Karen Monroe is Alameda County’s Superintendent of Schools. She is elected by voters to lead the educational programs, services, and initiatives at the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) and to provide fiscal and academic oversight and support for the county’s eighteen school districts, one county district, seven charters, and three Regional Occupational Programs (ROP).
Since taking office in January 2015, Superintendent Monroe has worked to position the ACOE as a model of social justice in action. At a time of tremendous change in public education, including drastic shifts in funding, standards, testing, and accountability, Karen holds a compelling vision for the agency. She is committed to equipping the most vulnerable students and those who serve them with the tools to successfully make their way to, in, and through our public schools. Her approach builds on the rich assets of the county’s diverse community, aligned with the best efforts of many different agencies, organizations, and individuals to pursue a strong vision of high-quality education, including mental and physical well-being, for all our youth.
As the chief administrator for the Alameda County Office of Education, Superintendent Monroe works collaboratively with educators, policymakers, and business and community leaders to ensure that schools and classrooms are places where students thrive. She has worked to re-envision the County Office of Education as an incubator of innovative and effective training and resources. Under her leadership, the nearly 300 educators, administrators, and staff at ACOE work daily to support teacher practice, student engagement, and the overall success of our public schools. Working closely with local districts, the superintendent’s office convenes statewide work to implement systems thinking and collective impact processes. These processes are critical strategies to forward ACOE’s significant investments in Early Childhood Education and Pathways to College and Career, supporting student success and engagement in school, work, and their communities into the future.
Karen is a committed advocate for the very best educational outcomes for all students. Her extensive experience as an educational leader and administrator includes serving as the Bay Area liaison for A Better Chance; a founder of the non-profit Educational Technology Training Institute; a teacher, School Improvement Grant Coordinator, and award-winning principal in Oakland schools; Director of Academics for Seneca Center; and Associate Superintendent of Education for Alameda County.
Karen holds a degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, a teaching credential from Holy Names University, and her administrative credential from the national New Leaders educational leadership program. She resides in Oakland and has two adult children.