From the Superintendent: Congratulations to our Teacher of the Year


Dear Colleagues,

What a great way to begin Teacher Appreciation Week! On Sunday, May 3, Amy Hewett-Olatunde was named the 2015 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Ms. Hewett Olatunde is an ELL teacher at LEAP High School. She will spend the next year traveling the state and country representing the amazing things our teachers do every day. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor and recognition.

During this Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to express my warmest gratitude for everything, large and small, our 3,135 teachers do for the over 39,000 students of Saint Paul Public Schools. We can’t and don’t say it often enough: Thank you.

Thank you for your long hours in preparation both at home and at school. Thank you for taking extra time to meet the wonderfully diverse needs of each of our students. Thank you for being adaptable; for being learners; for understanding the need to evolve.

Thank you for your compassion.

I have heard from many colleagues, and certainly it’s true for me, that when we’re feeling down about our work, all we have to do is visit one of our schools. Within a few moments of seeing you, our SPPS teachers, in action, our hope is restored. I am humbled every time I see the patience, humor, energy, and sheer passion our teachers have for our young people.

Teaching is a very different profession now from when most of us were children. Our world asks and expects public school teachers to wear many hats – educator, psychologist, parent, nurse, disciplinarian, and mentor just to name a few. The many hats and weighty expectations have never deterred our teachers. Our students continue to thrive because of the exceptional experiences they have in your classroom.

Many times these experiences are related to the curriculum. Sometimes they are not. They are the times you encouraged someone to take a risk or the time you showed up to watch your student’s dance recital. You are there when your students need you and you do so without the recognition you all deserve.

To all our teachers: Thank you. You wear your many hats well.

Your very proud Superintendent,

Silva Signature


Valeria S. Silva