Paul Vallas is the Superintendent of the Recovery School District, which includes 67 traditional and charter schools in New Orleans. He is implementing sweeping district-wide reforms, and duplicating many of the initiatives that turned the school systems of Philadelphia and Chicago into nationally recognized models for education reform.

In New Orleans, Vallas’ initiatives include a standardized curriculum, an extended school day and school year to provide students with more instructional time on task, and a classroom modernization program that has provided interactive white boards in all core classrooms, laptops to all teachers, and more than 4,000 laptop computers to high school students. In addition, Vallas implemented high school redesign initiative that has brought industry-linked signature programs to RSD high schools and helped draft a comprehensive blueprint that will guide future school construction and renovation in New Orleans.

Prior to joining the RSD, Vallas served as Chief Executive Officer for the School District of Philadelphia from 2002-2007 and as Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001. Vallas has also served as budget director for the City of Chicago and as revenue director for the City of Chicago.

Originally from Chicago, Vallas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and History in 1976 and a Masters in Political Science in 1980 from Western Illinois University.

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Mark Vallas

Today, we mourn the loss of Mark Vallas, son of our board member and dear friend Paul Vallas. Mark volunteered in Haiti with J/P HRO in 2012, where he supported education and after school programs as well as helped repair tents in the Petionville Camp. His endless energy and enthusiasm was contagious, and the J/P HRO team felt lucky to have him as a part of the family. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.