STAR OF BROOKLYN: Jayne Capetanakis, Community Board 10 member

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Jayne Capetanakis takes great pride and joy in being able to live, work and volunteer in Brooklyn. As a member on Community Board 10, she is honored to be able to help improve the lives of the people in the Bay Ridge area, especially the children. She shows her Bay Ridge pride every year as she leads her school, P.S. 69 where she is the principal, in the Ragamuffin Parade along Third Avenue.

She also shows her love and support in other areas of Brooklyn. She fought to get traffic lights installed outside of her school building on 8th Avenue and 64th Street for the safety of her young students and everyone in the community. She continues to encourage community values through events and programs hosted at her school. These “Family Fun” nights invite performers from across all cultures and parts of New York to teach children and their parents about the arts.

“Everything we do, we do for the children,” Capetanakis said.

AWARDS: Capetanakis has been honored with several awards over her career. She was chosen as a Cahn Fellow at the Teacher’s College, Columbia University in 2010-2011 for being a high-achieving principal. In June of 2012, she received a UFT Award in recognition of her service upon the school’s tenth anniversary. She was also honored with the Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture in recognition of the programs offered at P.S. 69.

CAREER: More than receiving such awards, the highlight of Capetanakis’ career thus far is returning to P.S. 69 as principal in 2009 after serving as a founding member when it opened in 2002. One of her main goals as leader of the school, which is also known as the Vincent D. Grippo School, is “try[ing] to carry on the legacy” of the former supervisor who had “great initiatives in the arts, education and technology,” Capetanakis said. She’s also proud to share that P.S. 69 is a high-performing school that continues to show progress, no easy feat in a situation where half of the students are English language learners.

PERSONAL LIFE: Capetanakis is the mother of three adult children. She and her husband live in Bay Ridge, and she says she is “happy to serve children of [her] hometown.”

CHALLENGES: The greatest difficulties Capetanakis faces in accomplishing all she wants to do are time and money. She said that it’s challenging to find the time to include so many different initiatives, and giving the staff the time to realize their goals. The budget also comes to be a concern when they are offering so many varied programs. “Being able to balance it all” is the greatest challenge, Capetanakis shared.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.