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State appoints a new 'Distinguished Educator' to help the Rochester City School District

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, Distinguished Educator Jaime Aquino
Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

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NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has named a new “Distinguished Educator” to help the Rochester City School District improve its academic performance.

Jaime Aquino was named to that post on Wednesday. Elia says that Aquino has worked in education for more than 30 years, starting his career as a bilingual teacher in Queens, and then working in leadership roles in Los Angeles, Denver and Hartford, CT.

Back in April, Kenneth Eastwood was named to be Distinguished Educator in Rochester but that appointment was rescinded after an agreement on his contract could not be reached.

State Ed. officials note that the city school district has experienced significant academic issues over the last several years including having the 2nd lowest 4-year, 5-year and 6-year graduation rates of any district in the state that has more than 30 students in a cohort.

A Distinguished Educator is considered a consultant to the district and his services will be paid for by the city school district.

“The Rochester City School District needs to address many deficiencies in instruction and student support that are barriers to student learning,” Commissioner Elia said. “Working with Superintendent Deane-Williams and the district, Dr. Aquino will assess the district’s fiscal, operational and instructional operations and develop strategies for improvement.”

Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents T. Andrew Brown of Rochester, said, “The Board of Regents and the State Education Department are committed to working with the Rochester community to provide all students with the knowledge and skills to choose their own path to success life. Dr. Aquino will be an asset to the district, the board and the children they serve.”

Aquino’s appointment is effective August 18 and during the first 45 days of his appointment, he will focus on working with the district to develop an action plan outlining goals and objectives for the district and himself for the upcoming school year.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.