Hispanic Heritage Month: Dr. Cristina Melendez is the ‘parent whisperer’ at the city DOE
A Latina from the South Bronx has made her focus in the Department of Education to uplift families and make sure students thrive.
Dr. Cristina Melendez, proud Dominican and South Bronx native, started her education career back in 2004 in the classrooms of P.S. 218. Now, she’s the executive director of family and community engagement with the DOE, making her one of the highest-ranking Latinas in the department.
“What is powerful about where I am is where I come from,” said Melendez. “This idea that growing up in this neighborhood and having taught in this neighborhood really helps my students…their real example is a tangible one."
She earned the nickname “Parent Whisperer” by being herself and using the knowledge she gained through experience as a consultant, coach, and assistant principal.
Dr. Melendez says she loves to encourage parent involvement because of the way it helps the students succeed.