RCSD dodges questions about outgoing superintendent

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Dr. Carmine Peluso sat in on his first school board meeting Thursday as Acting RCSD Superintendent.

The district announced in July that they were negotiating a separation agreement with outgoing Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small, but have yet to give any indication on the circumstances surrounding it.

News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey asked to talk to the new superintendent and other district leaders multiple times today and was told no.

News10NBC attended Thursday night’s board meeting. Board of Education President Cynthia Elliot said she would do an interview regarding the super swap—but upon arrival—communications said there would be no comment.

Instead, we spoke to another new face on the board, James Patterson.

“A very intelligent individual, well-spoken and the big thing is, listening to everyone around him and that we, he feels he’s part of a team here,” Patterson said when we asked him about Dr. Peluso acting as superintendent.

However, Patterson says Peluso wasn’t his first pick.

“Was he my first decision? No. I was hoping we would bring someone in with history or a retiree that could hit the ground running. I think at this point in time for me personally,” Patterson admitted.

Negotiations of her leave sparked, after the Rochester Teachers Association passed a ‘no confidence’ vote in November and a harassment complaint was brought to light against Myers-Small around the same time.

We did reach out to Myers-Small for a comment but have yet to hear back.

Peluso has worked in the district for almost two decades, taught at Edison Tech, served as former principal at school #34, and then chief of schools in 2018. Patterson says there are things he hopes Peluso focuses on.

“An individual that’s going to listen, an individual that’s from my understanding is going to work with our expectations of graduation rates and college readiness,” Patterson added.

We have asked the district to shed more light on the open questions around the super swap. We’re still waiting for a comment.

Again—we’re pushing to get these answers for our viewers—the Rochester community.