Superintendent Valeria Silva took the helm at Saint Paul Public Schools in 2009, following 25 years as an educator and administrator both in SPPS (Chief Academic Officer; Director of English Language Learner Programs; Principal at Adams Spanish Immersion School; Assistant Principal at Dayton's Bluff Elementary; and Coordinator of Spanish Immersion Program/Curriculum) and with the Minnesota Department of Education. She is a graduate of the prestigious Broad Superintendents Academy.
Superintendent Silva believes fervently in closing the achievement gap. In January 2011 she directed her administrators to implement the most revolutionary changes in achievement, alignment and sustainability seen within SPPS in the last 40 years. The Strong Schools, Strong Communities strategic plan is moving forward to eliminate the achievement gap and ensure that all students achieve at higher levels. Further, it mandates that all in the district hold themselves accountable in a very public forum.
Forging key strategic relationships is a high priority for the Superintendent, who has strengthened ties with non-profit community partners, corporate and business partners, major funders, and government—particularly St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Ms. Silva works closely with the Mayor on his Education Leadership Team and helped design and implement the Sprockets initiative for out-of-school-time.
St. Paul is one of only 20 cities in the United States to receive a planning grant for the national Promise Neighborhood initiative, and Superintendent Silva has been instrumental in helping 72 organizations make tangible commitments to serve students and families in the Promise Neighborhood.
Superintendent Silva is a global thinker and understands the connections of one urban school district to the larger world. Her education has included travels between Minnesota and Greece, Turkey, Panama, Cuba, Thailand and Chile. Closer to home, her volunteer commitments include membership on several national, state and local boards.
Superintendent Silva’s passion for “students first” drives her relationships and leadership. She is the right leader at the right time.