Rochester City School District Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard speaks with Diocese of Rochester Schools Superintendent Anne Willkens Leach in November 2009.
Brizard resigned from his position last month.
Community leaders eye RCSD's future without Brizard
By Annette Jiménez/EMC
ROCHESTER -- A former school board member has been selected as interim superintendent for the Rochester City School District as the board continues its work to find a replacement for Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard who resigned last month.
, who was to report in as superintendent of Chicago public schools
by May 14 and was to start his
new job on May 16, said he
supported Vargas' appointment.
According to information from district officials, Vargas' dissertation, "Educational Success in the Face of Adversity as Measured by High School Graduation," was based on his
analysis of the district's high school graduating class of 2009 and compared the success and failure rates of students facing the same risk factors.
He also holds a bachelor's degree in international studies and a master's degree in school counseling from the State University of New York at Brockport.
is committed to helping young people get the most out of their education and realize their potential," Brizard
said in a statement.
is extremely smart and intimately familiar with the Rochester City School District
, our strengths and the challenges facing our students and staff.
We worked together very recently as part of his
research into the conditions surrounding students who drop out of high school.
I am sure this will continue to be an area of focus for him in his
role as interim superintendent."
During the Latino Education Summit April 26 at Nazareth College, Latino community leaders expressed concern about who will replace Brizard permanently, but an advocate for improving academic achievement for Latino students noted that work will continue no matter who fills the position.
During the summit, Brizard
also said that improving graduation rates and decreasing drop-out rates for Latino students in Rochester is too important not to go on.
"It's not about me," he
"It's about the work.
It's about committed people."
The Rochester Board of Education
also has shown its support of Latino students by contracting with urban-education experts from New York University
to work with it and district staff, and Brizard
resignation will not have an impact on that.
Brizard, however, was the first superintendent that brought to light the underachievement of Latino students, remarked Hilda Rosario Escher, Ibero-American Action League's executive director and chief executive officer.
"It has been my honor and privilege to serve the children and families of Rochester for nearly three and a half years," Brizard
Brizard began as Rochester superintendent in January 2008.
A native of Haiti and the son of teachers, Brizard had previously worked as a regional superintendent overseeing a population of more than 100,000 students in New York City.