lesli myers-small

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

When she was an undergraduate college student, Lesli Myers-Small said she considered going to medical school.

But the superintendent of the Rochester City School District never imagined she would have to understand so much about health and medicine in her career in education.

"It's been challenging," Myers-Small said about preparing for a new school year in the midst of a global health pandemic that is filled with uncertainties.

Rochester City School District

Rochester City School Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small introduced a hybrid plan Thursday for reopening district buildings. Last school year, all students finished the year learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A return-to-school plan from all districts was ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

A new survey from the Rochester City School District asks students, parents and staff their concerns and questions about reopening schools. 

“The survey was released to help better understand the concerns and/or questions individuals have regarding the reopening of schools this fall,” a statement from the district said.

The feedback is expected to be used along with guidance from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and national, state and local health officials. 

James Brown / WXXI

On Thursday, Rochester residents are expected to have their first chance to talk to Shelley Jallow, the state-appointed monitor for the city school district.

Jallow was appointed last month as part of a deal with the state to bail out the district in April. The district was short more than $30 million and was running low on options for funding, until the state stepped in. Jallow told the board last week that one of her chief concerns center’s on the district’s strategic planning. 

The Rochester City School District has a new superintendent. On Monday, the district named Lesli Myers-Small its new leader. Her appointment follows the unexpected and abrupt resignation of Terry Dade. Myers-Small was the superintendent of Brockport Central Schools for seven years, and most recently served as assistant commissioner of school reform and innovation for the New York State Department of Education. She's the first woman of color to lead the RCSD outside of an interim role.

This hour, Myers-Small joins us to discuss her priorities, her goals for implementing the new budget, and how she plans to mitigate the district's challenges while best serving its students. Our guest: 

Myers-Small named new RCSD superintendent

May 18, 2020
Provided by the Rochester City School District

Lesli Myers-Small, who led Brockport public schools for seven years and currently oversees efforts to turn around troubled schools for the state, was named superintendent of the Rochester City School District on Monday.

Her selection follows the unexpected resignation of Terry Dade, who announced his departure a month ago after less than a year into the job to lead a smaller and more affluent school district in the Hudson Valley.

James Brown / WXXI

Assemblyman Harry Bronson and his primary challenger for the 138th District seat, Alex Yudelson, have nothing but good things to say about incoming Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small. Multiple sources tell WXXI News that she is the board’s choice for the role. 

Bronson said he knew for a while that Myers-Small was in the mix for the top job at the district. He’s discussed her resume with education experts.