When Denver Public Schools announced this week that Alex Marrero was their choice for superintendent, the New Yorker made hair jokes and talked about leading schools through a pandemic.
What Marrero didn’t joke about was his lack of experience as a superintendent, the troubled school districts in New York where he worked, and why his own district declined to hire him for the top spot.
Marrero was an assistant superintendent at the New Rochelle City School District for less than a year when he was asked to act as the interim super after his controversial boss was shown the door in September.
Marrero made clear at the time he would seek the superintendent position set to be filled in July.
And yet the decision was made two months earlier than expected, and he was not the board’s choice to keep leading them.
Then in what can only be described as maybe coincidental, Denver offered Marrero the job just hours later.
The board announced Wednesday that Jonathan Raymond was its choice over Interim Superintendent Alex Marrero, the second finalist. The board unanimously approved a three-year contract that will pay Raymond a $295,000 salary at its meeting Wednesday evening.
Only hours after New Rochelle announced its pick, the Denver Board of Education announced that Marrero would be its next superintendent.
We’re not saying it’s a warning flag, but it’s somewhat concerning Denver’s getting New Rochelle’s reject.
Then this happened today:
Denver Public Schools’ new superintendent selection hasn’t been confirmed yet and he’s already making headlines. His former district’s medical director filed suit Friday alleging she was silenced during COVID-19 response. @Conrad_Swanson @sam_tabachnikhttps://t.co/jYb4Z6mLiF
— Tiney Ricciardi (@tineywristwatch) May 28, 2021
Marrero obviously knew there was a good chance he wouldn’t get the job on his home turf and also applied for the Denver position.
The question is, did Marrero and the school districts, both Denver and New Rochelle, know this lawsuit was coming two days after the announcement was made?
From the Denver Post:
In January 2021, Marrero allegedly detailed a plan to transport school staff to receive the vaccine, despite (Brooke) Balchan’s warnings it would be illegal because New York hadn’t yet given non-medical staff priority, the complaint said. That vaccination site was ultimately shut down, the district employees’ appointments canceled and the hospital involved was fined. The complaint alleges the school district’s administration took steps to “silence her indefinitely by illegally preventing her from returning to her position.”
After the incident, Marrero wrote a note to the school community, saying he was disappointed to learn about what he called an unexpected cancellation, according to a report from The Journal News newspaper.
We doubt Denver was his first pick, considering the pay is $60,000 less than Marrero would have earned in New Rochelle.
Former Denver Publics Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova earned $260,000 a year, but the board slashed her salary last June by $26,000 to address a $61 million budget gap.
Cordova quit just weeks before the pay cut took effect.
Anyway, Tay Anderson seemed really happy about their selection earlier this week.
Tay told the Denver Post he didn’t know about the lawsuit or of any complaints against their pick for superintendent.
Looks like some folks didn’t do their homework.
The school board is set to vote on their confirmation pick June 3.