Rigel S. Massaro


Public Advocates Inc.

Before becoming an attorney, Rigel taught middle school in Phoenix, Arizona through Teach For America. For two out of her three years teaching predominantly high-need students, Rigel also served as the president of her district's education association, where she worked to combat staggering teacher turnover in her district. Advocacy with the Arizona Education Association and witnessing the role lawyers played in representing teachers drove Rigel to law school at the University of Arizona.

While in law school, Rigel clerked at Public Advocates where she trained parents on their right to properly credentialed teachers under the Williams settlement and supported Public Advocates' case Renee v. Duncan (which challenged a federal loophole allowing intern teachers to be considered highly qualified under NCLB). After law school Rigel clerked for a state appellate judge, selected promising teacher candidates for The New Teacher Project, and represented immigrant parents of students with disabilities at Advocates for Children of New York. Rigel rejoined Public Advocates in 2013.

For the past six years, Rigel has helped lead Public Advocates teacher quality work, supporting efforts at the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to ensure interns are prepared to teach English learners, permit-holders are prepared and supported to teach high-need students, and data is used to every student is taught by a fully credentialed teacher. Rigel has also supported Public Advocates’ legislative and state budget advocacy to create a multiple-measures teacher evaluation system, improve state and local teacher data, and address the state’s persistent teacher shortage. In addition to this state advocacy, Rigel supports community-based organizations in high need urban districts to advocate to reduce teacher turnover and better equip teachers to connect with diverse students.