New consultant appointed to Rochester City School District

The state education department has appointed a new “distinguished educator” consultant to the Rochester City School District.

Mary Ellen Elia, the department commissioner, announced the appointment of Jaime Aquino July 18, according to information at She had previously appointed Kenneth Eastwood to the position last spring, but he stepped down due to personnel issues before beginning the work.

Elia made the distinguished educator appointment to address several pressing issues in the district, including provision of services to English-language learners and its current classification as a District in Need of Intervention under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), according to the department’s website. The latter requires the district to implement a Corrective Action Plan because of its failure to provide appropriate services to students with disabilities.

During the first 45 days of his appointment, which becomes effective Aug. 18, Aquino will focus on working collaboratively with the district to develop an action plan outlining the goals and objectives for himself and the district for the 2018-19 school year.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Aquino has more than 30 years of experience in education, having started as a bilingual teacher in Queens. He has gone on to serve in leadership roles in school districts in Los Angeles, Denver and Hartford, Conn. Aquino holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, and a master’s degree in bilingual education and a doctorate in curriculum and teaching from Fordham University.

In a statement on her page on the district’s website (, Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams said she welcomes Aquino’s input in addressing school achievement and the instructional and operational challenges facing the district.

“We need to accelerate progress and proceed with a sense of urgency to serve all Rochester students and their families,” she said.

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