Dr. Evonne S. Alvarez is the District Director of Curriculum for School Choice & Parental Options at Miami–Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS). M-DCPS is the fourth largest school district in the country, leading the nation in programs that demonstrate a high commitment to academic standards, innovative curriculum, desegregation & diversity efforts, and parental & community involvement through its 383 Magnet programs. As the project director for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant funding year 2017, her primary responsibilities include the STEM Pathways Project’s design, implementation, and program sustainability.
Her vast leadership experiences have given her an excellent vantage point in today’s educational arena. She is a dynamic leader who has served as faculty, assistant principal, and principal in middle schools and high schools, increasing academic achievement in all settings. As an assistant principal over the curriculum for the International Baccalaureate Programme at Coral Gables Senior High School, as well as the lead innovator in the development of magnet design at South Dade Senior High School during the 2007 MSAP grant-funding year, Dr. Alvarez had a profound impact on programmatic growth as well as improved student achievement. Her range of administrative experiences, including working in underserved communities, has defined her as a transformational and servant leader. As the principal of Campbell Drive Middle School, a school under Florida State monitoring in 2007, she was instrumental in school improvement efforts as the school grade increased from an “F” to a “C” within one school year through careful and deliberate strategic planning.
She later served in two of the most prestigious schools within the local community; in 2010, as principal at South Miami Middle Center for the Performing Arts, and 2012 she was appointed principal of the nationally recognized magnet high school New World School of the Arts. Her charisma, work ethic, inspirational motivation, and ability to develop stakeholder relationships encouraged a concerted effort between faculty and staff to elevate New World School of the Arts into an academic powerhouse and an authority in the art world. She expanded higher-level course availability through College Board Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment classes, making students from New World School of the Arts first-choice candidates for some of the country’s most prestigious colleges. This exemplary institution of learning earned Magnet Schools of America National Certification and National Demonstration status in 2017.
In her role as project director for the U.S. Department of Education MSAP grant, Dr. Alvarez has revolutionized the learning environments to promote project-based learning at partner sites, such as Zoo Miami and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Besides encouraging innovative learning opportunities within the traditional school setting, she has redesigned the learning space to resemble authentic learning environments. Through collaborative learning spaces, professional-grade equipment, state of the art computers, industry standards curriculum, certifications, internships, and mentorship programs, she has ensured students will be competitive in career prospects and entrance to top college programs. Schools benefit from her expertise, which extends from curriculum development and alignment, teacher effectiveness, high quality instructional programs, delivery of professional development, and strength in developing partnerships to support themed programs.
As an advocate for equity in educational choice programs, she seeks opportunities to ensure access and excellence in education. She has collaborated with Dr. Donna Elam from the ELAM Leadership Institute over the past two years to develop the K-12 cultural competency curriculum and student symposiums to provide students with a voice. Most recently, she has focused on a partnership with Harvard’s Reimagining Integration (RIDES) Institute and engaged in professional education to address school equity improvement cycles on three distinct levels: teacher quality, programmatic equity, and student achievement equity. Dr. Alvarez has committed to be an agent of change for schools and school organizations to become truly integrated places, defined by high levels of academic achievement, a sense of belonging, and deep respect for all cultures with a commitment to dismantling racism. Changing the culture in schools to embrace diverse learners and focus on inclusive practice will ultimately change the culture in America.
Dr. Alvarez holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Behavior and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, and earned a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership K-12 from the College of William and Mary.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.