The history of an organization is reflective of those who served in its purpose and development. Perhaps, through the next several Newsletters, by our writing about the professional lives and accomplishments of some of our prestigious leaders of the New York Academy of Public Education over the past few decades, our membership will appreciate better the richness of our heritage.
Jack Bloomfield (Ph.D.), past Chairman of the Board of Examiners is a decorated WWII veteran, deeply involved in education. He participated in the 1960 White House Conference on Education, was President of the New York Experimental Society, the Doctorate Association of New York, the Junior High School Principals’ Association of New York City (the predecessor of CSA). For many years he wrote weekly columns on Education for the Civil Service Leader.
Serving three years in India as part of the Tenth Air Force he became obsessed with the field of Education as a life work. Jack told me that he was surrounded in the 1940’s by poverty, famine and 90% illiteracy with no understanding of basic hygiene. To alleviate the situation, motion pictures were shown in each village on such topics as “How to Boil Water.”
After the war, now interested in adult education, Jack joined the New York Adult Education Council, which offered information to onsite visitors from card files on city-wide courses. This led him to Pace University, arranged through the Council, to have the course information provided by Pace phones. He then developed “The Directory of Continuing Education Opportunities” which was disseminated to all the school districts on information on certificates, diplomas and degrees.
Indefatigable, until he joined the Board of Examiners, he taught at local colleges. After retirement, he joined the National Association of Secondary School Principals as a consultant.
Jack’s passion for education and his commitment to his life’s work mark a model for the Academy.