Director of Strategic Initiatives
Lawrence Public Schools
Odanis Hernandez currently serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives for Lawrence Public Schools (LPS), overseeing key projects for the district like the Early College Program, Acceleration Academies, Summer School and Student Re-engagement. She is also responsible for Philanthropy and Partner relations as well as Alternative Education. Prior to becoming Director, Odanis led LPS’ career pathways programs as Work-Based Learning Manager. She also played a key role in the opening of the LPS Family Resource Center and successfully managed, from grant award through implementation, the Lawrence Working Families Initiative (LWFI). Prior to joining LPS, she spent more than 11 years at the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board and ValleyWorks Career Center.
Having immigrated to Lawrence from the Dominican Republic with her parents at the age of 11, Odanis is driven by her intimate familiarity with the professional and personal challenges that both Lawrence immigrants and working mothers face in joining the labor force. Odanis still proudly calls Lawrence home, along with her husband David; their three daughters, 20-year-old twins Karina and Karolina, and 19-year-old Kyannah; and dogs Blanka and Karamela. Odanis enjoys time with her family, traveling, hosting large family dinners and serving her community. She is a former board member for Notre Dame Education Center and the Giangrande Family Scholarship Fund.
Like her husband and daughters, Odanis is a proud LHS graduate (Lancer Class of 1995). She earned her B.A. from Bridgewater State College in 2002, and completed a certificate program with the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership through the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.