Hector Montenegro

HectorMontenegroWho is Hector?

Dr. Hector Montenegro has been a math teacher, principal, chief of staff for the Washington, DC Public Schools, area superintendent, deputy superintendent for the Dallas ISD, and superintendent of schools for three school districts in Texas. He is an internationally recognized speaker and presenter with hundreds of workshop presentations, leadership development seminars, and keynote speeches at conferences, universities, schools, businesses, and special events in the US and 22 other countries. He worked most recently in Brazil, Chile, and Peru as a special consultant on education reform with the US embassy.

Montenegro specializes in school and district reform and transformation by working directly with school and district administrators in developing leadership skills to establish structures and communication networks that promote student success and support collaborative cultures that empower faculty and staff. Included in the transformation process is effective teacher training; mentoring; coaching strategies; social and emotional learning (SEL); English language learners (ELLs); and developing energizing, dynamic, interdependent work teams to accomplish extraordinary results. As a consultant with aha! Process Hector provides training and consulting services for A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Research-Based Strategies and works directly with administrators to ensure systemic implementation and sustainability of the 10 actions of Framework.

Hector’s credentials:


  • Ed.D. in Education Administration, University of Texas, Austin
  • M.A. in Mathematics Education, Stanford University
  • B.S. in Mathematics, California State Poly-Technic University, Pomona

Work history

  • Superintendent, San Marcos CISD, Ysleta ISD (El Paso), Arlington ISD, Texas
  • Area Superintendent, Austin ISD, Texas, and San Diego USD, California
  • Deputy Superintendent, Dallas ISD, Texas
  • Chief of Staff, Washington, DC Public Schools
  • Principal and Vice Principal, Austin ISD, Texas, and Alexandria PS and Fairfax County PS, Virginia, Washington, DC Public Schools
  • Teacher, Washington, DC Public Schools, and San Jose USD, California

Hector’s aha! moment

After seeing Ruby Payne speak at a number of conferences and workshops and studying her materials, I was most impressed with her depth of understanding of the disconnect between the social norms, cultural patterns, and class values of a school and children of poverty. Most importantly, the strategies that Ruby has developed can be applied at all levels and with students from all backgrounds. Teachers and administrators need to work collaboratively to ensure that these instructional strategies are clearly understood and become embedded in their work with all students.

Hector’s passions

In addition to being a presenter and keynote speaker, I thoroughly enjoy working directly with central office staff and school personnel to increase their leadership capacity to create highly engaging and inclusive learning environments. I strongly believe that minority children, English language learners, and children of poverty can excel in all learning environments if only educators would set high expectations for them to succeed, provide additional support, modify instruction to increase their interest in learning, and be role models in a caring and nurturing environment.

Hector’s best training

My most exciting training moments are when the participants are actively engaged in the learning process through simulations, discussions, and team-building activities that directly relate to the content being presented. I value those activities that create and strengthen networks among staff within the same building or district that ultimately result in greater awareness of the talents that each has and the similar beliefs and practices that they share. This ultimately translates to greater degrees of collaboration and cooperation. The aha! moments come when they discover that they can accomplish much more together than in isolation.

What does Hector do for fun?

Traveling and visiting new places and meeting new people is my passion. I recently returned from a four-week speaking tour of Brazil, Chile, and Peru where I visited public schools, universities, foundations, and historical sites such as Machu Picchu. I also love water sports and golf.

What are people saying about Hector?

“Dr. Montenegro’s presentation was exciting, engaging, and personally fulfilling. I finally realize what I need to do differently to better serve all children in my school.”

“The speaker was very motivating! I hope to take his enthusiasm and information back to my staff to stimulate their thinking about children of poverty and our approach to instruction. A lot of great advice and resources through the use of humor and activities.”

“Dr. M. was professional and engaging while bringing humor and personality to the workshop. I really enjoyed it!”

“Your emphasis on the link between relationships and children’s success was most valuable and informative. The group discussions also emphasized the need for us to know our colleagues and work together rather than separately. Outstanding workshop!”

“Awesome presentation! Excellent speaker!”

“The presenter did an excellent job in helping me understand the need to build relationships with mutual respect by modeling respectful adult behavior! Having us be more reflective of our own values and beliefs about children of poverty and the hidden rules of school was difficult but essential for my own personal growth and awareness. Thank you, Dr. Montenegro!”

One-page consultant bio