The Orange County School Board on Tuesday, June 28, selected Dr. Maria Vazquez as Orange County Public Schools’ next superintendent.
Vazquez is currently the deputy superintendent for Orange County Public Schools. She will be the first Hispanic superintendent in OCPS history.
Vazquez has served at every level of the education system. After beginning her career as an elementary school classroom teacher and resource teacher in reading and language arts, Vazquez served as an assistant principal and principal in OCPS. She served the district across multiple roles, including area superintendent and chief academic officer, before being promoted to deputy superintendent in 2018.
“This was a tough decision,” School Board Chair Teresa Jacobs said. “The district had two very qualified finalists. It came down to our confidence in Dr. Maria Vazquez. I have known her for 20 years. I know she has every intention to change the culture for the better throughout this district. She is student-centered, and I have every confidence that she will create a learning environment where all children feel safe, supported and successful.”
Vazquez will succeed current Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins, who will retire at the end of 2022.
“I am extremely pleased that the School Board selected Dr. Vazquez,” Jenkins said. “Maria is well versed in every aspect of the district and will be able to accelerate strategies for student success. More importantly, she has the passion and the fortitude to lead a large urban district, thanks to her experience and her preparation by Chiefs for Change and other organizations. I am confident that she will work with the school board to continue leading our students to success. I look forward to working with her on a smooth transition.”
Vazquez’s parents fled Cuba, leaving everything they owned behind to provide a better life for their family. They instilled in her that education was the most valuable currency she had. A first-generation American, Vazquez traces her passion for education back to the talented, dedicated teachers who changed her own life.
Vazquez currently serves on several boards, including City Year of Orlando, The American Heart Association, CareerSource Central Florida and Orange County Government Citizen’s Commission for Children. She is also a member of the prestigious Future Chiefs, Chiefs for Change.