NYC school principal’s wife is accused of scamming husband’s teachers

Author: Yuvi November 20, 2022


A New York City principal’s wife is accused of scamming her husband’s teachers who are recruited from the Dominican Republic and forced to stay in a co-opted owned apartment for up to $1,400 per month.

Sterling Báez, 32, the wife of former MS 80 principal and the vice president of the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators Emmanuel Polanco, allegedly helped recruit 25 teachers to work with Spanish-speaking students and forced them to sleep in family-owned housing located at 3866 Marion Ave.

The teachers were reportedly required by Báez to live in the apartment complex and rent out their rooms—without the option of sharing—for between $1,350 to $1,400 per month.

‘We wanted to move into the same bedroom [and split the rent]but they said “No you cannot. You have to live individually,” one teacher told the New York Post.

An investigation was launched earlier this month as authorities probe the allegations against Polanco and his wife. Polanco was removed as principal and vice president of ADASA amid the investigation.

Records show that Juana Polanco-Abreu – Principal Polanco’s mom, purchased the housing complex in 2006 for $155,000, the news outlet reported.

Apartment rent records show that the teachers submit their payments to Báez.

It was also uncovered that the ADASA program profits more than $8,900 from putting about 11 teachers in a two-bedroom home in the Bronx located at Baychester Avenue.

The program charges the teachers about $1,450 per month despite only paying $6,900 to rent the home.

Emmanuel Polanco, the vice president of the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators, and his wife, are currently under investigation for allegedly scamming teachers into overpaying rent in a family-owned complex

Polanco and his wife, Sterling Báez, allegedly helped recruit 25 teachers to work with Spanish-speaking students and forced them to sleep in family-owned housing located at 3866 Marion Ave.

Polanco and his wife, Sterling Báez, allegedly helped recruit 25 teachers to work with Spanish-speaking students and forced them to sleep in family-owned housing located at 3866 Marion Ave.

Polanco was the former MS 80 principal.  Records show that his mom bought the apartment complex in 2006.

Polanco was the former MS 80 principal. Records show that his mom bought the apartment complex in 2006.

Polanco resigned amid the accusations.  Pictured: Polanco with an unidentified woman

Polanco resigned amid the accusations. Pictured: Polanco with an unidentified woman

Teachers living in the apartment complex said they received a list of complex rules from Báez and were unable to bring their families to the US with them.

“I cry every night,” teacher Rosa Minier told The Post.

Minier revealed that she was forbidden from bringing her husband and children, aged between 6 to 12, along with her for one year.

Ramon Alexander Suriel, 50, arrived in New York with his wife and children but was given the ultimatum to either send his family back to the Dominican Republic or quit.

Suriel chose his family over his job and left back to his country. He claimed he paid unnecessary fees of up to $3,500 from ADASA for his airline ticket.

‘I want my money back,’ Suriel told The Post.

The teachers can also lose their J-1 visas and jobs if they refuse to follow complex rules.

Marianna Mason, the Cordell Hull Foundation executive director in charge of an NYC visa sponsor organization, issued a letter to the teachers and the situation with Polanco and his wife was a 'misunderstanding'

Marianna Mason, the Cordell Hull Foundation executive director in charge of an NYC visa sponsor organization, issued a letter to the teachers and the situation with Polanco and his wife was a ‘misunderstanding’

Polanco was the former principal of MS 80. He resigned following the launch of the investigation.

Polanco was the former principal of MS 80. He resigned following the launch of the investigation.

Marianna Mason, the Cordell Hull Foundation executive director in charge of an NYC visa sponsor organization, issued a letter to the teachers and said the situation with Polanco and his wife was a ‘misunderstanding.’

‘Emmanuel Polanco and the entire ADASA team have done all this work to give, to contribute, and not to profit from you,’ Mason wrote. ‘ADASA has not exploited you; quite the contrary, they have worked only to help them, support them and promote the mission of cultural exchange.’

Mason dismissed the teacher’s accusations as ‘cultural shock.’

‘We are reaching out to remind you that you are currently in Stage 2 of Culture Shock, the most difficult in the emotional curve that foreign teachers typically experience during their first year in the US as they try to adjust to the culture and the US education. system,’ Mason said while attaching a video the teachers watched during orientation.

Mason urged the teachers who have spoken with news outlets to walk back on their allegations.

‘CHF would appreciate it if those of you who have spoken to journalists would call them back to correct any misperceptions reflected in this news article as soon as possible,’ Mason wrote. ‘Make it a priority.’

20 November, 2022, 10:01 pm

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