Peluso to leave RSCD for Churchville-Chili

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Carmine Peluso, Rochester City School District superintendent, at a recent meeting

Carmine Peluso will still be a superintendent in July,  just at a different school district. The Churchville-Chili Central School District Tuesday said Peluso will succeed Lori Orologio after her retirement from the district in June.

Peluso’s departure from the Rochester City School District marks the loss of yet another superintendent.

“I am excited to become a part of the Churchville-Chili Central School District,” said Peluso. “I look forward to meeting the students, staff, and families in our schools and community. I am committed to working with the administrative team and Superintendent Orologio to ensure a seamless transition.”

Peluso was RCSD superintendent for a year and a half, originally taking over in an interim role after former superintendent Lesli Myers-Small was forced out by the Board of Education in the summer of 2022.

At the time, RSCD board president Cynthia Elliott said they selected Peluso because he brought community roots and stability to the position. Peluso has worked in Monroe County education systems for more than 20 years across Pittsford, East Rochester, and Churchville-Chili.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, we are excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Peluso,” said Churchville-Chili school board president Kathleen Dillon. “He brings a wide variety of experiences and a skill set that will take our district to the next level!”

While Churchville-Chili is excited, RSCD is likely less enthused. No official statement from RCSD has been released so far.

The news comes just as the school budget is to be presented with comments from the state monitor. Similarly, the fate of the educational partnership with East Upper and Lower schools was also set to be determined this week. 

Peluso was also at the forefront of the complex and lengthy reconfiguration process that will see multiple school closures and openings next year as well as a new teacher recruitment effort.

Peluso’s short tenure follows an unfortunate trend. Myers-Small was forced out due to negative evaluations after two years; Terry Dade left for a position downstate after a year; Bolgen Vargas retired after about three years due to clashes with RCSD board leadership; and Jean-Claude Brizard received a vote of no confidence from Rochester teachers before leaving for a Chicago school district.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans expressed his disappointment at Peluso’s exit.

“I have appreciated Dr. Peluso’s commitment to and leadership of our schools, as well as the strong relationship he and I have built. Together, we had begun to make important progress for the benefit of city students, and I am very sad to see him go,” Evans said. “It is imperative that the Rochester City School District obtain and maintain strong leadership for the young people of our city. A successful educational system is critical to the success of Rochester, and the City stands ready to support the District as it embarks on this important transition.”

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

9 thoughts on “Peluso to leave RSCD for Churchville-Chili

  1. April 8, 2024 we will have a total solar ECLIPSE, in Rochester.
    All schools in the area will, I believe, be closed, in observance of this special educational event.
    Why can’t we teach our students, to CONCENTRATE and FOCUS, every single day of the year?
    Learning is a matter of motivation and discipline, and here we have a simple lesson, April 8.
    People will stop what they are doing, and pay attention to a simple learning opportunity.
    We have the opportunities. We have the tools. We have the funds. But where is the interest?
    We have huge school budgets. We have the STRONG Museum of Play, around the corner.
    Yes, we can YEARN to LEARN. Start some motivational web pages.
    (see, for example: for example, and )

  2. It is time for the NYS Legislators to act. From a political point of view the Mayor should take over responsibility for leadership of RCSD. From a business view point the RCSD should declare bankruptcy and file for reorganization under Chapter 11. Also, the relationship with the UR should continue.

    • Mayoral controlled school districts do not do any better. Some of those who changed to that political control have opted to go back to elected board members.

  3. First not surprising- the RCSD is unable to manage the school district that has failed over the last 30 years. Why – no changes can happen to improve the RCSD. Why – incapable School Board + self centered Teachers Union + lack of quality Monroe County resident involvement. This could the opportunity to totally change how the City of Rochester children are educated.
    1) reconfigure the terms of serving on the School Board = no pay! Term limits – accountability- allow Monroe County residents ( not just City residents ) to serve!
    2) negotiate to remove Union Leadership. We need Union Leadership to be accountable for educating and graduating students at 80% or more!
    3) give advisory power of RCSD a small group focused on ONE THING = educating City children! – maybe the Mayor, County Executive, Superintendent and one local Monroe County resident. Just an idea since we have seen hiring a superintendent to alone work with the School Board and Teachers Union does not work.

    I have advocated for many years that allowing Monroe County residents to serve on the Board along side City residents ( maybe 12 board members- 8 City and 4 Monroe County) , with NO PAY and held accountable for educating —not accountable to keep their jobs. Terms limits as well.

    Too bad we lost another Superintendent but it’s really too bad that Monroe County is allowing thousands of children to be uneducated year after year! It’s not just poor graduation rates- it’s kids inability to read, write and do simple math.
    Look Monroe County residents are capable of educating children —- look at the suburbs!

    • That’s why, Donald Bartalo, period.
      In addition if one cannot make the required changes, cannot make a difference, then one stops wasting time and departs. To the failing RCSD, Adam Urbanski and company, the RCSB and all those who continuously do the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome….you have basically, through your actions, told the Super to leave. Your way (RCSB) or the highway. He chose to take the highway to Churchville-Chili. Next.

    • Well said. I am a RCSD teacher. Its all about control and money.
      The kids are simply numbers at best, and it far worse than the media can describe.
      As someone on the front lines I can tell you that we see no hope for change, certainly not from those associated with the system itself. It will take powerful, vocal business and political leaders to force the needed restructuring.

  4. And yet another one leaves the district. Will this lead to another chaotic scramble to find a new leader? Will the next superintendent stay long enough to implement the changes they draft? I’m beginning to think there is some endemic problem with how the superintendent is managed by the board. Maybe the community, parents, and senior elected officials help the board develop criterion that the new superintendent must meet, including how long they should stay. They certainly have enough data points to know what doesn’t work. I suggest that the board go on a retreat with professional development experts and team builders to guide them to act as a cohesive body that understands exactly what their role is. If there are one or two longe term board members that are the root cause of why superintendents vacate the position so quickly, maybe it’s time for change of board members. Without a doubt there needs to be more transparancy so the community, that is footing the bill for a failing school system understands why this keeps happening.

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