provides family outreach and community engagement support, and communicates DOE initiatives, programs, policies, and regulations to families.

Melodie Duran is a professional dancer who studied at The Bronx Dance Theater then moved on to The School of American Ballet where she performed on the Lincoln Center stage in ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, among others. She competed in the National Dance Educators of America Competition at The Waldorf Astoria and was the 1st place Ballet Solo Winner.

A 19-year veteran of the DOE, she has spent the past 3 years as the Family Support Coordinator working with South Bronx families to help link them with much-needed services, as well as presiding over mediation meetings to increase the partnership between schools and families. She has 2 sons, Richard and Jader, and looks forward to her continued work with the District 7 Team and Family.

Administrative Assistant (AA), Rose Russell

 Administrative Assistant (AA), Rose Russell 

As the AA, Rose’s role includes, but not limited to:

• Work with the Superintendent and Family Leadership Coordinator to address community and parent concerns.

• Communicate with schools, parents/guardians, other DOE offices, City agencies, community organizations, and community representatives regarding Superintendent initiatives   and events.

• Schedule and organize meetings with various school, parent and community constituencies

Rose Russell is a Baruch College graduate with a BBA degree in Human Resource Management. As an administrative assistant with the global consulting firm of Willis Towers Watson, she assisted with high-profile meetings and executed a myriad of deliverables for the firm's marketing team. 


Rose looks forward to applying her corporate experience with the DOE. Rose is a firm believer in the power of literacy and how an education is a key to success in life; her everyday mantra is: “You are capable”.