Letter from SPPS Chief Executive Officer Michelle Walker

  • I have mixed emotions as I share with you that I am leaving my position as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Saint Paul Public Schools at the end of this month. I will take over leadership of Generation Next in October. Generation Next is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing civic, business and education leaders together to close the achievement and opportunity gaps for Minneapolis and Saint Paul students. 

    I have had the pleasure of working closely with many of you during my time at SPPS, whether when I served as Chief Accountability Officer, Chief of Staff or as the Chief Executive Officer. In each role, I have been deeply grateful to work with the most dedicated and talented educators in the country. It has been my distinct honor to support the amazing students, families, teachers, administrators, staff and board members that make up the SPPS community. 

    As I reflect on what we have accomplished together at SPPS, I am proud of our efforts to launch and implement the Strong Schools, Strong Communities strategic plan, the most comprehensive overhaul of our academic programming and school choice offerings in recent years. Together we have also achieved what few in the state have - board-adopted racial equity and gender inclusion policies that recognize that all our students deserve respectful and inclusive learning environments that value their racial, ethnic and gender identities. In doing so, we have worked to interrupt systems that perpetuate inequities and we are beginning to see the results. As we've increase graduation rates for all, we have also narrowed gaps between students of color and their white peers. We continue to see growth in reading and math, even as we acknowledge how far we have to go for all students to achieve proficiency. 

    SPPS has been a second home to me. I am grateful for supportive colleagues, dedicated partners, and even critical friends. While I am sad to leave, I am excited to continue my work to ensure every child has access and opportunity to achieve to their highest potential. As Executive Director of Generation Next, I will have the opportunity to serve children, families, teachers, administrators and staff in Saint Paul, as well as Minneapolis, and I take heart in knowing that many of us will continue to work together. I look forward to our future partnerships in what I believe to be the most important work that can be done in our state and in our country - ensuring that every student gets the education they deserve. Thank you for nine incredible years with SPPS. 

    Sincerely,

     

     

    Michelle Walker

    Chief Executive Officer