The School Board of Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Oregon has selected Andrea Castañeda, an alumnus of the Chiefs for Change Future Chiefs leadership development program, as the district’s next superintendent. Salem-Keizer is the second-largest district in the state, with more than 40,000 students across 65 schools.
Castañeda is currently chief talent and equity officer for Tulsa Public Schools in Oklahoma. With more than 20 years in education leadership, and a decade of cabinet-level experience at the state and district levels, she has designed and implemented high-impact, system-level improvements in the areas of academics; operations; finance; talent; and innovation.
“I am honored that the school board has selected me to lead Salem-Keizer Public Schools,” Castañeda said. “As an Oregonian, this is a homecoming for me. Over the course of the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to meet Salem-Keizer students, community members, educators, and parents. I’ve been to JV basketball games and seen educators honored on the red carpet. The Board of Directors ran a thorough, thoughtful, and comprehensive selection process, and I am enthusiastic about working for such a dedicated board. In all my early experiences, I’ve seen vitality, dedication, values-centered leadership, and opportunity in Salem-Keizer. I couldn’t be more pleased or more eager to get to work serving the community.”
At Tulsa Public Schools, Castañeda has overseen the community centered redesign of the district’s high schools. She was the lead for COVID response and management and also led Tulsa’s strategic planning process and post-pandemic recovery work.
“Andrea is a fiercely dedicated and optimistic leader,” said Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist, a member of Chiefs for Change. “In more than a decade of working together, I have seen again and again Andrea’s extraordinary ability to take on incredibly complex and challenging issues and develop effective, sustainable, and innovative solutions grounded in the best interests of children and families. She has an uncanny ability to unite people around a bold vision for what is possible when we come together to dream big for all students. Our district is stronger because of Andrea, and she will be greatly missed. We are all, of course, also excited to see what she’ll do as the next superintendent of the Salem-Keizer School District!”
Prior to Tulsa, Castañeda was deputy commissioner at the Rhode Island Department of Education. While there, she redesigned statewide career and technical education and oversaw special education and English language learner programming. She led high school redesign efforts and helped introduce new forms of digital learning across the state. Castañeda also directed operations and finance; information technology systems; human resources; labor relations; and strategic planning.
Castañeda was a member of the first cohort of the Future Chiefs leadership development program, which identifies talented, diverse emerging leaders and integrates them into a community of practice. Future Chiefs receive coaching and mentorship from members of Chiefs for Change and participate in a variety of other learning opportunities. She has a master’s in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s from Brown University.
About Chiefs for Change
Chiefs for Change is a bipartisan network of diverse school superintendents and state education leaders. The network supports members and provides technical assistance; advocates for the adoption of effective policies and practices; and develops the next generation of bold, student-focused superintendents.