After failing to win election to city/town clerk, former Alderman Sergio Rodriguez has landed on his feet with a new job under state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor.
Rodriguez (pictured) started a new job Dec. 13 at the state Department of Education, according to spokeswoman Kelly Donnelly. His new job, “education staff assistant,” pays $67,500 per year.
Rodriguez ended his final, fifth term as Westville alderman on Dec. 31. He decided not to run for reelection because he set his sights on becoming New Haven’s city/town clerk. That job, a 20-hour-a-week position, pays $46,597 a year. Rodriguez finished well in a two-way Democratic primary, considering that he had very little campaign money and a small campaign team. He lost to Mike Smart 5,696 to 6,395. He considered running as an independent in the general election, then decided not to.
In his new job in Hartford, Rodriguez will be responsible for improving educational outcomes for kids involved with child protective services, the juvenile justice system, and alternative education programs.
In a statement, Commissioner Pryor, who’s also a former New Haven alderman, welcomed Rodriguez to the job.
“Mr. Rodriguez brings deep passion, demonstrated personal commitment, and valuable professional experience to this position, which will help to ensure that we provide strong supports to at-risk youngsters and adults in our education system,” Pryor said.
“I have always had a deep concern for our most vulnerable children,” Rodriguez said in the statement, distributed by Pryor’s office. “Over ten years, my wife and I welcomed 35 foster children into our family. I was able to see firsthand the challenges that children who were removed from their home environment faced—especially in the education system. Often, this traumatic transition impacted their behavior in school, it impacted their academics, and it impacted their progress.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to work on behalf of our vulnerable students and am equally grateful that the department made addressing the challenges that these children face a priority. In my new capacity, I greatly look forward to fostering meaningful collaborations to identify and provide the services necessary to improve the academic performance of these children,” he said.