YONKERS, NY – January 18, 2018 – At last night’s January 17th Stated Meeting, the Yonkers Board of Education Trustees unanimously approved a new 5-year contract for Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Superintendent of Schools commencing February 1, 2018 and ending January 31, 2023.
Rev. Steve Lopez, President of the Board of Education, released the following statement: “Over the last several months, the Trustees have been reviewing the District’s progress on improving achievement outcomes for all students, fiscal efficiencies, and responding to stakeholders’ needs. The Trustees are steadfastly committed to provide a solid, lasting foundation for this school district to assure every child’s academic, social and emotional growth. Our policy and fiduciary reviews have and will continue to be focused on sustainable solutions for long-term improvements.
The District went through a very unsettling period from 2014 to 2016. Nevertheless, our students advanced and our schools stayed on track with teaching and learning. The results are tangible on our State assessments and graduation rates and are a tribute to our entire staff from Central Office to administrators to teachers to support staff to civil service. In addition, through the collaborative work of the Mayor’s staff and Board of Education staff there was a successful implementation of the Inter-Municipal Agreement.
Throughout this period there was one stabilizing, steadfast individual who never said no when asked to take on greater responsibilities and continued to steer the District in the right path; that was Dr. Quezada. Using his words, Dr. Quezada was relentless in the work, picking up the pieces, designing solutions and quickly implementing action plans. For these reasons and more, we appointed him superintendent in March 2016.
It is clear to the Trustees that our school district and our community need the confidence that there is a stable long-term strategic improvement plan for our District. A plan that bridges the City’s Rebuild Yonkers Schools mandate to the District’s 21st Century quality educational initiatives aligned to and evolving as the New York State Learning Standards progress.
This requires visionary policy decisions by the Trustees working collaboratively with leadership by a superintendent of schools with a validated record of accomplishments in an urban center. Therefore, we have offered Dr. Quezada a five-year contract extension to commence February 1, 2018 through January 31, 2023, which he has accepted. By this action, the Trustees provide seven years of steadfast leadership.
This decision was made with a great deal of research, analysis and evaluation by the Trustees. We reviewed our selection criteria for a superintendent of schools and a comparative salary analysis of Westchester County superintendents’ salary, benefits and other compensation. The facts are revealing. Of the forty (40) school districts in Westchester, Yonkers ranks #1 in the number of students, number of employees and number of schools. Yonkers is two and a half (2 ½) times larger than any other district. Yet our superintendent compensation is ranked at thirty-seven (37). There is no equity between the size of the responsibilities and the compensation, as it relates to where our city is located. Yonkers must attract and sustain skilled, competent educational leaders. We have done that with our teachers; their compensation is ranked at tenth (10th) in Westchester. If our community is going to entice capable superintendents now and in the future, we must adjust the compensation minimally to the middle, 20th for Westchester.
The Trustees reviewed Dr. Quezada’s current contract and evaluations. The contract delineates his role, As the Chief Executive Officer and education leader of the Yonkers School District, the primary responsibility of Superintendent is to provide leadership and organizational management for the total operation of the District and to be accountable to the Board for District performance. On all 13 indices outlined in his contract, Dr. Quezada’s performance is outstanding.
Transforming schools requires a relentless pursuit of excellence, having high expectations for all and demanding that every adult works to provide the best education possible to the students and families we serve. Most importantly, it required the establishment of a learning community where everyone feels respected and valued. This is not an easy task; however, it can be accomplished with the right leadership and persistent commitment. Dr. Quezada has demonstrated as a principal, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent and in his current role that he has the skills, knowledge, tenacity and compassion to continue to move our school district forward for every student and staff member.”
SOURCE: Jerilynne Fierstein, Yonkers Board of Education,
Public Information, Records Access Officer.