Insight News

Feb 06th

Superintendent candidates narrowed to three

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The Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) Board of Education narrowed the field of candidates for the next superintendent to the following three individuals who will be introduced to the SPPS staff, families and community at day-long visits this week:
The finalists named are:

Dr. Deborah M. Henton
Dr. Henton is currently Superintendent of Schools in the North Branch Area Public Schools in Minnesota.  Prior to her service in North Branch, she served as the Chief of Staff, Executive Director of Alternative Learning Programs, Principal of Harding High School, and Assistant Principal at Harding High School, all in the Saint Paul Public Schools.  She also served as an Assistant Principal at Stillwater, Minnesota High School and Oltman Junior High School in the South Washington County Public Schools.  Dr. Henton began her education career as a teacher in the South Washington County Public Schools.  She holds a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls and an M.A. and Ed.D degrees from St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

Dr. Charles L. Hopson

Dr. Hopson is currently Deputy Superintendent of Schools in the Portland, Oregon Public Schools.  Prior to his current duties he served as High School Area Director/Superintendent, High School Principal, Middle School Principal, and High School Vice Principal, all in the Portland Public Schools.  He also served as Elementary Principal in the Helena West (Arkansas) Public Schools.  Dr. Hopson began his education career as a teacher in the Guy-Perkins and Pulaski County Schools of Arkansas.  He holds B.S.E. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Central Arkansas, an Ed.S. degree from Delta State University, and a Ph. D. from the University of Oregon.

Ms. Valeria S. Silva

Ms. Silva is currently Chief Academic Officer in the Saint Paul Public Schools.  Prior to her current assignment she served as the Director of English Language Learner (ELL) Programs, Principal at Dayton's Bluff Elementary, Principal at Adams Spanish Immersion School and Coordinator of Spanish Immersion Program/Curriculum, all in the Saint Paul Public Schools. She also has served as a Specialist for Standards and Accommodations in the Minnesota Department of Education. Mrs. Silva began her education career as a teacher in the Saint Paul Public Schools.  She holds B.A. degrees from St. Cloud State University and Pontifica University of Chile and M.A. and Ed.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota.

"On behalf of the Saint Paul Public Schools, I offer my thanks to all of the semifinalists who participated in this stage of our very public process and my congratulations to our three finalists," said Board Chair Kazoua Kong-Thao. "We recognize that the spotlight is bright on all the candidates who offered to provide their leadership to us.  We are all looking forward to the engagement process with our finalists next week and to Nov. 23 when we will select our sole candidate."

Each finalist will participate in daylong meetings, a public reception (5 p.m.) and Board interviews (6:30 p.m.) on the following days:

Monday, November 16 - Dr. Charles L. Hopson
Wednesday, November 18 - Ms. Valeria S. Silva
Thursday, November 19 - Dr. Deborah M. Henton

Details about the public meetings for the superintendent finalists are available on the District website at

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