2024 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree

Michelle Pineda

Michelle Pineda-Rodgers

Director of Bilingual Education & World Languages
Hempstead UFSD

Michelle Pineda-Rodgers single-handedly changed the face of English language instruction in the Hempstead school district. In the 2022-2023 school year, as a number of new initiatives were being proposed to the district, Ms. Pineda-Rodgers introduced Hempstead schools to the multifaceted Renaissance educational technology solutions program. This global resource is dedicated to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom through its mission to accelerate learning for students of all ethnic and social backgrounds.

By spearheading the implementation of Renaissance, Ms. Pineda-Rodgers opened up a whole new world of opportunity to English Language Learners (ELLs), by giving them the ability to vastly improve their English language skills while simultaneously refining their skills in their native languages. By end of year, according to the platform’s comprehensive Star Assessment results, ELLs in the Renaissance program saw a 139 percent increase in their English reading ability.

Results like that are tough to argue, and teachers throughout the district inevitably began taking advantage of the Renaissance program and invariably saw substantial growth in their students’ Spanish and English knowledge. The results were so profound that Hempstead was invited to share them at the July 2023 New York State Schools Data Analysis Technical Assistance Group Conference in Saratoga Springs, and was invited back to present its year-two data this coming summer.

Due to Ms. Pineda-Rodgers’ efforts, not only are grades improving for both ELLs and traditional students, but attendance and overall academics are on the rise, and Hempstead students are developing a heightened sense of school community.