Editor’s Note (11/1): this article has been updated to include information obtained from the resignation agreement between Myers-Small and Rochester City School District.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City School District Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small is leaving the district.
According to a note sent to RCSD staff by Board of Education President Cynthia Elliott, Dr. Myers-Small and the board were working on a separation agreement when the news was “prematurely shared.”
The separation agreement, dated September 1 and obtained by News 8 on November 1, stated that the district would pay Dr. Myers-Small a total of $361,250 following her resignation. That money includes: One year’s salary, or $250,000; compensation for 30 unused vacation days, or $31,250; and $80,000 for “purposes of offsetting future Medicare subscription costs.” The agreement detailed when and how Dr. Myers-Small would receive that funding, and stipulated that neither party would “make derogatory or disparaging comments” about the other.
In the agreement, both parties “do not admit, and specifically deny” any legal liability or wrongdoing.
The agreement states that both parties signed the document “solely for the purpose of a) amicably resolving any and all matters […] between the District and Dr. Meyers-Small and b) avoiding the attorneys’ fees and other expenses that would result from litigation or other proceedings.”
“I want to assure you that a seamless transition is one of our top priorities, as we are preparing to open schools in just over a month,” Elliott wrote.
Elliott said she would share more information with staff as it becomes available.
Dr. Myers-Small joined the RCSD in May of 2020, shepherding the district through the bulk of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was previously the superintendent of the Brockport Central School District and the New York State Assistant Commissioner of School Reform and Innovation.
She was the first Black woman to hold the title of RCSD superintendent in a permanent capacity.
Dr. Myers-Small faced a number of challenges beyond the pandemic in her time with the RCSD. The district lost over $128 million in state funding in August, 2020, as the district dealt with a “worst-case scenario” $199 million budget deficit. Bus driver resignations caused issues for hundreds of students in 2021.
The Rochester Teachers Association passed a ‘no confidence’ resolution in November amid a rise in violence within the district. And a harassment complaint against Dr. Myers-Small was investigated last year.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.