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Back to Communications Home

Board appoints New Jersey educator as superintendent

Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard is the first African-American woman

to serve as Albany's permanent district leader

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 12, 2012) -- Emphasizing the experience, energy and enthusiasm of its next school leader, the City School District of Albany Board of Education appointed Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Ph.D., as its new superintendent Sept. 12.


The board voted unanimously to approve Dr. Vanden Wyngaard during a special meeting at William S. Hackett Middle School attended by about 150 community members, district staff and students. She received a three-year contract with an annual salary of $190,000. Dr. Vanden Wyngaard (pictured at right being introduced to the community by board President Dan Egan) already has relocated to Albany from Paterson, N.J., where she was deputy superintendent of that city’s 28,000-student school district. She also is among the new parents in Albany’s 8,600-student public-school system.


“Dr. Vanden Wyngaard understands the strengths and challenges of an urban school district like ours,” Egan said. “She shares our sense of urgency for raising achievement for all of our students. She is committed to advancing academic excellence and high expectations for all of our students.


"We are excited to welcome her as our new superintendent and believe she will be an exceptional leader for our school district and our community.”


Dr. Vanden Wyngaard had been second-in-command of the Paterson Public Schools since 2010, responsible for day-to-day operations of all facets of the school district. She has been a senior administrator for eight years and holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Kent State University.


Dr. Vanden Wyngaard is the first African-American woman to serve as Albany’s permanent school superintendent. Eleanor Powell Bartlett served as interim superintendent during the 1996-97 school year.


“I am truly humbled and honored to serve your families as superintendent of the City School District of Albany,” Dr. Vanden Wyngaard told staff and community members during her appointment, which was followed by a community reception.


“I appreciate the diligent and hard work that all district staff continues to provide on behalf of our students,” she said. “At the same time, I know we have more work that must be done.


“To achieve that, each and every one of us must understand the critical role we play in helping all of our students succeed. My belief is that through open and respectful dialogue founded on trust, conflict negotiations based on mutual respect and a system of accountability that begins with and includes me, we will work together to build on the strengths of the Albany education team. Our goal, in partnership with our community, is to support the development of a high-performing learning organization focused on meeting the needs of our diverse student population.”


Click here to read Dr. Vanden Wyngaard's full remarks in her first official duty as superintendent.


The board selected Dr. Vanden Wyngaard from an original candidate pool of 27 candidates after a national search in March and April. The board narrowed the field to 10 candidates for initial interviews in May, and then to six semifinalists for meetings with three teams of community members in June.


Following the input of the community groups, the board selected Dr. Vanden Wyngaard as one of three finalists. The board conducted final interviews with those candidates July 12-14 and selected Dr. Vanden Wyngaard as its choice July 24.


At that time, Dr. Vanden Wyngaard was certified as a superintendent in New Jersey, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Because she was not previously certified as a superintendent in New York, the board asked the State Education Department to grant her a School District Leader certificate based on her credentials and experience. Education Commissioner John B. King Jr., Ed.D., granted that certification Aug. 17, finding that Dr. Vanden Wyngaard “has exceptional training and experience that … qualify her for the duties of a superintendent of schools” in New York state.


Dr. Vanden Wyngaard officially starts her new job Monday, Sept. 24.


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves about 8,600 students in 15 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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