Rachel Norton has served on the Board of Education since January 2009, and served as Vice President and then President of the Board in 2012 and 2013. She has served as a member of the California School Boards Association’s Delegate Assembly since May 2009, and was appointed to the organization’s Legislative Committee in January 2012. At various times during her tenure on the Board, she has chaired the Rules, Curriculum, Budget and Student Assignment committees.
Previously, Rachel served as co-chair of the Site Council at Argonne Year-Round Elementary School and as a classroom volunteer. She served on the SFUSD Community Advisory Committee for Special Education between 2005 and 2008, and has been an active member of Parents for Public Schools – San Francisco (PPS-SF) since 2001. She has also volunteered for the Autism Speaks Bay Area Advocacy Committee, which is working to secure health insurance coverage for kids with autism. In June 2008, she graduated from the Emerge California program, which helps Democratic women gain the political skills they need to run for public office.
An editor and writer, Rachel has worked at The New York Times, Reuters, and CNET:The Computer Network. In 1996, she created the Visual Journalism course at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, which she co-taught for two semesters. Between 2007 and 2008 she worked as the part-time Editorial Director for FORA.tv in San Francisco and has done paid writing, editing and consulting for PPS-SF. She is currently the Director of Policy and Communications at the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a nonprofit that seeks to inspire and promote civic engagement and philanthropy to protect, sustain and enrich San Francisco parks, recreation and green open spaces.
A product of California public schools, Rachel was born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., and graduated from Berkeley High School. She has a degree in English from Barnard College and is married to Tim Norton. They rent an apartment in the Richmond district and enjoy the rich experience of raising their two teens in an urban environment.
- Recent legislaton: In Support of a San Francisco Sugary Beverage Tax (2014), In Support of Equity in Student Assignment (pending).
- Why I’m running for another term (2012)
- Read articles Rachel has written about San Francisco school issues
- A Day in the Neighborhood: Special Education, CAC for SpEd members Rachel Norton and Robin Hansen interviewed on public access television program, March 2008.
- ABC7 News story on financially-strapped free- and reduced-price lunch programs including Rachel’s public comment to the Board of Education’s Budget Committee about barriers to participation; March 10, 2008
- Rachel’s public comment to the City and School District Select Committee (skip to 1:15:40); Feb. 7, 2008
- Rachel’s public comment to California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism (skip to 4:01:45); Sept. 18, 2007;
- How to Avoid School Lawsuits, guest appearance on SrDad podcast, June 19, 2007
- SFUSD CAC for Special Education Report to the Board of Education (skip to 17:45); Sept. 26, 2006;
- Rachel’s LinkedIn profile