From the Superintendent: New St. Thomas Partnership Offers Graduate Opportunities for Staff



Our district is blessed with thousands of talented people who excel at working with our students. Many of these staff members have four-year college degrees but, for a variety of reasons, haven’t pursued graduate education or teacher licensure.

I am delighted to share news about a new partnership between SPPS and the University of St. Thomas (UST). The SPPS Urban Teacher Residency, or SUTR, will provide an opportunity to non-licensed staff who have their bachelor’s degree and have completed their probationary period.* 

The goal of SUTR is to recruit, prepare and retain effective teachers who look like our students. In only 15 months, program participants will be able to earn both a Minnesota teaching license and a master’s degree from UST, with coursework and co-teaching during the day -- not at night or on weekends. Teachers receiving credentials through SUTR will receive hiring preference for SPPS jobs.

SPPS will provide a stipend of $22,500 to each SUTR participant. Participants may apply for scholarships (UST offers scholarship of $3,000 to $8,000), and may also qualify for federal student loan forgiveness while teaching, worth $5,000 to $17,500. Find out more information at our upcoming sessions:

  • Financial Aid - Wednesday, March 16, at Hazel Park at 1140 White Bear Ave., St Paul, MN 55106 from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm.
  • General Information - Wednesday, March 23, at 360 Colborne (Room K) from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

This is a truly remarkable opportunity for SPPS staff to increase their earning potential and earn a graduate degree. Even better, it will enable SPPS to “grow our own” -- to advance the careers of people who already know the district, and who have unique capacity to reflect the dreams and desires of our beautifully diverse students.

I urge you to find out more about SUTR on the Office of Leadership Development website before the application deadline on March 31.

Your very proud Superintendent,

Silva Signature

Valeria Silva

*Pending the submission and requisite review and approval of the University of St. Thomas programs by the Minnesota Board of Teaching.