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Kelvin Adams Speaks On State of St. Louis Public Schools

Saint Louis University welcomed Kelvin Adams, Ph.D. as the inaugural speaker of School of Education Lecutre Series.

The Saint Louis University School of Education hosted their first speaker on September 13 as part of their 2018-2019 Lecture Series. These lectures are co-sponsored by the School of Education and the Office of the Vice President of Research. The lecture series, in its first year, is designed to bring high-profile speakers and researchers to the Saint Louis University campus to interact with SLU students and faculty.

Kelvin Adams spoke to over 40 students, faculty, and community members at Boileau Hall about his experiences working in the field of education. Adam’s highly regarded position as the Superintendent of Saint Louis Public Schools gave attendees insight to what it’s like working in the Saint Louis public school system for over 10 years. Adams oversees more than 22,000 students in grades Pre K12 as superintendent. In this position, he manages the day-to-day operations of the District, and is responsible for a $400 million budget.

Within the past 10 years, Saint Louis Public Schools have seen increased graduation rates among students, improved standardized test scores, and a boost in class attendance. All these factors can be contributed to the work of Adams and his proven dedication to education. The District was able to upgrade their accreditation status in 2012 from unaccredited to provisionally accredited. Three years later, in 2015, the District earned enough points to being fully accredited thanks to the work of Adams.

His vision has helped create single-gender classroom schools, an African-centered curriculum school, a nationally recognized school for new Americans, a new medical and bioscience high school, a designated educational therapeutic support school for Pre K–8, and the expansion of early childhood classrooms. Because of this work, Adams was given the FOCUS 2017 Leadership Award. This prestigious award is presented annually to individuals who demonstrate remarkable and courageous community leadership, have meaningful impact on the community, and encourage strong community leadership in others.

Prior to joining Saint Louis Public Schools, Adams held positions as Chief of Staff, Associate Dean/Interim Dean and Charter School Liaison, High School Principal, Middle School Principal and Executive Director of Middle Schools.

Adams received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Administration from the University of New Orleans in 2005. He earned a M.A. in Elementary Education from Xavier University in 1991 and a B.A. in Elementary Education and Special Education from Northeast Louisiana University in 1978.

In addition to his experiences, Adams also discussed the challenges and successes Saint Louis Public Schools have faced over the last decade, and also how SLU can partner with the district to further support the educational progress of students. The lecture concluded with a question and answer session.

Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, the SLU School of Education will welcome researchers from the University of Chicago, North Carolina State University, and the University of Missouri, among other places. These events will occur once a month and there will be opportunities for the students to interact with the visiting speakers.