At least he didn’t put his foot in his mouth.
School Chancellor-designate Dennis Walcott instead put his best feet forward at a Boerum Hill school on Monday, dancing with first graders at PS 261 on Pacific Street and showing his sporting side with a quick game of kickball.
This was Walcott’s first visit to a public school since being named chancellor last week, taking over for the embattled Cathie Black, the media-wary former publisher of USA Today who lasted only three, gaffe-filled months on the job.
Walcott, a Queens native, served as deputy mayor for education and is a former member of the Board of Education and was at ease at the school — answering tough questions from a pint-sized press corps at the elementary school between Smith and Hoyt streets.
“Are you famous?” one child asked.
“I don’t think I am,” he said.
“Tell the truth,” the child followed up.
Like his predecessor, Walcott lacks training as a schools administrator, and will need a waiver from the state to allow him to govern without a school superintendent’s license.
But that’s where the similarities end, at least according to Wolcott.
“My style is different from Cathie’s, just like Cathie’s style was different from [former Chancellor Joel [Klein’s]. … What I want to dedicate the next two-and-a-half years to is making sure that parents are fully engaged in the lives of their children,” he said last week.
During his school tour, Wolcott dropped in on a dance and movement class, and tried to go step for step with the students, albeit awkwardly.
Some students couldn’t help notice there was something afoot.
“It feel like I’m on a commercial,” a child observed.
©2011 Community News Group
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