Deputy Chancellor Rodriguez Retires
Monday, April 16, 2012 - 05:56 PM
After 34 years spent working in the city school system, Laura Rodriguez, the deputy chancellor for students with disabilities and English language learners, stepped down on Monday.
In a news release, the Department of Education announced that Ms. Rodriguez will be replaced by Corinne Rello-Anselmi as of July 1. Ms. Rello-Anselmi has worked with New York City schools for 33 years and oversees 324 schools as leader of 12 school support networks.
Angelica Infante, the executive director of the Office of English Language Learners, will be promoted to serve as a member of the chancellor’s cabinet and report to Ms. Rello-Anselmi, education department officials said. Ms. Infante will oversee a plan to add 125 new bilingual and dual-language programs in New York City.
Under Ms. Rodriguez’s leadership, the Education Department launched a citywide effort to educate more students with disabilities alongside the general student population. Programs for students with disabilities and English Language Learners serve hundreds of thousands of students in New York City: 14.3 percent of New York City’s student population is still learning English, while 16.2 percent have a disability that requires special attention in school. There are more than 176 languages spoken in the city’s public schools.
Ms. Rodriguez began her career as a teacher of English Language Learners and held numerous positions in the Education Department over the years, including regional superintendent in the Bronx, deputy superintendent for instruction in the Bronx, and director of high school bilingual education and English as a Second Language. She had previously led the Department’s Leadership Learning Support Organization overseeing 136 schools and 76,000 students.
In a statement released from city Department of Education headquarters at the Tweed Courthouse, Ms. Rodriguez said, “As a graduate of New York City public schools, it has been a privilege and honor to serve our students and school communities throughout my career.”
Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said that Ms. Rodriguez has established a foundation that will be built upon, and he praised her accomplishments.
“Laura and I have worked closely together for years," he said, "and I have seen first hand her professionalism, compassion for students, and genuine interest in building relationships with community groups and families.”