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Friday, April 19, 2024

Schenectady School District in Search of New Superintendent After Soler Accepts Yonkers Position

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SCHENECTADY‌ — Schenectady City School District Superintendent Anibal‍ Soler Jr. has accepted a five-year contract to take over ‍the superintendent post at ⁢Yonkers⁢ Public Schools, leaving Schenectady searching for his‍ replacement two-and-a-half ‌years after Soler arrived in the district.

Soler’s ⁣departure has left the Schenectady community​ in search of a​ new ⁣leader to continue the work that has been done to improve the district’s educational system. Mayor Gary‌ McCarthy expressed his gratitude for ‌Soler’s ⁢contributions and wished him well ⁢in his new role ⁣in Yonkers.

Soler will begin his⁤ new job on May ​1, with the official signing a contract with the Yonkers‌ district that will last through June 2028.

“It’s a loss for Schenectady and a boon for one of our sister communities,” Schenectady⁤ Mayor Gary McCarthy said on Wednesday.

Soler’s hire ⁢in Schenectady ⁢concluded a 14-month⁣ search to replace departing Superintendent Laurence Spring in July 2021, with McCarthy saying that he hopes the district‍ can find Soler’s⁣ replacement in a timely manner.

“It’s an important position, and maybe⁣ they’ll be able to draw ​on⁤ some of‍ the work that’s already been done to put ⁢it together to get a candidate ‌in here,”⁤ McCarthy said.

The Schenectady​ Board of Education was set to meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday ⁤evening, with an executive session following ‍the meeting to discuss the options for replacing Soler.

Board of Education President Bernice ⁢Rivera ​did not⁢ respond to requests for comment on Wednesday regarding ⁤Soler’s ‌departure.

News of Soler’s departure comes eight months after Schenectady voters approved a $300 million capital project in May that will‍ fund the renovation of district‌ buildings ⁢through 2030.

The district showed modest ⁣gains in 2023 ‌state tests ‌scores for reading and math and the district reported in December that ⁤in the first​ quarter of the 2023-24 school year⁤ that the majority of students in grades 6-8 tested three or more grade levels below in math ⁢and reading standardized tests.

In 2021-22, zero eighth grade‌ math students passed the state’s math test,‌ with 11% ‌passing ​the exam in 2022-23 state testing.

Soler’s $224,005 salary ranked the superintendent as the highest paid public employee ⁤in the city in 2023.

The Yonkers Board of Education⁤ voted 8-0 to approve Soler’s hire during a special meeting ​on⁢ Tuesday night, with Soler introduced to the Yonkers community in a press conference immediately following the board meeting.

The Yonkers district began its search‍ in July to replace former Superintendent Edwin Quezada.

“It is a great honor and a privilege ⁣to be appointed as the Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools,” Soler said on Tuesday. ⁢“I am deeply grateful to Mayor [Mike] Spano, the​ entire Board of Trustees, and the Yonkers community for their unanimous vote of confidence in my leadership. This appointment is a testament to the strength and collaboration of our trustees, reflecting our shared commitment ⁣to excellence in education. I am immensely excited about ​the future of Yonkers Public Schools. My primary focus will be ​on continuing to elevate our district, assuring ‍that‍ every student is provided with an exceptional education that equips ‍them‌ for⁣ success.⁢ Together, we will build on our strengths, embrace innovative approaches, and ensure that our district becomes a beacon of educational excellence.”

Soler served as the Superintendent of Batavia City Schools and an Assistant Superintendent at Buffalo Public Schools prior to⁢ his arrival in Schenectady.

“Our exhaustive national search‌ has ​culminated in selecting a leader whose unparalleled experience in transforming urban school districts is a ‍perfect match‌ for our needs,” Yonkers School Board President Rev. Steve Lopez said after Soler’s appointment. “Mr. Soler’s ⁤exemplary​ track record in boosting student achievement and his deep commitment to ⁤community engagement embody the ideal qualities we sought for​ this pivotal role. His innovative⁣ leadership and visionary approaches are poised ⁤to make a profound impact on our students and the Yonkers community as ⁣a whole. We are united in our excitement and look forward to the positive changes his tenure will bring.”

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Juniper Li
Juniper Li
Juniper Li, with her roots in documentary filmmaking, brings a unique narrative style to local news reporting. A graduate of NYU’s Journalism program, Ava has a keen eye for stories that capture the essence of community life. Her reporting often highlights local achievements and challenges, drawing on her experience in visual storytelling.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. No surprise here, Schenectady School District needs fresh leadership to address its persistent challenges. #TimeForChange

  2. Agree: It’s essential for the Schenectady School District to find a highly qualified and committed new superintendent who can bring fresh ideas and effective strategies to tackle the challenges faced by the district.

  3. Agree: It’s crucial for the Schenectady School District to find a qualified and dedicated superintendent who can bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to address the district’s challenges.

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