Learn More About Alameda County Superintendent L. Karen Monroe

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Karen understands the power of education to change and even save lives. She has dedicated herself to ensuring that students and families are seen, valued, and have access to vital educational opportunities and supports.

The power of learning has been a constant in her life. She proudly stands on the shoulders of four generations who have called the Bay Area home.  Her mother and grandmother were teachers in this community before her and she is deeply committed to promoting the highest quality education for every student.

Karen Monroe

In her youth, Karen had the great privilege of serving as legislative Intern to The Honorable Shirley Chisholm during her last congressional term. She will tell you that “working with your role model is a life-changing experience – especially one who so boldly interrupted the expectations of the past to redefine what is possible”. This opportunity truly ignited her passion for educational advocacy. 

From her beginnings as the Bay Area Liaison for A Better Chance, through forming the non-profit Educational Technology Training Institute, to becoming an Oakland teacher and principal, School Improvement Grant coordinator, Director of Academics for Seneca Center, and now Associate Superintendent of Education for Alameda County, Karen has remained deeply committed to advocating and leading for the best educational outcomes for all students. 

She has also used her skill as an educational leader to innovate and introduce major initiatives to help increase mental health services in schools and designed a system of support to aid in the effective communication between educators and behavioral health providers. She was recognized for her outstanding work in significantly improving achievement outcomes for students. 

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.

 Experience Highlights

✎ Presently, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools [Alameda County Office of Education]

✎ Associate Superintendent of Education [Alameda County Office of Education]

Director, Student Programs & Services [Alameda County Office of Education]

Director of Academics [Seneca Center]

School Improvement Grant Coordinator [Oakland Unified School District]

Principal – International Community School [Oakland Unified School District]

Assistant Principal – ASCEND K-8 [Oakland Unified School District]

Teacher– 4th to 8th grade, Alternative Ed., Technology & Gifted [Oakland Unified School District]

✎ Legislative Intern for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm 


✪ Educational Leadership Award, Oakland Unified School District [2008]

✪ Principal’s Leadership Network Team – Pre-K to 3 Institute, Harvard University [2008, 2009]