Lauren Rodriguez ’03 MA, ’06 6th Year

2021 Neag School Outstanding School Administrator

Principal Rodriguez with student receiving award.
(Images courtesy of Lauren Rodriguez)

Lauren Rodriguez has served since 2013 as principal of Southeast Elementary School in Mansfield, Connecticut. There, her compassionate leadership and supportive approach to engaging with all members of the school community has fostered an inclusive environment that has ultimately earned the school recognition numerous times as a Connecticut School of Distinction. From implementing enrichment clusters for students to integrating positive behavior supports to allow for healthy social and emotional development, Rodriguez is known for having built strong and positive relationships with teachers as well as parents. She has proven herself not only as a leader, but also as a hands-on collaborator, having, for instance, co-written the district’s grade-level benchmarks for 21st century learning and led the professional development rollout for three district elementary schools. Over the years, Rodriguez also has remained closely engaged with the Neag School community, including as a mentor in the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program, a longtime champion of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model, and as an organizer for Neag School leadership conferences.

“The competence, caring, and collegiality of the faculty and staff at Southeast are truly a sight to behold; and these things are clearly the result of Lauren’s ongoing professional development, the creation of innovative math, social studies and science curriculum, and her direct involvement in teaching as well as being the principal.”

— Joseph Renzulli,
University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor

Acceptance Speech from Lauren Rodriguez

Well Wishes


“The trait ... that most defines Lauren is her compassion for others. It is what struck me first when observing her interactions with students and what continues to impress me. First, she has a way of truly listening that sends the ‘You are important.’ Then she lets students know that they are capable. Lauren doesn’t solve problems for students or tell them what to do; she engages them in thinking through a problem and determining a solution.”

— Kelly Lyman ’88 MA, ’01 6th Year, ’10 ELP,
Mansfield (Conn.) Schools Superintendent


“We are so impressed with your accomplishments. You have always made us proud. When visiting you at South East Elementary School, we love the way parents show their appreciation for your dedication and love of their children. We are so impressed with your award.”

— Mom & Dad


“Congratulations Lauren — so proud of my little sister for her passion and commitment to improving the education experience for elementary students. You are very deserving of this recognition and I hope you continue loving what you do.”

— Sharon Stack



“It is an honor to be in attendance with you (virtually) as you receive this well-deserved Award for Outstanding School Administrator. As a former Three-Summers UConn classmate and friend, I have always known you to be outstanding in every way. You’re one of the most positive, intelligent, driven, and heartfelt people I know. Huge congratulations Lauren! No one deserves this award more than you.”

— Leah Saidy Storm


“Lauren - What an honor! You’ve worked hard for your students, staff, and school community. This is well deserved recognition. I’m so proud of you!”

— Jennifer Troester


“Well deserved! You are a true advocate for all families. I have especially appreciated your commitment to equity and anti-racism.”

— Shamim Patwa ’97 MA, ’00 6th Year, ’03 Ph.D.,
Director of Support Services, Mansfield Public Schools


“Lauren, I am so proud of all your professional accomplishments. Congratulations!”

— E. Jean Gubbins, Professor,
Neag School of Education


“We are so impressed with everything you do. Congratulations on this well deserved honor.”

— Betsy McCoach & Del Siegle,
Professors, Neag School of Education


“So proud of all you have accomplished...”

— Joseph Renzulli,
University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor