Rye City School District Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez announced his resignation on Tuesday, July 19.
Alvarez, who will step down from the district’s lead position on July 31, sent a letter to administrators, faculty and staff early Tuesday and informed the public of his decision at the Board of Education meeting that same night.
According to district officials, Alvarez informed the Board of Education earlier this year of his intention to step down. Since that time, the two parties have been working to plan for the transition.
And, after 22 years of being a schools superintendent, district officials say, Alvarez does not intend to return to being a full-time superintendent.
“Rye has been a wonderful community in which to work,” he said in his letter. “I am proud of the many accomplishments attained in the last four years. The support of the Board of Education, faculty, staff and parents enabled several new initiatives to take root and become important components of a productive school environment for all our students.”
Alvarez highlighted the backing of a $16.35 million bond referendum in 2012 that funded the construction of a new science wing on the Rye High School campus, and the community’s overwhelming support—70 percent approval—for a 2015-16 override budget that included a 6.85 percent tax levy increase and implemented a full-day kindergarten program.
Board of Education President Katy Keohane Glassberg thanked Alvarez for his service to the district.
“Under Frank’s leadership, we have undertaken wonderful educational initiatives including heightened focus on literacy and professional development districtwide; full-day kindergarten; [and] STEM offerings,” she said in a statement. “Students have flourished during his tenure and Rye continues to be one of the top-rated school districts in the country.”
But Alvarez’s tenure wasn’t without controversy.
Mosat notably, in May 2013, he suspended four elementary school teachers over allegations of improper coaching on state tests. The issue divided the school community, led to a protracted stalemate and ultimately resulted in the permanent removal of one of the four teachers.
Alvarez was hired by Rye City Board of Education in March 2012, after he resigned from the Montclair School District in New Jersey. He was given a five-year contract; he just concluded his fourth year with the district. Alvarez collected a salary of $239,334 this school year.
The Review has submitted a Freedom of Information Law request with the school district for any separation agreement between Alvarez and the school board; that request is pending.
In the meantime, the Board of Education will begin a search process to find a permanent replacement for Alvarez, Keohane Glassberg said, although no timeline has been announced.
Dr. Brian Monahan has been hired to serve as interim superintendent. His hiring will take effect on Aug. 1.
“Dr. Monahan is a seasoned, professional superintendent,” Keohane Glassberg said. “The district is fortunate to have such an experienced educator at this time of transition.”
Monahan retired from the North Rockland Central School District in 2009 after a 14-year career there. He has held positions as a curriculum specialist, director of information technology and deputy superintendent. Following his retirement, Monahan, in the 2012-13 school year, began serving in interim superintendent roles in the Hendrick Hudson, Garrison and Mahopac school districts.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on Wednesday, July 20.