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 volunteered for the Autism Speaks Bay Area Advocacy Committee between 2006 and 2008, working to secure health insurance coverage for kids with autism (in 2012, the California legislature finally passed insurance coverage for speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavioral treatment for autism spectrum disorders). In June 2008, Rachel 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 External Affairs 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 legislation: Expanding Access to Mandarin and Other World Languages (2016), In Support of Access, Equity and Diversity in the Arts at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (2015), In Support of Equity in Student Assignment (2014), In Support of a San Francisco Sugary Beverage Tax (2014). In Support of Breakfast in the Classroom (2013).
- Read articles Rachel has written about San Francisco school issues