Two-time award-winning parent Maria Rodriguez was honored Sunday at the Pennsylvania Coalition for Parent Involvement’s 45th annual Family Involvement Conference, sponsored in collaboration with the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement. There, she received the prestigious Konrad Lindenberg Memorial Award for demonstrated leadership initiating, developing and promoting effective family-involvement programs, practices and partnerships at Waverley Elementary, Butterfly Ridge and Crestwood Middle Schools.
Frederick County Public Schools’ Family Involvement Coordinator Donna Quatman-Wilder co-nominated Ms. Rodriguez for the award, along with former FCPS employee Marta Droddy: “Ms. Rodriguez is a recognized community leader and family advocate. She attended FCPS family leadership classes and simultaneously held leadership roles in two school PTAs. Through her network of parents and friends, she actively recruited parents, inviting them to events, encouraging PTA membership, and promoting advocacy for student achievement. Through informal chats and social media as well as speaking at PTA meetings, Ms. Rodriguez reaches out to parents who might not otherwise participate. She fiercely and effectively advocated for interpreter funding to cover PTA and Board of Education meetings.”
In 2017, Ms. Rodriguez received the John Nelson Parent Involvement Matters Award from the Maryland English Language Learners Family Involvement Network. She continued her outreach to the Frederick community, founding Frederick Informando, a public Facebook group with more than 500 members. She shares school and community events and live videos that encourage engagement. She was instrumental in advocating for construction of Butterfly Ridge Elementary, bringing together four school communities to forge a cohesive message.
“Ms. Rodriguez’s unbridled commitment and endless compassion for families continues,” says Quatman-Wilder. “Hers is the commendable level of family involvement that makes a very positive difference in student achievement.”
Left to right are Marta Droddy, Maria Rodriguez and Donna Quatman-Wilder