Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez is the Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, one of the largest urban school districts in Connecticut. Raised in Hartford and a product of Hartford Public High School, she has served as an education leader in Greater Hartford for over two decades. Prior to her appointment as Superintendent, Dr. Torres-Rodriguez was Acting Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership within Hartford Public Schools, where she provided culturally courageous leadership to support the comprehensive improvement efforts of a network of 11 schools.
Ms. Avila is a well-known educational leader who continues to empower, lead, motivate, and unite others to make sustainable systematic changes that make a difference. She remains dedicated and passionate for the field of education. She takes pride in fostering supportive, safe, caring, and challenging learning environments for all learners. Her versatile career of over 24 years has provided her with extensive experiences. Ms. Avila has taught various grades at the elementary, middle school, and college level in both public and private schools.
Ms. Black-Burke is an innovative and collaborative community and family engagement professional with over 10 years of experience in education coordination and non-profit program administration. Ms. Black-Burke has extensive communication and relationship -building experience across diverse populations, ranging from work with teenagers and young adult students, to community, civic, educational and political leaders, via workshop facilitation, board membership, advocacy efforts, an public speaking.
With over 20 years in urban education, Dr. Negrón is a resonant leader who motivates and inspires others by sharing hope and an optimistic view of the future. Dr. Negrón is a systems thinker and a creative, tenacious leader who sets high goals for achievement and success through accountability. As a reflective educator, Dr. Negrón continually engages others in the reflective process to ensure high expectations for student performance.
Mrs. Hoffman’s more than 20-year career began in Hartford as a special education teacher. Her work in the special education field includes a focus on middle and high school students with diverse backgrounds. Her main focus has always been to build a positive rapport with students and families, while holding high expectations in and out of the classroom.
Mr. Fergus brings deep expertise in communications and marketing in education. He most recently served as the Director of Marketing & Communications for Catapult Academy, a Division of Catapult Learning, where he was responsible for achieving target enrollment goals, multi-channel marketing campaigns, management of marketing operations teams in two states
Clarence Zachery served as former Stamford Public Schools Chief Fiscal and Operations Support Officer (CFOSO). Mr. Zachery led the non-academic operations and fiscal management of the Stamford public school system with a $273 million operating budget and $29 million grant budget, 21 schools and 16,000 students. He supervised and managed all aspects of operations support including finance, facilities management, technology, food service, transportation and security