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RCSD Supt. Barbara Deane-Williams to retire in January

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RCSD
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The Rochester City School District will be looking for a new Superintendent of Schools.

A statement was released late Thursday night by Barbara Deane-Williams saying that she intends to retire effective January 31, 2019.

Deane-Williams did not go into specifics about why she is retiring. She will be holding a news conference late Friday afternoon.

In her statement, Deane-Williams says it has been “a privilege to serve as Superintendent and work side-by-side with so many dedicated educators, staff members, labor partners, parents, and community members.  Though we continue to face many long-standing challenges, we’ve made consistent progress in several key areas to improve the quality of education in our District.  We must continue to build on this progress to ensure our children have the high-quality education they deserve.”

Deane-Williams was appointed superintendent of the city schools in the summer of 2016. Previously, she was superintendent of schools in the Greece school district. She then took a leadership job with public schools in Boston before accepting the Rochester position.

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

Jaime Aquino was named to that post.  State education officials had noted that the city school district has experienced significant academic issues over the last several years.

A Distinguished Educator is considered a consultant to the district and Aquino's services are paid for by the city school district.

Here is the full statement Deane-Williams released Thursday night:

"I have notified the Rochester Board of Education and staff of the Rochester City School District of my decision to retire effective January 31, 2019.  It has been a privilege to serve as Superintendent and work side-by-side with so many dedicated educators, staff members, labor partners, parents, and community members.  Though we continue to face many long-standing challenges, we’ve made consistent progress in several key areas to improve the quality of education in our District.  We must continue to build on this progress to ensure our children have the high-quality education they deserve. 

I want to thank Board President Van White and the Board of Education Commissioners for working throughout my term to implement a strong digital transformation plan; provide additional reading teachers, school counselors, and social workers; and champion improved parent and community engagement.  I want to thank Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren who is a tireless champion for stronger schools, stronger neighborhoods, and a stronger city.  I want to thank all of the dedicated District staff who work every day to help our students achieve, learn, and grow.  I want to thank the parents of our community for supporting their children and supporting our schools.  Most of all, I want to thank the students.  Our students offer unlimited promise and potential and have been a daily inspiration to me.

During my remaining time, I will work to ensure a smooth transition and to support any forthcoming recommendations of the Distinguished Educator appointed by Commissioner Elia.  I remain committed to the District’s mission to provide a quality education that ensures our students graduate with the skills to be successful in a democratic society and the global economy."

Barbara Deane-Williams

Superintendent, Rochester City School District

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.