Although Walcott lacks training as a schools administrator and requires a waiver from the New York State Education Department under Education Commissioner David M. Steiner, he is a former employee at Amistad Day Care Center, holds a master's degrees in the education field and is a former member of the New York City Board of Education. He also served nine years as New York City Deputy Mayor for Education.
 Early life and education
Walcott is the son of immigrants from Barbados, and also St. Croix of the United States Virgin Islands. He is a native of Queens, New York. He attended Francis Lewis High School, and earned a Bachelor's degree in 1973 and a Master's degree in 1974 from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He earned a Master's in Social Work from Fordham University in 1980.
 Public service work
In 1975, Walcott founded the Frederick Douglas Brother-to-Brother mentoring program. He went on to become President and Chief Executive of the New York Urban League for 12 years, where he expanded educational and youth service programs. He also served as Executive Director of the Harlem Dowling Westside Center, expanding services to children and families in need. In 1993 Mayor David Dinkins appointed him to the predecessor agency to the Department of Education, the New York City Board of Education. His term extended into the mayoral term of previous mayor Rudy Giuliani. He also taught as an adjunct professor of Social Work at York College, and was a talk show radio host on community issues. 
 Personal life
Walcott and his wife Denise have four children and two grandchildren, who have attended New York City Public Schools.
- "Walcott on New York Times". Last updated: April 7, 2011. New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- Daniel Massey, "Meet the new guy: Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott", "Crain's New York Business," April 7, 2011 http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110407/FREE/110409898
- New York City Department of Education website, February 2009, "Q+A with Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott" http://schools.nyc.gov/AboutUs/SchoolNews/CitySchools/Issues/022009/walcott.htm
- Springer, Bevan (5 August 2010). "Mayor Bloomberg to host West Indians at Gracie Mansion". Caribbean360. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
- "Dennis M. Walcott". Office of the Mayor. nyc.gov. Retrieved 8 April 2011.
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