New Middletown School Administrator – First Latino in the Role

MIDDLETOWN – The new academic director of the school district – the first Latin American education executive in the city’s history – has been asked to resign after less than a year in his previous post, according to documents.

Alberto Vazquez-Matos, 47, begins his assignment on Tuesday as second in command of Middletown Public Schools under Superintendent Michael Conner. He replaces Magda Parvey, who resigned in April to become superintendent in Andover, Mass.

Vazquez-Matos arrives in Middletown after being asked to resign as superintendent-receiver of Holyoke, Massachusetts public schools, pursuant to a separation agreement. After less than a year in the post, Vazquez-Matos received compensation of $ 102,500 – half of his freshman salary – for resigning last March, the agreement says.

Vazquez-Matos, who will earn $ 185,000 a year in Middletown, took a leave of absence before being asked to resign, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The separation agreement does not say why he was asked to resign.

In an interview with Hearst Connecticut Media, Vazquez-Matos said he resigned for personal reasons.

“I was sick and put my family and myself first,” he said.

Despite the abrupt departure from the Massachusetts school district, officials in Middletown welcome the arrival of Vazquez-Matos.

Conner said Vazquez-Matos has been carefully reviewed and received recommendations from the best people in the field.

“It was a great hire,” Conner said.

Engaging people of all cultural and racial backgrounds is important to the district’s vision, as well as others across the country, he said.

“Within the Latinx education ecosystem (Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents), he is very much appreciated. Very, very big there, ”Conner said.

Vazquez-Matos is also a graduate of the ALAS Superintendents Leadership Academy.

“This is one of their high profile programs,” said the superintendent.

Vazquez-Matos said his hiring also demonstrates the Middletown School District’s commitment to diversifying the workforce.

“Being Latinx is important because our students also need to see people with whom they can connect with people who are like them, understand the story of an immigrant or of someone who has migrated here from a country. Spanish speaking and knowing that great things are possible, ”he said.

Vazquez-Matos, who previously held various administrative positions at Hartford Public Schools, holds a doctorate in education, Conner said.

“He has more of a doctorate in science, as well as a doctorate in education practitioner. Very, very, very smart, ”he said. “He’s a good systems thinker, but he knows how to build relationships. “

As part of the interview process, Vazquez-Matos had 10 minutes to cover an education topic and provided commentary on various case studies and reports, including an author from Conner, “An American Imperative: A New Vision For Public Schools “.

He was also interviewed by a panel of school administrators and city leaders, including Mayor Ben Florsheim, Conner said.

“He was the only candidate to provide a response to the Periodic Table of Innovation aligned with our new Strategic Operating Plan (Middletown 2024: Elevating Innovation, Creativity and Fairness),” said the Superintendent. “We are really, really lucky to have him.”

The city has done “innovative and amazing things on behalf of students – from programs and personalized pathways to a brand new state-of-the-art middle school,” said Vazquez-Matos. “Just being a part of this is exciting in itself.”

Florsheim said Vazquez-Matos was among four talented candidates for the job.

“There were people in the panel who had worked with Dr. V. and who praised his leadership abilities. It’s a factor that has influenced many of us, ”said the mayor.

“Anyone we interviewed would have done well,” Florsheim said. “It testifies to the quality of the neighborhood.

The goal of the CAO is to “support the work and ensure that all students have access to high quality teaching and learning, and to ensure that I remove any barriers facing families and students. could face, ”depending on the school district’s description of the role.

Vazquez-Matos said he plans to start by “investing my time and getting to know the community, but also allowing them to get to know me. This is going to be critical for me in my first few weeks on the job.

“I am committed … and I will give my 110 percent,” he added.

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