Marta N. Palacios
Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View
District of Columbia Public Schools
Washington, D.C.

Marta Palacios began her career teaching in El Salvador. She also has served as a Spanish curriculum developer and teacher of students learning English as a second language in the United States. Drawing on such expertise to serve children in the elementary school she leads today, Palacios established a dual-language program for preschoolers through fifth graders. In recent years, Palacios also has led her school to pilot a new program for teaching mathematics. She has been principal of Bruce-Monroe Elementary School at Park View since 2002. The urban school houses Head Start through grade 5. Ninety percent of its 422 students come from low-income households. Where once there was an absence of parent involvement, Palacios has managed to create an active parent organization. “I am invested in strengthening the bridge between school and home,” she says. One way she accomplishes this is by hosting Family Nights promoting home instruction to boost literacy, math, and science learning. Further, a parent coordinator with ties to the community staffs a parent center. When her school’s future looked uncertain, parent supporters advocated for the site at city meetings. Palacios credits them for “keeping our school open.” She holds a B.A. from the University of the District of Columbia and an M.S. and an Ed.D. from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.