Marco Rodrigues focuses on relationships as new Hudson superintendent

By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer

Marco Rodrigues (Photo/submitted)

Hudson – Already laying out his plans for the Hudson Public Schools (HPS), Superintendent Marco Rodrigues is excited for students to return from summer vacation Wednesday, Aug. 30. That is because the relationships he wants to build with those students and their teachers lie at the core of his plans for HPS’ future.

The School Committee appointed Rodrigues earlier this spring and he began officially working for HPS at the beginning of July. Since then, he has reaffirmed his commitment to building strong relationships within HPS that he first stated during the job selection process in March.

“That’s going to be part of my entry plan to discover what I see as assets and how much we need to work on in terms of supporting students,” he said of his plans to visit schools early in the 2017-2018 school year. “[I want to see] with my own eyes how teachers are relating to students.”

Rodrigues comes to Hudson after spending seven years in the Worcester Public Schools (WPS). He served as the district’s interim superintendent in 2016 and, most recently, worked as WPS’ chief academic officer.

Describing his role as chief academic officer as a position roughly equivalent to that of an assistant superintendent, Rodrigues named his ability to communicate with other administrators in the district as one of his strengths.

Though Hudson’s five schools pale in comparison to Worcester’s 45 schools, Rodrigues said he sees a way to bring that same focus on relationships and communication to HPS.

“I look broadly and it’s the same thing [as Worcester],” he said. “First of all, are the systems in place? Are the systems working together? Are they aligned? And are they talking and thinking together? That’s the part that I’m in the process of working on right now.”

As he works to answer those questions over the coming months, however, he will not only be drawing on his experience with WPS. With regard to building relationships with students, he remembers lessons learned while working at the Woodward Day School in the early days of his education career.

Over the course of 26 years, he worked in a variety of roles educating students who had already been expelled from other schools for offenses ranging from drug possession to assaulting staff members.

“I really learned to work with students who were disengaged from school and bring them back by saying ‘You like school because you’re worth it,’” he said.

While Hudson’s needs to not directly match those of the Woodward Day School, Rodrigues again sees those lessons as ones he can revise to positively influence his current work.

“One of the lessons I learned from that was that all students can learn and all students deserve a shot,” he said. “Regardless of what they need, we as a public school must provide it.”

Having won the Hudson job in part thanks to his experience in special education, Rodrigues now faces an ongoing debate over special education within HPS. Though some parents of students with special needs have been frustrated with the district for years, the issue gained major publicity in June when the Boston Globe published a column criticizing HPS’ reluctance to allow a student with a rare immune disorder to use a mobile robot to allow him attend classes even when he cannot physically be in the room.

Rodrigues hopes to heal the district’s relationship with parents of students with special needs as he enters the district.

“I need to respect what the history has been, but I also need to set the new parameters of how I see relationships formed or corrections that we have to make moving forward,” he said. “I don’t own what has been done so far but I can be that change agent.”

In addition to a list of other methods and programs he hopes will help improve aspects of HPS, Rodrigues hopes that relationship-building will indeed prompt change. As he finishes moving into his new Hudson office, he is counting down the days until Aug. 30.

“I can’t wait for school to start so that I can start spending more time inside the schools; that is where I will see education in action,” he said. “That’s part of what I did [in Worcester] and it’s something that I enjoy a lot.”

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=91506

Posted by on Aug 7 2017. Filed under Education, Hudson. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Please complete this math problem before clicking Submit * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

Recently Commented

  • Doug Stone: Thanks Peter. I hope to help out in the future.
  • Doug Stone: Thanks for your support as well Gerald!
  • Gerald Griggs: This is fantastic and we in aviation appreciate what Mr. Stone and others are doing to inspire...
  • Peter Alberti: Having caught the aviation bug along with my son just over a year ago at a Young Eagles rally, I...
  • Gina Tiberio Hamilton: Thank you for printing this and raising awareness for the Walk to End Alzheimers. At $6,245,...