MWCSD Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez to retire

Central Valley. After being an educator for 39 years, she will retire at the end of this school year.

| 16 Jan 2024 | 02:52

The January 10 Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education meeting was a tearful one, with numerous retirements announced. Chief among them was that of current Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez. Rodriguez was appointed by the Board of Education as superintendent back in April 2015. At the time, Rodriguez stood out among 11 finalists for the position. She previously served as both a teacher in the district and later as principal of the middle school.

In her first address as superintendent during the 2015 school year, Rodriguez said, “My love and passion for our profession runs deep. I am a teacher first — in habit, heart, and soul. Even though I serve as an administrator, I never stop teaching.”

Members of the board at tonight’s meeting echoed Rodriguez’s unwavering commitment to the students, with one board member stating, “Elsie led with her heart first and never waved about putting kids above everything else.”

In a letter to parents of the school district, Superintendent Rodriguez said, “One of the most rewarding aspects of my tenure has been witnessing the growth of young students into remarkable educators here in Monroe-Woodbury. Seeing the impact of our collective efforts in shaping the next generation of educators has brought me great joy.” Rodriguez added in the letter, as she did at this evening’s board meeting, that she’s worked in education for 39 years, with 23 of them spent here in the Monroe-Woodbury district. During the meeting, Rodriguez stated, somewhat in jest, that the hardest part of the job as superintendent was making the early morning phone calls that decided whether or not the schools would operate on a two-hour delay. She stated that she hopes the community gives the new superintendent, whomever it may be, some grace and latitude as they become acclimated to their new role. Rodriguez will serve through the remainder of her term, which ends in August of this year. She pledged to spend the last two months making sure the new superintendent is well prepared for the next school year.

The Board of Education has formed a task force to begin looking into filling the “very big shoes” of Superintendent Rodriguez. Stakeholder meetings and community meetings are forthcoming, according to board members. Members of the board urged the public to keep an eye on the district’s website as the search for the new superintendent gets underway. Another board member, Jamell Evans, stated, “This is an opportunity to get involved as this affects everyone. It affects your tax dollars, so we encourage you [members of the public] to step up and be a part of this process.”

Other business

Monroe Town Supervisor Tony Cardone spoke before the board of education about the need for Monroe-Woodbury to go back to having Friday night games. Cardone serves as president of the parents’ football club and urged the board to be more proactive in getting the games scheduled for Friday evenings.

A discussion also took place concerning the ongoing push for a tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and EMS workers, much like many other municipalities in the school district. The school board scheduled a public comment period for taxpayers to provide their feedback. As previously reported, a property tax exemption of up to 10% is available for firefighter and EMS volunteers who own a home within the school district. Assistant Superintendent Patrick Cahill stated that there are 114 eligible residents in the Monroe-Woodbury district who could qualify for the exemption, and that a loss of tax revenue for the school would fall somewhere around $87,000. The board reiterated its strong support for the tax exemption with nearly every member voicing their support for “getting this done for our firefighters and EMS.” A public hearing is currently scheduled on this matter for the February 7 Board of Education meeting.