Superintendent Biography

Feb 21, 2013

Sharon Contreras was raised in Long Island, New York, the seventh of ten children. Sharon attended Binghamton University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She has also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching; a Master of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently completing her Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is a dissertator.

Sharon began her career as a high school English teacher and then a curriculum specialist at the high school level in Rockford, Illinois. Soon thereafter, Sharon was appointed principal of the award-winning Lewis Lemon Global Studies Academy magnet school. She implemented one of the nation’s first multi-tier literacy initiatives. Sharon was promoted to area superintendent over elementary, middle and high schools. Later, she became assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services, with responsibilities for special education, gifted, pre-kindergarten and ESOL programming. Throughout her tenure in Rockford, Illinois, Sharon worked diligently to implement a federal court order to desegregate the Rockford Public Schools. She supervised the federally funded magnet schools assistance program and School Choice initiative, student registration and parent and community engagement.

In 2004, Sharon moved to Jonesboro, Georgia where she accepted the position of Chief Academic Officer for the 52,000 student Clayton County Public Schools. She is credited for developing a rigorous K-12 curriculum; expanding Advanced Placement and gifted programming; introducing a plethora of research-based interventions for struggling students; developing a research and evaluation department and parent information/registration center; and significantly improving the high-school graduation rate. In 2007, Sharon moved to Rhode Island and became the Chief Academic Officer for Providence Public Schools. There she has implemented an Aligned Instructional System, improved the graduation rate, and has rolled out a Pathways to Prosperity initiative to provide high school students with greater access to college and careers. During her tenure with Providence Public Schools, she served as an advisory committee member for Ready2Learn Providence and the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University and was also co-chairperson for Governor Donald Cacieri’s Urban Education Task Force Early Literacy Committee. In 2010, Sharon served as the school district representative on the five-member team that successfully defended Rhode Island’s Race to the Top application. Sharon is a graduate of the prestigious Broad Superintendents Academy, class of 2010.

Sharon has made numerous presentations at the state and national level and has won several awards for her civic and professional leadership.

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