Reflecting the rapid rise of Long Island's Hispanic population, Dafny Irizarry just became the first Latina elected to chair the 10-member board of trustees of Suffolk County Community College.
That she was elected after less than two years on the board speaks well of her leadership. She's the founder and president of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association and taught for 17 years in Central Islip, one of four areas here with a Hispanic majority. Another is Brentwood, home of one of the college's campuses.
Irizarry's election has symbolic value, as a marker of a diversity so fast-growing that it will soon make the election of a Latino or Latina to this post unremarkable. It's a first well worth noting. But now, it's on to the day-to-day business of guiding the growth of the largest community college in the state.