“We are at a critical moment in time when only courageous, transformative leadership will dismantle structural racism and inequity. Parents cannot do it alone. Communities cannot do it alone. Schools cannot do it alone. Together, only as we create School Communities that appreciate and nurture interdependence and cultivate student agency, can we solidify a strong people and a strong nation. It is incumbent upon leadership to develop capacity and realize sustainable change through accountability, compassion and innovation. Our children deserve more than ‘pockets of excellence.’ We can and MUST do better.”
With over two decades of experience as an educator, Dr. Sylvia E. Fuentes entered the profession as a Turnaround Teacher. Acquiring extensive experience in strategic planning and program implementation, she was quickly recognized as a rising star in the field of school turnaround and transformation. Sylvia has been recognized as a dynamic Turnaround Principal at every school level from Elementary to Overage-High School including specialized work with Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs. Her innovative leadership experiences span from campus administration, special projects - central office administration as an Executive Director, Vice-President of Development for an internationally recognized non-profit to Lead Consultant with an internationally recognized educational consulting firm. She has served on several Executive Leadership Boards and is currently an Executive Board member of both Drug Prevention Resources (the first and oldest prevention non-profit in the State of Texas) and Communities in Schools of the Dallas Region (an affiliate of the nation's leading evidence-based practitioners of the community school model).
As our Founder, CEO and Leadership Strategist, Sylvia is deeply committed to improving student outcomes. With a vision for moving schools and districts from “pockets of excellence” to systemic excellence where all students THRIVE, she has laid our foundation in the concept that organizations can only thrive when they operate with a "People First” understanding. An accomplished leader, trainer and presenter, Sylvia leads our critical work and leverages the best thinking for systemic change as it relates to student success rooted in a strengths-based mindset.
Sylvia received Bachelor of Science degrees in Church Ministries – Specializing in Music, and Interdisciplinary Studies – Specializing in English and Music from Southwestern Assembly of God University in Waxahachie, Texas. She achieved a Masters in Education in Educational Administration – Specializing in Principalship and Supervision at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2006, she completed the Superintendent Certification Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Sylvia E. Fuentes attained her Doctor of Education in K-12 Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Her dissertation is entitled "Trauma to Triumph: Recognizing and Combating the Intersectionality of Race and Equity in Trauma, Poverty and Toxic Stress Experiences among EC-12 Students."
A firm believer and practitioner of relationship-building as key to the success of school communities, Sylvia is the first recipient of the Dallas Association of Counselors’ “Principal of the Year” award. Among her many acknowledgements, she has been recognized as “Principal of the Year” by the Association of Hispanic School Administrators of Dallas, and was a Finalist for “Principal of the Year” with the Dallas Independent School District.
A champion of change, Sylvia enjoys serving non-profit organizations such as Communities in Schools of the Dallas Region, Drug Prevention Resources and Dallas CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), a non-profit organization of volunteers who are voices for child victims of abuse and neglect. She is passionate about addressing social justice issues affecting the cradle to prison pipeline.