ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The acting superintendent for the Albany City Schools District addressed the media for the first time on Monday.
The former Albany CSD Superintendent, Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, agreed to resign effective June 30. Upon learning of her resignation, many in the community said she was forced out of her position.
But at a press conference on Monday, Board of Education President Kenneth Bruce addressed those issues and said the board’s goal is to move forward in leading the children.
Dr. Kimberly Wilkins was named the acting superintendent while the school board works on finding someone to fill the position permanently. She was formerly the principal at Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School in Albany. While addressing the media, she said she had no interest in looking back at the past.
“I have to move forward,” she said. “I’ve been here for 25 years. We have weathered storms, and we’re going to weather this. We have no choice because the doors open tomorrow and 9,500 kids walk in the door, and we got to have business as they know moving forward.”
Bruce said Dr. Vanden Wyngaard’s resignation was not racially motivated. Rather, he said it was a personnel matter.
“Dr. V was informed at every step, so it’s a personnel decision,” he said. “So we can’t share all those steps with the public, but it wasn’t as abrupt as maybe it seemed to the community.”
But to others, her resignation was something they don’t understand.
“Just the fact that it seemed to happen so quickly in terms of there was, like, a 24 to 48 hour window when we felt like there was some negotiation going on, and then the next thing we knew, it was over,” Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin said.
Dr. Wilkins shared her goals in making Albany High School’s infrastructure better, which she said should be the focus of conversation within the community.
“As the acting superintendent, I have some roles I have to fill right away, and I’m just going to keep moving us forward for the better of our children at this point,” she said.
The school board’s next step is to fill the interim superintendent position. They said it will likely be Dr. Wilkins.
They will then focus on finding a permanent superintendent. They hope to begin the search before the end of February; however, they said they don’t have a deadline to make the hire because they said they want to find the right person for the job.