As superintendent, Ms. Rodriguez is an educator, innovator and role model

Superintendent+Ms.+Rodriguez+makes+an+appearance+on+the+high+school%27s+Morning+Show
Back to Article
Back to Article

As superintendent, Ms. Rodriguez is an educator, innovator and role model

Superintendent Ms. Rodriguez makes an appearance on the high school's Morning Show

Superintendent Ms. Rodriguez makes an appearance on the high school's Morning Show

Superintendent Ms. Rodriguez makes an appearance on the high school's Morning Show

Superintendent Ms. Rodriguez makes an appearance on the high school's Morning Show

Emily Gelman, Contributing Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story







As superintendent of Monroe-Woodbury schools, Ms. Rodriguez said she believes that students and the community should have a role in shaping the district’s goals.

A five-year strategic plan for the district was initiated by Ms. Rodriguez when she began her tenure, which included opportunities for students and staff to learn and grow. Under that plan, a survey was administered to over 6,000 people in the Monroe-Woodbury community in 2018. That survey asked what the district is doing well, as well as what it can improve upon.

Ms. Rodriguez also wanted to make sure that the board of education had the “voice of a student.” After a community vote, senior Christian Hess joined the board as the student member.

“I have worked very hard to make sure that we have the student voice represented in many of the things that we do,” said Ms. Rodriguez, who has spent 34 years in education.

Another part of Ms. Rodriguez’s district plan was a task force called “Student Engagement,” which consists of a high school student, a middle school administrator, a high school administrator, and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Eric Hassler. They contemplate how to keep students engaged in school and how to reach students who are reluctant to do so.

Ms. Rodriguez grew up in the Bronx and went to a private Catholic school as a child. After graduating from Manhattan College, she taught in parochial schools in the Bronx. Ms. Rodriguez has a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in multicultural education, and a certification in administration.

Originally, Ms. Rodriguez planned on becoming a social worker, but after a teaching opportunity at a parochial school in the Bronx as a college student, she fell in love with teaching and taught social studies for twenty years.

“I went into teaching and I loved it,” said Ms. Rodriguez. “I loved being around kids and being able to teach something I was really passionate about.”

After teaching in the Bronx for several years, Ms. Rodriguez relocated to Rockland County 25 years ago, where she worked as a high school dean of students in Ramapo.

Ms. Rodriguez’s administrative career since then has been within Monroe-Woodbury, where she began working 18 years ago as Monroe-Woodbury Middle School’s assistant principal, then principal, and then the district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction until she was appointed as superintendent in 2014.

I have worked very hard to make sure that we have the student voice represented in many of the things that we do.”

— Superintendent Ms. Rodriguez

A superintendent is the head administrator of a school district. Their job entails overseeing district processes, hiring new staff, managing principals and central staff, and ensuring the well-being of the students and staff within their district.

According to the American School Superintendents Association, 21.7 percent of U.S. superintendents are women and 6 percent are minorities. Ms. Rodriguez, as a Hispanic woman, places her into a small percentage of superintendents nationally.

Ms. Rodriguez said having integrity and being passionate about her line of work have helped her break many barriers. Her advice to young women today is to stay true to their passions and to have integrity in everything they do.

“I think that when I came into education, I stayed true to my belief in education and true to my integrity as a woman. I think that has been really good for me,” said Ms. Rodriguez. “It’s sometimes hard when you walk into a room and the majority of superintendents are men, but I just focus on the work I have to do.”

Freshman Jean-Marie Martinez said that having a female school superintendent is inspiring and shatters many of the stereotypes for women.

“I think that females are often viewed as more emotional or like they don’t use their brain and make decisions based on emotions, but I don’t think that’s true because she’s here, she made it,” said Martinez.

Ms. Rodriguez said her biggest challenge as superintendent is balancing community taxes with what the district needs, as 75 percent of district funds come from taxpayers.

Instead of referring to her position as one of power, Ms. Rodriguez views it as one of responsibility.

“Yes, I have power, but more than power is that I have great responsibility,” said Ms. Rodriguez. “I have to make the right decisions, be fair, and be a role model.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email