School district fills diversity director position

Liliana Rodriguez

The Champlain Valley School District has hired Liliana Rodriguez as its first director of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Rodriguez is scheduled to start July 1. She will be part of the district’s administrative leadership team and direct its diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. 

Rodriguez has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Williams College, and a master’s degree in clinical psychology and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Massachusetts. She has been a lecturer at Williams College and previously served as an educational consultant and mental health and substance abuse counselor for Hampshire College. 

She has also worked as director of diversity recruitment at Williams College, associate dean of diversity, inclusion and community development at Swarthmore College and most recently as vice chancellor of campus life and inclusive excellence at the University of Denver. 

“Liliana has dedicated her career to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in educational settings,” said Champlain Valley School Board chair Angela Arsenault. “She holds a deep understanding of the personal nature of the work, a true belief in the value of student voice and a desire to create measurable goals to affect real change where it’s needed. 

“I’m excited to learn from her and to do all we can as a board and a community to embrace the incredible expertise and wisdom Liliana brings to our district.” 

Rodriguez believes in an individualized approach to diversity, equity and inclusion work. 

“Individuals need to be met where they are and compassionately walked toward greater understanding,” she stated in her letter expressing interest in the position. “The field has changed radically and the challenges faced are complex, but achievable with a firm commitment and innovative ideas. I think I can draw on my work in higher education to be a valuable resource in K-12 education.” 

Her depth of experience and track record impressed the district’s search committee. 

“I was happy to be part of a fair and impartial interview process of numerous highly qualified candidates,” said Fabienne Boisvert-DeFazio, a community member from Shelburne who served on the search committee. “Our lengthy and thorough work resulted in the selection of Liliana Rodriguez, who I believe will bring lived experience, expertise and mindfulness to the position. As a community member, I would like to thank the superintendent and the school board for following through and filling this vital position.”