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December 2023 - Dr. Maria Rodriguez

Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents LA LUZ DE LIDERAZO - A MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT December 2023

May 2023 - Jesse Tijerina

Welcome to the CO ALAS Membership Spotlight. Each month we introduce you to one of our many CO-ALAS members. Let’s see what they are doing and what’s on their mind!

This month we are featuring Dr. Maria Rodriguez, Assistant Principal, North Denver High School, Denver Public Schools. Dr. Rodriguez shares her professional career and current bio below. You can read the diverse experiences that have led to her various leadership roles. One of our shining stars!

Career Highlights & Education

Dra. Maria Rodriguez is an assistant principal at her alma mater - and where her parents graduated - North Denver High School in Denver Public Schools (DPS). She has served in a variety of roles in education that include para-educator, school security, office support followed by moving into the role of a classroom Social Studies and AVID teacher for the bulk of her career. While she enjoyed teaching and working with high school aged students, she desired to have a greater impact on how students were being served in the school setting. As a result, she pursued leadership roles that included dean of students, dean of instruction, and lastly -but not finally- her current role as an assistant principal.

As a agent for change, equity and social justice are at the center of her work with community, collaboration and integrity being her core values. She currently leads the Dual Language One Way Program, supports all MLE Programming, and oversees Humanities. Overall, she has served 18 years in the K-12 educational setting. She is also involved in a number of community based organizations within the field of education that include the Latine Educational Advisory Committee in Denver Public Schools, is a delegate for CO-ALAS, and is a board member of CO-CABE.

Prior to being a classroom teacher she enjoyed being a stay at home mom caring for her three children. Once her children started school full time, she began her career in education. While, she is the first in her family to graduate from college and to earn her EdD in Leadership in Latinx Communities from the University of Colorado at Denver; she proudly emphasizes she is not the last. All three of her children are college graduates achieving great things for themselves.

What is exciting about my job? The things that are most exciting about my job are the opportunities I have to assist students and teachers with recognizing their own strengths and leadership. I am excited about watching younger minds grow and aspire to achieve things they never thought possible. When the work I do regarding school programming and practices has an impact on the successful outcomes of our students and the leadership practices of our teachers, I get to say that I helped to support that. Words from a consejero/a: Failure is not an option, it is a requirement. Our greatest learning and growth come from overcoming our mistakes and failures.

God will put you where you are meant to be. Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader: Being a superintendent or school leader is a complex and multifaceted role. Continuously seek feedback, learn from experiences, and stay committed to the mission of providing a high-quality education for all students. Actively listen, build strong relationships, set a vision and mission, focus on student success, prioritize professional development, collaborate with stakeholders, embrace innovation, advocate for equity, be adaptable, manage resources wisely, be adaptable, celebrate success, and address challenges gracefully.

If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . . “On a Friday or weekend evening, dining with friends and family… during a warm day hiking in the mountains… or on occasion, late at night, doing the Bachata at a local salsa dance club.” How does CO-ALAS add value? My involvement as a CO-ALAS member has served as the greatest, if not the best opportunity for me in a myriad of ways. CO-ALAS has deepened my connections with educational professionals through shared experiences, creating a supportive community that fosters professional growth. CO-ALAS adds value by providing a platform for collaboration, resource-sharing, and mentorship, amplifying the voices of leaders of color in education. This network not only enhances my leadership skills but also enriches my perspective, allowing me to contribute more effectively to the diverse and ever-evolving landscape of education. In essence, CO-ALAS is not just an organization; it is a transformative community, a family, that empowers its members, creating a ripple effect that positively impacts students, schools, and the broader educational system.


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