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Biography

Dr. William Rodriguez

After earning his Bachelor Degree from Lehman College, Dr. Rodriguez began his teaching career as an elementary music teacher in P.S. 138 Bronx District 8. He taught third and fourth grade chorus and instrumental music. He went on to earn his Master Degree at Lehman College. During his years at P.S. 138, his elementary chorus performed at City Hall for the then Mayor Ed Koch. After eight years at the elementary school level, Dr. Rodriguez went on to teach music in the middle schools with a Borough-wide ESL program “Los Cumbancheros” that taught English through singing.

He then went on to earn his administration and certification degree from Queens College. Dr. Rodriguez followed his middle school music teaching to become Music Facilitator for District Ten. During the first year there, he was offered and accepted the opportunity to become the Assistant Principal of the Arts at DeWitt Clinton High School.

The years at Clinton High School prepared him for the work to fulfill a dream to create a high school of music for the Bronx. While at Clinton he went on to earn a Doctor of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. His dissertation, “Creating a High School of Music; a Bronx New Century High School Initiative” paved the way to design the new Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, which opened in September 2003 with Dr. Rodriguez as Principal and Founder.

Dr. William Rodriguez remained the Principal of the Celia Cruz Bronx HS of Music until his retirement in 2013.

Throughout his career in education, Dr. Rodriguez was an active member of NY Musicians Local 802. He performed and recorded, when the opportunity allowed, with major artists and record labels as he kept his music performance active whenever possible.

Dr. Rodriguez was honored by the NYC Music Teachers Association, The New York Jazz Drama Program, and the Bronx Arts Ensemble. Dr. Rodriguez received proclamations from Councilman Oliver Koppell, State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and U.S. Congressman Elliot Engel for his contributions to music and music education.

In retirement, Dr. Rodriguez remains Music Director of the Fort Washington Heights Presbyterian Church; a position he has held since 1979 and where he volunteers. Dr. Rodriguez continues to perform as pianist with various groups and individual artists and still leads his Latin /Jazz Quartet. He is also an Adjunct Professor of music at NYU and Lehman College.