CEO Of Baltimore City Public Schools Dr. Sonja Santelises On Educating The "Whole Child"
Dr. Santelises is no stranger to city schools and the challenges within Baltimore's public schools. She was Chief Academic Officer for the system from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that, she served as Vice President for K-12 policy and practice at The Education Trust, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit focused on closing the achievement gap experienced disproportionately by low income families and families of color.
In her first “State of The Schools” address in August, after taking on her new role in July 2016, Dr. Santelises emphasized the importance of the school system’s role in student life beyond the classroom. That means supporting students who are often living in poverty and dealing with violence. Dr. Santelises has indicated that she wants to bolster mental health support for students and collaborate more with city agencies. But will that increased support translate to academics in a school system where test scores are below grade level. And what’s being done to bring out of date schools and facilities up to standard?
Dr. Santelises is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University. She holds a Master’s degree in education administration from Columbia University and a Doctor of Education in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.
She's lived in Baltimore with her husband and three daughters since 2010.