Welcome From Superintendent Jesús G. Rodríguez

Dear Roaring Fork Schools Students, Staff, Parents, and Community Members,

I am honored to be your superintendent of schools. I had the opportunity to meet many of you while my family and I visited the district in April. During that time, I shared who I am as a person, what I value and believe in, what motivates me, and what you could come to expect from me as a superintendent.

I want to make a public commitment to you all that I plan to begin my tenure as superintendent by deeply listening and learning. You can expect me to honor the good work that is already underway by preserving and sustaining every single great thing that we have going on in the Roaring Fork Schools. Throughout the listening and learning process this year, together, we will identify any areas where we can grow, change, and/or innovate for the long term.

My wonderful wife (and much better half), Elle Rodríguez, and I are the proud parents of Cosme Jeremías Rodríguez, a class of 2038 graduate, whom we affectionately call Cozy. He will be attending Riverview this fall. Elle holds a Ph.D. in education and is a Dean in a graduate school of education for a teacher preparation program. Since the beginning of the pandemic, her work has moved to being fully remote so she will continue to do that from our home in Glenwood Springs. You will also get to meet Cain, our 100 pound dog. We are a multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual family and are so excited to meet you all!

My hope for every single student in the Roaring Fork Schools is the same that I have for my own son, which is that they graduate from our school system prepared to pursue a career doing something they love, are good at, and can make a living from. That aspiration guides me as a leader and is something that was ingrained in me by my parents. I grew up in a community just north of Denver very similar to the valley in terms of racial and socioeconomic diversity. I know what is possible for all of our students because I have been one of them–a student who defied the odds–and I have also successfully served diverse communities in my various roles throughout my career.

I was born in Denver and grew up simultaneously bilingual, speaking English and Spanish my entire life. Both of my parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico with limited formal educational opportunities but they both really emphasized the importance of an education to me and my siblings. When I graduated from high school, I was fortunate to have a teacher and mentor who I often credit for changing the trajectory of my life. Thanks to him, I enrolled in college. At that point, I recognized that he had already significantly impacted my life, and I wanted to have that same kind of impact on other kids like me. While I was really lucky, I knew that many of the kids I grew up with and members of my own extended family were not as fortunate; they didn’t have that one person who made all of the difference in the world for them. That is why I became an educator.

I started as an elementary school bilingual teacher and originally planned to be in the classroom for my entire career. However, as I was earning my master’s degree, I decided that I wanted to be a school leader to try to affect systemic change, and I then became a principal. I then had the opportunity to serve as an instructional superintendent in a network of 25 schools in the Denver Public Schools. Later, I worked in higher education at CU Boulder as executive director of The BUENO Center. Most recently, I served nearly 150,000 students across 230 schools as deputy chief academic officer in the Dallas Independent School District.

With my background and experience, I am excited to be joining the Roaring Fork Schools community because I have learned that we want the same thing for every one of our students – that they graduate prepared to thrive in a changing world. I am proud that our school district is already leading work toward ensuring that we fulfill our mission.

July 1 was my first day as superintendent, and I want to thank everyone who has been so kind and generous with making this a smooth transition for me. I want to take this opportunity to thank outgoing Superintendent Rob Stein for his service and leadership: I appreciate all of the great work that has been put into place over the last several years under your leadership, and I look forward to building upon it.

Already, I have learned that we have a really great team of people who work in the Roaring Fork Schools, and I cannot tell you how excited I am to kick off the 2022-23 school year with each of you in mid-August!

My family and I intend to do quite a bit of exploring around the valley this summer so if you see us, please say hello! We look forward to getting to know you better soon.

With optimism and gratitude,

Dr. Jesús G. Rodríguez

Superintendent

400 Sopris Avenue | Carbondale, CO 81623

(O) 970.384.6002

(E)JRodriguez@RFSchools.com