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Lesli C. Myers-Small

Superintendent of Schools, Rochester City School District

Years in current role: 2

What was your biggest success in 2021?

The 2020-2021 school year began with every scholar learning in remote learning status. At the beginning of January 2021, we began shifting to a hybrid model of teaching and learning. It was so exciting meeting students in person for the first time. It was also incredible to see the joy each scholar had as they walked into school and saw their teachers and friends.

What are your expectations for 2022?

I am hopeful that all stakeholders in our school community will collaborate and work together for the betterment of our scholars. We are embarking on a journey to address culture and climate in the RCSD. For too long, our district’s narrative has been one of negativity, underachievement and failure. I am looking forward to becoming the high-performing district we are destined to be.

What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?

On Saturday mornings, I enjoy heading out to visit Rochester’s Public Market. I love interacting with people who hail from varied backgrounds as I haggle over prices. I love the fact that I can go year-round and make purchases which include: ethnic delicacies; fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and seafood; prepared and packaged foods; specialty items as well as general merchandise. You can often find me talking with vendors as I purchase new items for recipes that I am trying out on my family and friends.

If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?

Following in my late mother’s footsteps, I would spend much more of my time serving the community. My heart’s desire is to open a shelter for teens who have been kicked out of their homes. Besides nourishment and housing, I would offer counseling, education, employment assistance as well as training. I continue to strongly believe that our young people are our present.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at


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