WATCH: Rochester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas On Highs, Lows & Challenges Of His RCSD Career
“Challenges can be turned into opportunities.” That’s a belief held by Rochester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, Ed.D. When he officially took the helm as leader of the city school system he certainly inherited a number of challenges: poor graduation rates, gaps in special education services, burned bridges between his predecessor, Jean Claude Brizard, and the teachers union and the school board, among a host of others things. His focus areas in tackling these issues included literacy and attendance initiatives, an extended school day and a push for a longer school year, and other efforts.
However, after four years and six months shy of the end of his contract, Bolgen Vargas announced his resignation effective at the start of 2016. Need to Know’s Hélène Biandudi Hofer sat down with the Superintendent for this segment to discuss the highs and lows of his career at the district and to learn why his challenges with the school board, in particular, were viewed as an early exit as opposed to an opportunity to complete the work he had started.