First day of school for Albany's new superintendent
A new superintendent is at the helm of the Albany City School District. She'll oversee close to 9,000 students in more than a dozen different schools. Our Megan Cruz spoke to her on her first day to find out her plans for the district.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "It's my first day of school," said Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard. "I got my apple shined up, I'm ready."
Day one for Dr. Vanden Wyngaard, Albany City School District's new superintendent. And on her first day, she visited three schools, one of which was Albany High School.
"Highly energetic, focused, accessible, easy to talk to," said Albany High's Improvement Manager Dale Getto. "I'll miss Dr. Colucciello, but we're delighted to have Dr. V."
Vanden Wyngaard says so far, she's pleased with what she sees.
"The halls were nice and clean, the staff was all in the hallways, everyone went to class on time," she said.
But says she knows there's problems in the district that need addressing.
"We're sitting at a graduation rate of above 50 percent. Obviously, we want to be in the high-90s. Or mid-90s. That's always the goal," she said.
How to get there? Well, she has some suggestions from her new staff.
"Increasing the rigor in each and every one of our classrooms, but then again, making sure our students have the support to meet that bar and our teachers have the tools to make that happen," said Getto.
"We have to talk about professional development, we gotta talk about use of time, we've got talked about the use of data to drive instruction," said Vanden Wyngaard.
The last piece of Dr. V.'s puzzle? Shifting the focus from K through 12, to K through 21.
"We have in Albany a unique situation, with all of the university structure and the technology, we can easily bridge between the two," she said.
People at Albany High say the new superintendent is off on the right foot.
"The best administrators are the ones that aren't sitting in their office," said Marty Anderson, a counselor at Albany High. "The best are the ones that are getting out, being present in the schools for the teachers, other administrators and students to see."
"Looking forward to another day!" said Vanden Wyngaard.
Vanden Wyngaard is the first African American woman to be appointed permanently to this post. Her contract with the Albany City School District is for three years with an annual salary of $190,000.