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FOCUS News: Community

Dr. Kelvin Adams Named FOCUS St. Louis 2017 Leadership Award Honoree

Thursday, January 26, 2017   (0 Comments)
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FOCUS St. Louis® is proud to honor Dr. Kelvin R. Adams, Superintendent of Schools for Saint Louis Public Schools, and the District’s Special Administrative Board with the 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. The award will be presented at the What's Right with the Region celebration on Thursday, May 11, 2017, at Sheldon Concert Hall.

In June 2007, Saint Louis Public Schools lost its accreditation and was facing a $40 million debt, a 19% dropout rate and failing test scores. The State Board of Education created a Special Administrative Board—Richard Sullivan, Dr. Melanie Adams and Richard Gaines—to take over leadership of the District and develop a strategy to turn it around. One of their first major decisions was to hire Dr. Adams to join Saint Louis Public Schools in 2008.


Under the guidance of Dr. Adams and with the ongoing leadership and support of the Special Administrative Board, Saint Louis Public Schools has transformed its financial situation, increased its graduation rate, improved state test scores and boosted attendance rates each year – most recently achieving full accreditation by the Missouri Board of Education.


“There is still much work ahead to establish and maintain a system of excellent schools for the children of St. Louis, but I am proud of what we have achieved,” said Dr. Adams. “I am honored to accept this recognition on behalf of all of the change-makers at Saint Louis Public Schools – students, teachers, staff and especially the Special Administrative Board, which has been the ideal partner in this nine-year journey. I look forward to many more productive years.”


On a day-to-day basis, Dr. Adams oversees more than 24,000 students in grades Pre K – 12 and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the District’s 4,200-plus employees and $400 million budget. 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. In 2015, he wrapped up the District’s $155 million facilities improvement plan, which resulted in updated cafeterias, modernized classrooms and increased technology for students. 


“The turnaround of the Saint Louis Public Schools has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Tim Eby, board chair of FOCUS St. Louis. “But this award is not simply about honoring the school district’s achievements, including its recent accreditation. We also want to thank Dr. Adams for his passionate service and ongoing commitment to the children and families in our region.”

Prior to joining Saint Louis Public Schools, Dr. 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. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Administration from the University of New Orleans, a master’s in Elementary Education from Xavier University, and a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Special Education from Northeast Louisiana.

Past recipients of the FOCUS Leadership Award have included Dr. Jason Purnell, Frankie Muse Freeman, Anna Crosslin, Chris Krehmeyer, Martin L. Mathews and Donald Suggs.

The St. Louis community is invited to join us to recognize Dr. Adams for his leadership and commitment to improving our region, as well as the 20 What’s Right with the Region! award honorees (to be announced in February).


20th Annual FOCUS St. Louis What’s Right with the Region! Awards
Thursday, May 11, 2017 · 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Sheldon Concert Hall

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