Born March 29, 1946, Dr. Walter Alleyne Kyte, education leader and change agent died on Sept. 5, 2013 in Florida Hospital, Orlando several days after a car accident on the Linden/Soysdyke highway in Guyana, S.A, left him critically injured and unable to breathe on his own. The former superintendent of District 23 in Brooklyn, New York, and associate professor at Touro College was traveling from the U.S, to an educational conference in the South American nation, where he was also from. He was heading back to the city of Georgetown from the parish of Linden, to retrieve his luggage from the airline, when the mini bus he was riding in hit another vehicle, and hid driver subsequently lost control, and went over a nearby embankment and into the waters below.
While, his wife Jennifer is angry at the events that lead to Dr. Kyte's death and two other passengers, on that faithful morning, as well as at the lack of medical attention from the local hospitals within the first 48-72 hours of the accident, she said she's honored to speak about his many accomplishments and social change he's brought to the educational community of the city of New York and the many educational initiatives he was involved with preceding his death in the South American nation.
The third of seven children, Dr.Kyte graduated Georgetown Adventist Academy in Georgetown, Guyana. After he immigrated to the U.S., in 1968. Upon his arrival he attended Queens college, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts. Later, he received a coveted scholarship from Antioch university, located in Ohio, where he earned a masters degree in early childhood education. While there, he became the president of the black student organization and was nick named “Marcus Garvey,” a title he proudly wore, said his wife Jennifer. His drive to succeed led him to pursue yet another masters degree in Special Education from Jersey State college.
And he wasn’t done just yet. With the motivation of a great leadership team which he worked, he was encouraged to pursue his supervisory. And in 1985, he graduated with an Advance Degree in Supervision and Administration from Brooklyn College. An educator and social change advocate, his brother Godfrey Kyte remembers his brother taking the time to personally visit students' homes when they were performing poorly. Additionally, Countless stories of how he's impacted others careers and lives surfaced both in his Eulogy as well as from individuals and colleagues alike. One family member whispered at the funeral, “some people get buried, this guy got eulogized.” Wife Jennifer said she is confident that her husband's work will be felt for generations to come, and feels a bit of comfort knowing he died doing what he loved the most, which was creating social and economical changes through educational improvement.
As his life sketch read: Dr. Kyte registered at Walden University in the PH.D. program and received his doctorate degree in Organizational Management in 1993.
His professional career began over 40 years ago, in September 1973, when he landed a job with the New York City Board of Education, as a Title 1 reading teacher. With many years of experience under his belt, in 1991 he became an assistant principal of junior high school 263 in district 23 in Brooklyn. In 1996 he was selected by the community superintendent to serve PS/IS 298 the (Glenmore schools) as its new principal. With Dr.Kyte at its helm, the school made significant progress and within three years was featured on several television channels and radio stations for its academic growth. During 1997-2001 school years, PS/IS 298 was ranked among the top schools in the City of New York for achievements in Reading, and Mathematics, and in 1999, the Glenmore school was renamed the Dr. Betty Shabbaz School.
In yet another career feat in which he would be able to create social change, Dr. Kyte was selected to serve as it's Superintendent. Under his leadership in 2005 District 23 made significant gains in both Reading and Mathematics with a 12 percent improvement in Mathematics and therefore ranked first in the City of New York.
Dr. Kyte is survived by his wife, Jennifer and five children, khalifah, Vanessa Dwayne, Jenelle, and Renee. “He will be greatly missed”, said his brother, Godfrey Kyte, who expressed the hurt he feels for both Dr. Kyte’s widow, his children and all the countless family members and community of people his work has impacted.