LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Leonori Rodriguez

Position: Senior Clerical Specialist
School: Willamette Education Service District
School District: Willamette Education Service District
City, State: Salem, OR

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Leonori Rodriguez was nominated by Katie Grauer, a colleague.

"I am proud to nominate Leonori Rodriguez for LifeChanger of the Year," stated Grauer. "Leonori has gone above and beyond her duties as a Senior Clerical specialist for the Willamette Promise program at our agency. She came to us as someone eager to learn but was still learning to find her voice."

Over this last year and a half, Mrs. Rodriguez has blossomed into her role and is unafraid of taking charge to get things done. As the Senior Clerical Specialist for Willamette Promise (a dual credit and college readiness program) and the school's newest program Control Tower (a regional program that allows school districts and industries to connect students with employers for quality work-based learning), her plate is constantly full with projects and asks. These programs help students prepare for their future, whether for college or the trades.

To ensure students can take full advantage of both programs, Mrs. Rodriguez is tasked with event coordination, communication, data collection, and being onsite to assist students. One event that stands out and shows her impeccable work was the Willamette Promise Student Leadership Summit. This Summit brought in select students from across Oregon to participate in a workshop that helped improve their writing skills. The students left the Summit with a personal essay they could use for college applications. Students also had many enrichment activities provided by Western Oregon University faculty. Putting together this event took a lot of work. There were many logistical pieces to take into consideration. Mrs. Rodriguez was right behind the scenes ensuring materials were ready to go, students knew where to go, coordinating meals, communicating between faculty and students, and pivoting when needed. Students went away with a positive experience thanks to Mrs. Rodriguez and her team.

Mrs. Rodriguez not only supports her amazing team but steps in to help others within her department. Mrs. Rodriguez is also at Willamette Career Academy (a regional hub for career and technical innovation for high school students). Her bilingual background has made her a tremendous asset to the Willamette Career Academy between students, families, and staff.

"Leonori is a team player, and the quality of her work shows through her projects and student experiences. She is a huge asset to our department, and I am excited to see where she goes from here," stated Grauer.