Ex-Amherst school chief lands Fla. job
By NICK GRABBE
Friday, April 16, 2010
AMHERST - Alberto Rodriguez, the former superintendent of schools who left suddenly on March 8, has been named principal of Coral Shores High School in Key West, Fla.
Rodriguez, who spoke to the Gazette Wednesday from his home in Miami, said he was recuperating from a hernia operation he had Monday - his formerly undisclosed medical condition. He left the job mere days before the Regional School Committee was due to read 65 pages of evaluations by school department staff, a factor in his departure, according to Farshid Hajir, committee chairman.
Joseph Burke, the superintendent of schools in Monroe County, Fla., selected Rodriguez for the principal position. He knew Rodriguez from their days as principals and superintendents elsewhere in Florida, according to keysnews.com.
According to keysnews.com, Rodriguez resigned from the Amherst position "after a Regional School Committee criticized him about vacation and sick time." The Web site also cited the Amherst parent who threatened to burn her tax bill outside Rodriguez's window on his first day on the job last July to protest his $158,000 salary. The district will be paying him the remainder of his salary through May. Burke defended Rodriguez's record, keysnews.com reported. "Massachusetts voters replaced almost the entire board that hired Rodriguez, leaving him with new board members who were not comfortable with him," Burke said, according to keysnews.com. "Appointed superintendents are subject to the praise or politics of the boards that hire them." Of the seven School Committee members who voted for hiring Rodriguez in March 2009, none is currently in office, but six of them left voluntarily, rather than being voted out. Kathleen Anderson, who as a School Committee member voted for Rodriguez, was not re-elected in the March 23 election, but that was after Rodriguez had left.
My Goal in Blogging
I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.