Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez is an American success story. Born in Puerto Rico, she came to the continental US with her parents when she was four. Her family lived in Philadelphia before moving to Camden. Education was her parents’ dream for her and Carmen made that a reality.
After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School with honors, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological science with a minor in Spanish from Rutgers University. She went on to earn two Master’s degrees: A Master of Education degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Chemistry Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She also earned an Ed.S degree in Education Leadership.
As she earned her advanced degrees, Carmen taught science in both Camden City and Audubon school districts. She has teaching certificates in Physical Science, Biological Science, Bilingual Science and K-8 education. She taught physics and chemistry at Brimm Medical Arts High School before becoming Principal of Kingdom Charter School of Leadership in Gloucester Township in the summer of 2013. In the summer of 2014, Freeholder Rodriguez was appointed Supervisor of Bilingual Education for the Camden City School System.
As an educator and the mother of four children, Freeholder Rodriguez knows the value of strong families and the power that education brings to young people. Her education and experience as a teacher and a parent motivated her to expand her role as a public servant, becoming the first Hispanic member of the Camden County Board of Freeholders.
Her concern, kindness and compassion have reached out to touch many lives throughout the county. She is the liaison to the Board of Social Services, helping those in need. She expanded the Code Blue protocol for cold weather to include a new Code Blue warming site in downtown Camden, where the homeless can come to get warm on the coldest winter days. She proactively works with agencies to find permanent homes for the homeless.
She has helped the Health Department maintain a level budget without reducing services and has been involved in bringing more digital access to their services by supporting online health inspections of restaurants and cafeterias throughout the county. She is liaison to the Covenant for Children, a partnership among various agencies to help children and families guided by a Children’s Bill of Rights and the Freeholders’ proclamation and support for helping children and families.
In 2012, as part of the Covenant for Children initiative, Freeholder Rodriguez worked with the Board of Freeholders to create an interactive Parenting Conference to help children, youth and families build better, stronger families and smart, happy, healthy children. The conference is now an annual event that reaches hundreds of families and is a great addition to Camden County’s annual Women’s Health Conference. She is also co-chair of the Mental Health Leadership Task Force.
Freeholder Rodriguez has been honored with the Good Neighbor Award by the Camden County Branch of the American Red Cross, the Legislator of the Year Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was named one of the Delaware Valley’s Most Influential Latinos in 2014. The mother of four lives in Merchantville.
Freeholder Rodriguez is the liaison to the following departments and divisions: