Dr. Evonne S. Alvarez is the Chief Academic Officer for Providence Public School District (PPSD) in Providence, Rhode Island. She is responsible for the strategic vision for Excellence in Learning in the Turnaround Action Plan, academic programs, curriculum and instruction, and policies impacting student achievement outcomes. She ensures that students receive an education that meets high standards to achieve excellence in learning, setting the course for a culture of high expectations and shared responsibility for equitable access to high-quality instruction and systemic improvement of practice over time in every classroom. In addition, Evonne oversees teaching and learning, teacher professional development, and school improvement. PPSD serves approximately 23,000 students in 37 schools with a diverse learning community of about 68% Hispanic, 15% Black, 6.5% White, 4% Asian, 5.5% Multi-racial, and 1% Native American. Approximately 31% of students are multilingual learners. About 55% of students come from homes where English is not the primary language. Combined, students and families speak 55 languages and represent 91 countries of origin.
Her most recent experiences as an educator in Miami-Dade provided a strong foundation for this new role. As the Administrative Director and District Director of Curriculum for School Choice & Parental Options at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Dr. Alvarez was part of an incredible team leading the nation in programs demonstrating a high commitment to academic standards and innovation curriculum, diversity, and inclusion, and community engagement. As the Project Director for the United States Department of Education’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant, she was responsible for the STEM Pathways Project’s successful implementation and program sustainability for two high schools and one elementary school. The learning spaces resembled authentic professional environments with professional-grade equipment, state-of-the-art computers, industry standards curriculum for each course of study, Career and Technical Education (CTE) industry certifications, and internship programs providing access to careers and entrance to college programs. As a lead innovator for the Schools of Choice & Parental Options team, she was a grant writer for Miami-Dade’s Request for Proposal of MSAP 2021 (2020). MDCPS received $14.1M to redesign the two K-8 STEAM programs that blended STEM with Arts programs, specifically dance & kinetic movement and visual arts & graphic design. During this time, she served as the Region III Director for Magnet Schools of America, an elected position by her peers on the Board from 2016 through 2022.
As a dynamic leader who served as faculty, assistant principal, and principal in middle and high schools, schools improved academic achievement each year under her tenure. As an assistant principal over the curriculum for the International Baccalaureate Programme at Coral Gables Senior High School and a visionary in the development of magnet design and grants for South Dade Senior High School during the 2007 MSAP funding year, she positively impacted programmatic growth and significantly improved student achievement at both high schools. Her range of administrative experiences working in underserved communities has defined her as a transformational leader in South Florida. As the principal of Campbell Drive Middle School, a school under Florida State monitoring in 2007, she was instrumental in school improvement efforts. Through strategic planning, the school grade increased from an “F” to a “C” within one school year. 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 in 2012 she was appointed principal of the nationally recognized magnet high school New World School of the Arts. Her charisma, work ethic, and ability to develop stakeholder relationships encouraged a concerted effort between faculty and staff to elevate the 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 and universities. This exemplary learning institution earned the Magnet Schools of America National Certification and Demonstration status in 2017. In December of 2021, The Knight Foundation named her a Knight Arts Champion for her contributions to the region’s rich arts and culture scene as a community leader in South Florida.
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 five years and developed the K-12 cultural competency curriculum and student symposiums to provide in‐depth qualitative data on the student experience. In partnership with Harvard’s Reimagining Integration (RIDES) Institute, she engaged in professional education to address school equity improvement cycles on three levels: teacher quality, programmatic equity, and student achievement equity. She is committed to being an agent of change for schools and communities to embrace diverse learners and focus on inclusive practices.
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 a Doctor of Education 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.