Schenectady Mayor And New Superintendent Welcome Nearly 100 New Teachers
Before the new school year begins September 9th, nearly 100 new Schenectady School District teachers met for orientation Monday.
The Schenectady City School District kicked off a three-day orientation program for the new teachers. Speaking at the event at Proctors Theater, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy welcomed the teachers and the city’s new superintendent, Anibal Soler Jr.
"You are a part of a transition - a community that is undergoing change," McCarthy said.
The hiring comes after the district laid off roughly 100 teachers and more than 200 other staffers last September in the face of state funding cuts.
Soler – who replaces interim superintendent Aaron Bochniak, stressed he would support teachers, whether it be in the classroom or through remote learning. He also outlined his goals for the district of roughly 9,100 students.
"But there's four things that are going to drive my work in the district,” Soler said. “They're going to drive our work in our school buildings and those four pillars are: student and graduate success, passionate people – that’s where you come in, partnerships with families and communities – you also come in there, and then efficient systems and equitable resources."
Soler also praised Governor Kathy Hochul and her leadership so far. In her first week in office, Hochul ordered mask mandates inside New York schools.
“When someone comes in with a new, fresh perspective, new approach, I appreciate the governor really more grassroots,” Soler told WAMC. “She's really more local, she comes down, she's highly visible in just a short amount of time. And I think she's made some solid decisions already, like with masking and schools, she's really pushed the State Department of Health to kind of make some of those decisions. So that's what we need.”
The state health department under Governor Andrew Cuomo said it would not issue school reopening mandates, saying it lacked the authority.