Rochester superintendent apologizes for plagiarizing Thanksgiving letter to staff

Med City Beat broke the story, prompting the superintendent to apologize.
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Michael Munoz

Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Michael Muñoz has apologized to staff after it was discovered that a Thanksgiving letter he sent to district employees was a work of plagiarism. 

It was Sean Baker of the Med City Beat in Rochester who broke the story, finding that Muñoz's letter included plagiarism in nearly every sentence, also finding that different typefaces and font sizes were indications of rampant copying and pasting from up to five different sources.  

Baker highlighted every portion of the letter that was plagiarized, which you can see here

Muñoz apologized in a separate letter, calling it a "bad choice" that he knows has "damaged your respect and trust in me." 

"I was taught by my father to own up to your mistake and I am doing that now. It was wrong what I did and trying to explain what led me to do this would just come across as making excuses and I don’t want to do that," he added. 

Muñoz has been at Rochester Public Schools since 2011. 

Here is Muñoz's full apology to staff: 

Dear RPS Staff,

I want to say I am really sorry that I made the bad choice that I did to plagiarize the Thanksgiving letter that was sent to you last week. I know by doing this I have damaged your respect and trust in me. I know this behavior is not acceptable and minimizes my intent to tell you that I understand that last Spring and this school year have been very challenging for all of you and let you know that I truly do appreciate everything that all of you are doing to meet the needs of all our students and families and supporting each other. I know it has been difficult to balance work, family and the pandemic and but you manage to go above beyond every single day.

I was taught by my father to own up to your mistake and I am doing that now. It was wrong what I did and trying to explain what led me to do this would just come across as making excuses and I don’t want to do that. I can tell you that I am committed to rebuild your confidence and trust in me every single day. I will learn from this mistake and be a better leader and person moving forward.

Again, I am sorry for putting all of you through this and I hope with time you will be able to trust me again. 

Michael Muñoz
Superintendent
Rochester Public Schools

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