Dr. Leslie Torres Rodriguez has been named the superintendent of the Hartford School District.
The Board of Education voted unanimously in her favor Tuesday night. The decision comes amid some questions about consideration given to other candidates.
“My opinion the search committee did what they were supposed to do,” said Board Chairman Craig Stallings. “They offered one name and as far as I’m concerned, I had to put that name forward.”
While Stallings did not expect the unanimous vote but he said it is a positive sign for the city’s children and families.
“What that says is the board is united in supporting the superintendent and all the initiatives that she has and she has a tough job ahead,” said Stallings.
The job includes redirecting the district after a state report showed the Hartford’s schools failed to adequately respond to child abuse and neglect allegations for nearly a decade. Torres-Rodriguez said in addition to a new action plan now in place, real solutions start by streamlining priorities.
“For us (they are) student safety, for us high-quality teaching and learning and for us having true intentional, authentic engagement with our families around those processes,” said Torres-Rodriguez.
Many Hartford parents said they have already experienced that authentic engagement.
“She’s been talkative with the parents. She’s been open to having conversations with us and coming up with plans,” said Courtney Davis.
Tamara Jones Roberts had three children in the district and agrees Torres-Rodriguez was the best candidate.
“I trust that she will put our kids first,” Roberts said.
Torres-Rodriguez said she's ready.
“I’m excited. There’s a lot of work to be done and I look forward to doing it in a collaborative way with everyone,” Torres-Rodriguez said.
Following Tuesday’s vote, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released the following statement:
"I look forward to working in close partnership with Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, who has done a tremendous job as interim superintendent, has a tremendously impressive background, and is a proud product of the Hartford Public Schools."