Roaring Fork Schools board names Jesús Rodríguez as next superintendent
The Roaring Fork School District Board of Education on Wednesday announced that the district has extended an offer to longtime Colorado educator and current Texas schools administrator Jesús Rodríguez to become the next superintendent of RFSD schools.
The announcement was shared in a letter to district staff, parents and students and made publicly in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon.
“The board was unanimously impressed by Dr. Rodríguez’s demonstrated commitment to public education, his knowledge on and about systems of education, and his ability to quickly and genuinely connect with our teachers, students and community,” the school board said in an official statement. “Community members spoke to his thoughtful responses to their questions, his unique background and position that would allow him to bring our entire community together, and his focus on learning and gathering information from stakeholders prior to making determinations and changes.”
Rodríguez currently serves as deputy chief academic officer for Dallas ISD public schools. He was ultimately selected from a group of 24 applicants from 10 different states.
He was one of the three finalists who were introduced publicly in April, and each finalist spent a day in the Roaring Fork Schools learning about the district and meeting teachers, staff, parents and community members.
The others were Tammy Clementi, who also taught and led schools in Colorado and has been working for the past six years at the national level as director of academic planning and analytics for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Jose “Joe” Lopez, superintendent of the Kermit Independent School District in Texas.
“Following the visits, the board carefully reviewed the feedback we received from all who had an opportunity to interact with the candidates, considered what we learned through the final interviews and community forums, and conducted extensive reference checks,” the news release states.
The board formalized the announcement at its Wednesday night meeting at the Carbondale District Office, during which Rodríguez joined via Zoom audio while assisting his young son during bath time.
“Thank you for the opportunity,” he said. “I’m so excited and humbled to be able to lead the Roaring Fork schools.”
The board is still finalizing the details of Rodríguez’s employment contract and will take formal action at a special board meeting or at the next regular board meeting, depending on the timing, the release stated. The proposed contract will be made public in advance of that meeting.
“Thank you for the incredible honor to serve as the next superintendent of the Roaring Fork School District,” Rodríguez said in a provided statement. “I am energized from all that I have learned throughout the engagement process from board members, students, teachers, principals, parents, community members and other staff.
“I believe that together we can fulfill the mission of the Roaring Fork Schools to ensure that every student is able to thrive in our ever-changing world,” he said. “My entry plan, in summary, is to: listen and learn about what we must preserve, where we must change or innovate, and create a long-term plan that is community-informed to fulfill our mission.”
Rodríguez is set to replace longtime Superintendent Rob Stein, who announced in January that he will be resigning after nine years with the district following this school year.
“I am looking forward to working with Jesús on the transition,” Stein said in the release. “I know of his work in Denver, and he has a great reputation in the education community. He has my full support, and I look forward to seeing how his strengths contribute to our community.”
Rodriguez has served as an educator in a variety of capacities in Colorado, including as a bilingual classroom teacher, a successful turnaround school principal, and instructional superintendent in a network of 25 schools in the Denver Public Schools.
He 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.
Rodríguez and his family — wife Elle, son Cosme and their dog, Cain — expect to be moving to the Roaring Fork Valley this summer.
“I can’t wait to begin exploring and immersing ourselves into the community,” Rodríguez said. “I look forward to meeting you soon and partnering with each of you.”
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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