LESLIE TORRES RODRIGUEZ
Hartford Public Schools
Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez is the superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, one of the largest urban school districts in Connecticut. She arrived on the mainland from Puerto Rico at the age of nine and is a product of Hartford Public Schools.
She has served as an education leader in Greater Hartford for 27 years with a mission to provide access to educational excellence for all students. Leslie’s deeply rooted commitments guide her to continuous learning and to building leadership capacity in herself and others while collaborating to improve educational outcomes for every student. She believes that all students are beautiful and capable, with the potential to transform our world.
Leslie began her career in education at the San Juan Tutorial Program, Inc., in 1995. During her five-year tenure there she supported the community-based agency in offering year-round academic tutoring and enrichment programs to Hartford Public Schools students, and provided organizational leadership as assistant director and interim executive director.
As a school turnaround expert with a passion for educational equity, she held several school leadership positions including director of the freshmen center at Manchester High School, principal of Great Path Academy at Manchester Community College, and principal of CREC Public Safety Academy. As associate program coordinator at the Connecticut Center for School Change, she developed and facilitated programming for a Community of Practice of 26 turnaround principals across the state.
Prior to her appointment as acting superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, Leslie was 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. Leslie also taught social and behavioral science at Capital Community College and served students and families at Goodwin Technical High School as a school social worker.
A proud graduate of Hartford Public High School, she received a Bachelor of Science in human development and a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut, and she earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Central Connecticut State University.
Most recently, she was the recipient of the 2022 Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Latino Superintendent of the Year Award. She was also the recipient of the 2019 Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (CALAS) Award for Educational Leadership, the 2019 National Brillante Award for Educational Excellence from Prospanica, and she was featured in “Women of Distinction” by Hartford Magazine in December 2019. She is also a fellow of The Broad Academy (2018-19). Leslie serves as a trustee on the Trinity College Board of Trustees, as a member of the Hartford Promise board, as the co-chair of Mayor’s Cabinet for Young Children in Hartford, and as a member of the Governor’s Workforce Council. She is a proud resident of the capital city of Hartford, CT, where she lives with her husband and two sons.