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2024 Power 100: Rachel Monarrez

A woman with long, dark hair wears a brown sweater, black jacket, and blue necklace. Photo | Courtesy of Worcester Public Schools Rachel Monarrez, superintendent of Worcester Public Schools
Rachel Monarrez Title Superintendent Organization Worcester Public Schools Employees 4,900 Residence Worcester Colleges University of California, Irvine; Claremont Graduate University Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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After a nationwide search, the Worcester School Committee hired Rachel Monarrez in 2022 to head the school district, replacing Maureen Binienda, whose contract was not renewed. Now, Monarrez was named in December as one of 25 U.S. Superintendents to Watch by the National School Public Relations Association.

The former deputy superintendent in San Bernardino, California, now brings a vision for creating a more inclusive school district. Monzarrez spent years in the classroom, teaching students in Southern California whose first language wasn’t English. The experience was formative.

“Given my experience, I bring a different perspective to what public education can be in Central Massachusetts,” she said.

The second-largest Bay State school district, with 24,500 students and a budget of $463 million, WPS faces the same challenges most large districts face: economic inequality, language barriers, aging structures.

In December, Monarrez unveiled a five-year WPS Strategic Plan to address some of those issues. The plan prioritizes programs and resources to ensure students have the skills necessary for college or career. It sets goals for making education more equitable, setting benchmarks for achievement for the historically underserved. On the hiring front, she set goals to increase faculty and staff from underrepresented backgrounds. Using social media presence and district communications, Monarrez focuses on increased community engagement, ensuring families have full access to school resources and feel welcomed in their school communities across Worcester zip codes.

She has won the support of School Committee members, who voted in August to extend her contract to June 30, 2027.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly said Rachel Monarrez was the former superintendent in San Bernardino, California. The correct information is she was the deputy superintendent for that school district.

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