By Kara Thompson,
Dr. Sonja Santelises was identified on July 5 by Mayor Brandon M. Scott for her 6 several years of provider as chief government officer of the Baltimore City General public Colleges Procedure (BCPSS). Santelises commenced her seventh yr in the function this summer time and is now the longest serving leader of BCPSS in over 30 a long time. She only comes in second only to Dr. Alice G. Pinderhughes, who took the helm in 1981 and the still left workplace in 1988.
“On behalf of the city I want to salute you truly for remaining a beacon of mild, a steady presence, and for caring deeply about our youthful people today,” explained Mayor Scott. “We know that you inherited a position that came with quite a few worries and no tutorial manual…but you are usually on the frontlines, and most importantly, you constantly set our youngsters initially.”
Because 2016, Santelises has served in the place of CEO for BCPSS. All through her tenure, she has assisted with a lot of advancements in the school system. According to Mayor Scott, 6 new faculty properties had been opened very last calendar year on your own, and 98 faculties in the college process had executed an extended learning program as of spring 2022.
“I’ve constantly thought in my heart that what we did in the condition of Maryland was pretty considerably modeled immediately after your considering, your determination, and your tenacity to assist the children in Baltimore,” mentioned Delegate Maggie McIntosh, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, in reference to Santelises’ function with the Thornton Fee. The fee made a blueprint for Maryland schools to enable battle poverty that brings about roadblocks for small children in educational institutions.
Santelises started off her vocation in instruction as a director of specialist development and instructor placement as a result of Educate for The usa, which placed her in New York. She afterwards moved to Boston, Mass., where she was assistant superintendent for 23 pilot faculties. Santelises last but not least finished up in Baltimore in 2010, to start with serving as main educational officer for City Schools.
Involving her time as a chief educational officer and her function as CEO, Santelises served for a few years as vice president for K-12 plan and follow at The Schooling Belief. This countrywide nonprofit is targeted on closing option gaps that disproportionately effect minimal-cash flow college students and students of shade. The business functions together with teachers, moms and dads, and learners assist to shape federal and point out procedures, and analyzes information in get to bridge the gap in between college students.
“I seriously am certainly, certainly thankful for the past 6 yrs, the assistance of the individuals driving me, the support of the individuals who are not below, quite a few of whom are out in the communities– the men and women of Baltimore Town who stopped and tapped me on the shoulder to say ‘we’re praying for you,’ the individuals who truly think in our youthful people, who occur out and provide in our colleges,” claimed Santelises.
“I definitely don’t know what to say except there is no much better put to serve than Baltimore Town,” she reported.
Santelises obtained a bachelor of arts from Brown College, a learn of arts in instruction administration from Columbia College, and from Harvard University receiving a doctorate of training in administration, preparing, and social plan.
School superintendents from close to the region despatched their congratulations to Santelises through recorded movie and a single could not assistance but observe that a the greater part of the videos have been from Black women of all ages. The mayor shared the perfectly wishes and praise for Santelises and her household shortly soon after the press conference, creating an emotional response from the CEO.
“Congratulations to my pricey good friend, Superintendent Sonja Santelises, on being regarded by the city of Baltimore for the incredible get the job done that you are leading just about every single day,” said Dr. Talisa Dixon, superintendent of Columbus Metropolis Schools. “I am so happy to have you as a close friend and colleague.”
Iranetta Wright, superintendent of Cincinnati Community Educational facilities, claimed that Santelises has served as a job model to her.
“I am so happy of you. Not only are you displaying me as a new superintendent what it implies to be an incredible city school superintendent, but you really are 1 of the best superintendents in the country,” she ongoing. “Congratulations to you, love your moment, you actually are worthy of it, we are all seeing and we are very pleased of you.”
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