Rochester City School District superintendent to retire in January

October 19, 2018 12:20 PM

The Rochester City School District superintendent has announced her retirement.

Around 11:45 p.m. Thursday, Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams announced she will be retiring effective Jan. 31, 2019.


Deane-Williams has been in her position for 26 months and has not given a reason for her retirement. 

Since Deane-Williams joined in August of 2016, she has been part of a digital transformation plan. She says the district has provided more reading teachers, school counselors, and social workers. 

But her time with the district hasn't come without controversy. 

Trevyvan Rowe, a 14-year-old boy with autism, walked away from School 12 back in March. His disappearance prompted a massive citywide search. He was later found dead in the Genesee River.

The case prompted an investigation by the New York State Department of Education. Rowe's family also filed a lawsuit against the district and city leaders.

Did that play a role in her decision to retire? News10NBC will be talking with her about her decision Friday afternoon. 

Deane-Williams did say over the next few months, she will work towards a smooth transition for whoever replaces her. 

Read Deane-Williams' full statement below: 

"I have notified the Rochester Board of Education and staff of the Rochester City School District of my decision to retire effective January 31, 2019.  It has been a privilege to serve as Superintendent and work side-by-side with so many dedicated educators, staff members, labor partners, parents, and community members.  Though we continue to face many long-standing challenges, we've made consistent progress in several key areas to improve the quality of education in our District.  We must continue to build on this progress to ensure our children have the high-quality education they deserve.  

I want to thank Board President Van White and the Board of Education Commissioners for working throughout my term to implement a strong digital transformation plan; provide additional reading teachers, school counselors, and social workers; and champion improved parent and community engagement.  I want to thank Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren who is a tireless champion for stronger schools, stronger neighborhoods, and a stronger city.  I want to thank all of the dedicated District staff who work every day to help our students achieve, learn, and grow.  I want to thank the parents of our community for supporting their children and supporting our schools.  Most of all, I want to thank the students.  Our students offer unlimited promise and potential and have been a daily inspiration to me.

During my remaining time, I will work to ensure a smooth transition and to support any forthcoming recommendations of the Distinguished Educator appointed by Commissioner Elia.  I remain committed to the District's mission to provide a quality education that ensures our students graduate with the skills to be successful in a democratic society and the global economy."

News10NBC will continue to update this story on-air and online as more information becomes available.


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