With the transition of Dr. Brian Bailey from assistant superintendent to superintendent on July 1, the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District was in search of a qualified candidate to fill the newly vacant position. Fifty-five applicants were screened for the job and one, C. Fred Engelhardt Jr., was named the new RCS Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. From the original 55 candidates, eight participated in phone screening interviews. Four then moved forward to be interviewed by a committee. The committee included Bailey, administrators, teachers, teaching assistants, a clerical staff member, a parent and RCS students. Engelhardt rose to the top of the candidate pool and was recommended for appointment and was appointed by the board of education during their July 5 meeting. His appointment will be effective Aug. 7, 2017.
As a community member with three daughters attending A.W. Becker and wife also teaching at the school, Engelhardt has kept a close eye on the progress of the district.
“I see the changes that are already occurring (in the district) and feel honored to be part of this work,” Engelhardt said. “It is my intention to continue the trajectory of success for our schools.”
Engelhardt has spent the last 15 years as an educator and administrator for the Albany City School District. His experience in education also includes service as a building curriculum team leader for English language arts and an instructional coach for the National Urban Alliance and principal of the Albany School of Humanities.
As principal, Engelhardt says it was his job to continue to encourage and inspire “best practice” when it came to curriculum and instruction. During his five years as principal of the Albany School of Humanities he began the practice of Data Teaming, similar to the data-driven working being done at RCS.
“I was able to construct times for teachers to meet to strategically to look at assessment data and from that, modify curriculum and implement instructional strategies that would both remediate and enrich all students,” he said.
Engelhardt is also proud of his work that connected assessment data with his informal classroom observations. During these observations he was able to see, first-hand, what was being taught in the classroom, give teachers feedback and build professional learning opportunities to improve performance.
“I am confident that with the expertise that I have, knowing that I have much to still learn, that I will be able to contribute much to continue success of our district,” Engelhardt said.
Bailey echoes Engelhardt’s confidence with his own certainty.
“Our staff, students and families will all benefit from Fred’s extensive knowledge of young learners, his inclusive leadership style and his abundant enthusiasm for effective teaching and learning,” Bailey said.
The new assistant superintendent plans to work closely not only with Bailey, central administration, building leaders, curriculum content specialists and teachers, but also with students and families. His goal is to learn what is working well in the district and find areas that need improvement. Engelhardt plans to reach these goals through building relationships throughout the district and using pertinent data collected, as laid out in his Plan of Entry presented to the board of education.