Dr. Ronald Gonzalez officially named superintendent

Posted by Alicia Smith on 3/17/2023 4:00:00 PM

Dr. Ronald Gonzalez was formally appointed superintendent at a special meeting of the Elmsford Board of Education Wednesday, March 15, nine months after joining the district as interim superintendent. Man being sworn in


“This is an important step in my life personally and professionally,” Dr. Gonzalez told the group of well-wishers that had gathered. He shared how he has worked in education for 26 years, including 18 as a leader.


Board President Paul Hood swore in Dr. Gonzalez, and a festive atmosphere broke out in the Alexander Hamilton High School Library where the meeting was held.


“This is a very special meeting,” Mr. Hood said before thanking all those in attendance, including district families, staff, and Elmsford village administrators.


“Dr. Gonzalez, we want to welcome you to the district officially,” Mr. Hood said. “We’ve gotten to know you over the last nine months on an elongated interview so to speak, and you have shown your vision, dedication, commitment and wherewithal that you are ready for this. You’ve put things in place already to help move the district forward. We really appreciate you and welcome you and wish you nothing but the best in your new position,” Mr. Hood said. 


Man making a presentationPrior to his swearing in, Dr. Gonzalez gave a brief presentation as part of a Community Forum where he shared his vision for the district, how the 2023-2024 budget will assist with that vision, and a brief status update on student progress, in what he called a “journey” through the district since he arrived in July.


He began by thanking those who have supported his professional progress, including his family, former colleagues, and the village mayor.


From conversations he has had with staff, students and community members, he said he developed four guiding pillars — Safe and Secure Environments, Systems and Structures for Success, Family and Community Engagement, and Equity and Social and Emotional Learning.


Dr. Gonzalez also said that he is looking closely at the district’s vision, mission and core values to see if they are “still aligned to the direction we want to take the district,” and to make any necessary adjustments.


He shared information about student performance in English, Math and Regents exam results, noting the impact that COVID had and how the district will work to help students improve.


“We know we’ve seen a decline across the country,” he said. “My responsibility is to the students of Elmsford and the staff of Elmsford, and to the families to make sure we identify those spaces so that we can start putting in some supports where needed.”


“We have to embrace and understand that we are probably preparing students that will graduate in 2029 for stuff that we don’t even know exists yet,” Dr. Gonzalez said of the future. “That has to be part of this learning process for us as we navigate the very next thing that we do.”


A large part of planning for the future will focus on the physical school buildings in the district, including a rebuild for Carl L. Dixson Primary School, reconfiguring Alice E. Grady Elementary School to a grades 5-8 school and making the high school ADA-compliant, along with creating specific spaces for technology.


Part of the 2023-24 school budget includes a building conditions survey that will help the district identify the priorities for that structure.


All of this begins with next year’s budget, he said. The proposed budget amounts to a total of $43,369,630, which would be an average $538 reduction in taxes to Elmsford homeowners.


The 2023-24 budget will help reduce class size, allow for additional staff and provide for an additional administrator. For facilities and technology, the budget will replace floors in the fifth-grade wing bathrooms and upgrade the HVAC system at Grady. In addition, it includes funds to create security vestibules at the entrances to the high school and Grady and security camera replacement. In addition, on the technology front, there are funds for replacement of computers that are used and for new servers.


There is also funding to investigate the cost to redo the library/media space, including expanding its size and technology at the high school. Funding is also provided for the purchase of a new sound system for gym, musical instruments for the high school and outdoor facility maintenance.


Ultimately, Dr. Gonzalez said, regarding the budget, “everything relates to student achievement.”


Dr. Gonzalez’ full presentation can be found on the Board of Education website page.



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