Dr. Dr. Maria Ortiz

Assistant Superintendent
Newark Board of Education


Dr. Maria Julia Ortiz migrated at the age of five to Newark, NJ, from the Dominican Republic. She is a product of Newark Public Schools. She is led by her commitment to education, her passion for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Special Education, Social Justice, and Bilingual Education. Currently, she is the Assistant Superintendent of the High Schools.

Previously, she was the Executive Director of Student Life and in that role, she was afforded opportunities to work in various capacities across the K-12 system. She led the district’s work for trauma-informed care, social-emotional learning, student mentoring, student guidance, attendance, and social work.

In her tenured, she served as the former principal of The Luis Muñoz Marin School of Social Justice, with an average of 960-1,075 students daily and over 1,400 students annually. Additionally, she was the first principal of Dominican descent to serve for the Newark Public Schools.

Her global experience and ministerial work have taken her to over 28 countries where she spent a significant amount of time in Portsmouth England, Ghana, and Liberia, West Africa.

Dr. Ortiz received her first master’s degree from Columbia University Teacher’s College and her second master’s degree in Divinity from Drew University Theological Seminary. She earned her Doctoral degree at Seton Hall University. Her dissertation focuses on teacher efficacy and it is entitled, In What Ways do Individual Teachers in Urban Public Middle Schools Respond to High Student Mobility?

She also leads an innovative educational leadership consulting office. She is an active participant in the Harvard University School Leadership series. Dr. Ortiz is the recipient of the NJ State of Education EOF Leadership Award, the Essex County Commerce Latino Leadership Award, The Essex County Althea Gibson Award, and The Newark Municipal Council Educator of the Year award. She remains in Newark, NJ, with her family.


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