Maria Hernandez
Instructional Policy Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Maria Alejandra Hernandez was born to immigrant parents from Guanajuato, Mexico. Born in Long Beach, California and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Maria witnessed educational inequity and the damaging effects of racism across both coasts of the United States. As a result, Maria's passion for educational equity and dismantling racist practices comes from personal experience.

Maria began her career teaching English in Firminy, France at the secondary level, then moved to Dallas, Texas to work with Teach For America and the Dallas Independent School District. There, she served multiple roles across five years: bilingual elementary teacher, grade-level chair, coach, professional learning leader, and curriculum writer. Her many areas of expertise include coaching and professional development, bilingual (Spanish and English) education, integrating the arts across content areas, and culturally responsive instruction and family engagement. In 2019 she joined the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as an Instructional Policy Specialist, position under which she is constantly thinking of ways to create access to an equitable education for all students.

Maria holds a B.A. in History and French from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and an Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives with her husband and her dog Mijo in Chelsea, MA. Outside of work, Maria enjoys reading historical fiction novels, traveling, and spending time with her loved ones.