Brooklyn, NY Native is New Interim Leader of Cincinnati Public Schools

June 16, 2021

By Todd Dykes, WLWT

Interim Superintendent Tianay Amat is interviewed by Todd Dykes, WLWTIn the last 72 hours, 16-year-old Oliver Santiago made the kind of decision that Tianay Amat fully supports.

"I started thinking (about getting vaccinated)," Santiago said. "I talked to my family, my mom, and she told me, 'Take the vaccine, and everybody is going to be safe.'"

With his family's guidance, Santiago got his first dose of protection against COVID-19 Monday at a clinic for students at Aiken High School.

"It feels good because I'm saving my family, my friends, my community," Santiago said.

Amat said the decision students like Santiago are making — to get vaccinated — should help classrooms in the Cincinnati Public School District look and feel more like they did during pre-pandemic days when the new year starts in August.

"Our hope is that we can open five days for all families; that it's a safe environment," Amat said. "We're going to continue to look at our data and monitor and make decisions as we go."

Amat is the district's interim superintendent. She assumed the title after Laura Mitchell announced her resignation last month.

"(I was) born and raised in Brooklyn, New York," she said.

When the native New Yorker came to Greater Cincinnati she worked as a principal in the Princeton City School District and in Lakota's curriculum department.

"Then I had to come back home to CPS, where I reopened Hyde Park school; and now, here as the interim superintendent," Amat said.

At Aiken High School Monday, Amat and principal Lisa Votaw were grateful for local health workers who vaccinated students in an effort to keep the coronavirus out of classrooms, once and for all.

"The kids are excited to have the opportunity," Votaw said. "They're excited. They're relieved. They want to be back at — normal is really the goal."

in addition to checking on the status of student vaccinations, Amat also focused on the district's Summer Scholars program. As part of the program at Aiken High School, students do four hours of academic work followed by two hours of enrichment activities, which can range from cooking to gardening to playing ping pong with classmates.

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