St. Louis, MO, February 1, 2023 –The Board of Education of the City of St. Louis has selected Dr. Keisha Scarlett, as the district’s new superintendent of schools effective July 1, 2023. Scarlett comes to Saint Louis from Seattle where she has served Seattle Public Schools (SPS) for 24 years and has been assistant superintendent of academics since 2021.
Scarlett said, “I am honored that the Board of Education has chosen me to lead Saint Louis Public Schools. The children in this great city are full of promise—and I know that with the right support, they can thrive in the classroom today and achieve their goals for the future.” She added, “This community is resilient and has made important progress. Together, we will continue moving forward, until all students in Saint Louis are safe, cared for, and prepared with an education to take them wherever they want to go. A Saint Louis Public Schools education will be a ‘gateway to unlimited possibility.’”
“We are thrilled to announce such a talented, genuine and visionary educator will be the next superintendent of Saint Louis Public Schools,” said Board of Education President Matt Davis. “The Board’s goal in conducting a nationwide search was to find a leader who will build on our successes but also be laser focused in addressing our challenges. Dr. Scarlett possesses the perfect mix of skill, knowledge, and experience while also caring deeply for students, families, teachers, and staff.”
Following Dr. Kelvin Adams who served for 14 years, Scarlett will officially begin her duties on July 1, 2023. Until that time, Davis says that interim superintendent Dr. Nicole Williams will continue to guide the district forward. “We were extremely fortunate that Dr. Williams stepped up to serve as interim and we are indebted to her for the pivotal role she will play in this transition.”
Scarlett was one of three finalists from a comprehensive national search conducted by education leader search firm Ray & Associates, Inc. and led by the Board of Education.
As assistant superintendent in Seattle Public Schools, Scarlett implemented a strategic plan to increase early literacy among African American boys and other students furthest from educational justice. She also oversaw advanced coursework initiatives to ensure young people graduate prepared for college, career, and community.
As chief of equity, Scarlett co-founded the Academy for Rising Educators (ARE, a tuition-free educator preparation program) and worked in partnership with Seattle Central College and the City of Seattle in serving more than 300 aspiring educators of color. The program has a 90 percent retention rate.
Scarlett has also served Seattle Public Schools as executive director of organizational development, human resources director, principal, and teacher. During her time as principal of South Shore School, Scarlett developed an accelerated mathematics pathway for students in grades three through eight.
In 2014, 25 percent of eighth-grade students were two years advanced in math and all of those students met/exceeded standards on the state’s Algebra I and Geometry end-of-course exams. That year, Scarlett was selected as Washington State Middle-Level Principal of the Year and recognized for leading South Shore to 80 percent proficiency across multiple grade levels in reading, writing, and math on state exams. In 2020, Scarlett was part of a group that provided then-President-elect Biden’s transition team with guidance for reopening schools during the Covid pandemic.
Prior to building a career in education, Scarlett worked for a large aerospace company. She earned her doctorate and principal certification from the University of Washington, her master’s in education from Heritage University, and her bachelor’s from Clark Atlanta University.
About Saint Louis Public Schools:
Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS) was founded in 1838 and, today, is the fourth largest school District in Missouri. In 62 schools, Pre-kindergarten to grade 12, SLPS includes just over 19,000 students and 3,700 teachers. The district regained accreditation in 2017 and has remained financially strong for the past 12 years. SLPS administrators and teachers work toward increasing academic performance, increasing student enrollment, providing socio-emotional supports and wrap-around services at all schools. For more information, visit www.slps.org or www.slpssupersearch.com.