Roaring Fork School District board finalizes $220,000 contract with new superintendent |

Roaring Fork School District board finalizes $220,000 contract with new superintendent

Jesús Rodríguez to start under five-year deal, set for approval at Wednesday board meeting

The new Roaring Fork School District superintendent is set to make $52,772 more than the outgoing superintendent.

The local school board for the district serving Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt announced Monday it concluded contract negotiations with newly named superintendent Dr. Jesús Rodríguez.

Subject to formal approval at the board’s 5:30 p.m. Wednesday meeting in Carbondale, Rodriguez’s five-year contract would pay an annual salary of $220,000.

Departing Superintendent Rob Stein has been earning $167,228 per his contract, after requesting no increase during his January 2021 contract renegotiation. Stein announced in January of this year that he would be stepping down after this school year, following nine years with the district.

“The salary is in the top one-third of comparison districts, just as the rates of pay have been adjusted to be across other roles in the district,” the school board said in a formal letter announcing the contract deal.

“Throughout the last year especially, our district has demonstrated its commitment to fair and competitive compensation for all employees as well as transparency and equity in hiring and compensation,” the board stated in its letter. “The board used salary and benefit information from our 10 comparison districts as a reference point and arrived at an annual salary of $220,000.”

Rodríguez was announced earlier this month as the choice for superintendent from among three finalists. He is set to officially start with the district on July 1.

He comes to the Roaring Fork Schools with an extensive background in education in both Colorado and Texas, including district-level administrative roles.

He served as an educator in a variety of capacities in Colorado, including as a bilingual classroom teacher, a turnaround school principal and an instructional superintendent in a network of 25 schools for Denver Public Schools.

Rodríguez also served as executive director of the BUENO Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Rodríguez has a bachelor’s in elementary education and Spanish from the University of Northern Colorado, a master’s in educational equity and cultural diversity from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and a doctorate in education leadership and policy studies from the University of Denver.

Most recently, Rodríguez has been deputy chief academic officer for Dallas ISD public schools.

The five-year deal “reflects Dr. Rodríguez’s long-term commitment to our district and his intention to stay in our valley and with Roaring Fork Schools so long as both he and the Board of Education are satisfied with his continued employment,” the board said in its letter.

The board also plans to refine its evaluation process in a way that is more meaningful and accountable to the public, the board stated.

“We recognize the importance of this, especially for a new leader within our district and we look forward to engaging stakeholders in this process,” the letter states.

The salary level also recognizes the high cost of living in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“We remain committed to competitive pay for all employee groups and for continuing to expand our staff housing program, as this is the greatest challenge in affording to live in our valley,” the board’s letter concluded.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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