Brizard to resign as RCSD superintendent

ROCHESTER — Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard has announced that he will resign from his position as head of the Rochester City School District by the end of this school year, according to information from district officials.

Chicago’s Mayor-elect Rahm Emanual announced Brizard’s appointment to lead that city’s public schools during a press conference April 18, according to media reports. Chicago is the third-largest school district in the country. Brizard spoke about his departure and work during the past three years in Rochester during an April 20 press conference at the district’s central office.

"There is incredible capacity and talent in our district office and in our schools," he said during the conference, which can be viewed here. "There is unwavering commitment by a huge portion of this community to stay child-focused and make the difficult decisions that will produce sustainable change for our children."

In a letter to Malik Evans, president of the city’s Board of Education, Brizard stated that the decision was a difficult one and he is proud of what the district has been able to accomplish during his tenure, such as expanding school options for students and increases in student achievement.

"It has been my honor and privilege to serve the children and families of Rochester for nearly three and a half years," Brizard wrote. "Most importantly, I thank the students of Rochester for demonstrating their wealth of talents and skills to all of us. Each is indeed a work of art destined to become a masterpiece."

In a statement, Evans said the community must now move forward and begin its search for a new superintendent.

"Our committed leadership, along with that of the district’s staff, will allow us to continue our successes and move ahead as a strong, cohesive team to deliver quality programs and services for our students," he added.

Brizard began as Rochester superintendent in January 2008. The city school district serves more than 32,000 students from prekindergarten to 12th grade. 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.

The Rochester Board of Education had signed a three-year renewal of his contract last fall with an annual salary of $235,000, according to http://rcsdk12.org/rcsd/cwp/view.asp?A=3&Q=285890&C=55255. The current Chicago superintendent earns $230,000 annually.

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