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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Soler speaks on Yonkers candidacy as Schenectady board plans next moves

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SCHENECTADY — The potential departure of Schenectady Central School District Superintendent Anibal Soler, Jr. has sparked discussions and concerns within the community. Soler, who is a finalist for the superintendent position at Yonkers Public Schools, addressed the situation in a letter to the community.

In his weekly superintendent’s brief distributed to the Schenectady school district on Friday evening, Soler expressed that he did not have an official announcement to make about possibly ending his two-and-a-half-years tenure with the district.

Soler began his letter to the community by apologizing for how the news of his Yonkers candidacy reached the public. The Yonkers Voice news organization reported in a social media post on Dec. 31 that Soler is expected to become the next Yonkers superintendent, with the Yonkers district subsequently confirming that Soler is a finalist for the position.

“I have prided myself on having ongoing and timely communication with the community and our district regarding topics that would impact our work,” Soler wrote. “With it being a confidential process and nothing being official, I wouldn’t and couldn’t say anything.”

Soler noted that with Yonkers confirmation of his candidacy that he could briefly discuss his job status.

“Again, I hoped to inform the community once there was an official appointment and again to avoid having the community find out in the manner that it did,” Soler wrote. “I apologize for any hurt, anxiety, or stress this announcement has caused any of you. I don’t have any further information to share with you, but I will provide an update if things change or become official.”

The Yonkers Board of Education has a special meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The Yonkers district did not respond to a query Monday on whether the superintendent search would be addressed at the special meeting. The Yonkers superintendent position has been vacant since July 2023 when Edwin Quezada left the post.

The Schenectady school board will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Mont Pleasant Middle School.

Schenectady Board of Education President Bernice Rivera said on Monday that the school board will hold an executive session following the Wednesday night meeting to discuss the potential options if Soler accepts the Yonkers job.

“The board will meet to discuss the possible outcomes with Superintendent Soler’s candidacy at Yonkers and how we intend to move forward,” Rivera said. “The meeting will provide an opportunity for all board members to share their thoughts and perspectives about next steps. In addition, the board will discuss the best way to keep the momentum, progress and leadership moving in Schenectady.”

Rivera said that Soler will not be in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, as he will be out of town at a pre-planned education conference.

“I think it’s really important for everyone to know that we have a strong foundation and this impressive foundation has been built under the leadership of the superintendent and his team,” Rivera said on Monday. “The board’s goal is to continue supporting our upward trajectory by discussing the next course of action for our students, staff, families and community.”

When Soler was hired by the Schenectady district in July 2021, the then-superintendent of the Batavia City School District was selected after a 14-month process to replace outgoing superintendent Laurence Spring.

“I do want to talk to the board first about how we’re going to be moving forward and then we’ll let the community know how we’re going to move forward,” Rivera said of a potential timeline to replace Soler if he is named Yonkers superintendent.

Soler did not respond to a request for further comment on the Yonkers post on Monday.

“Please know that regardless of what happens, I am committed to the work we have started and are doing,” Soler wrote in the community newsletter. “I will work with the Board of Education and the Executive Leadership Team to ensure those initiatives continue regardless of what happens to me. I know it’s difficult for something like this not to create a disturbance, but I encourage all of you to keep focused on the critical work underway and keep pushing forward. Schenectady is rising because of each of you. Never forget that.”

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Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres, a native of Schenectady, has returned to his hometown after several years of reporting in the Midwest. A graduate of Missouri School of Journalism, Alex is known for his empathetic approach to local news, covering everything from community events to local governance, always with an aim to bridge diverse perspectives.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Good punctuation and grammar, Disagree.
    Soler’s candidacy brings hope for positive change to the stagnant Schenectady board. It’s time for a fresh perspective and new ideas to move the city forward.

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