Dr. Shirley Vargas has committed her life and career to challenging deficit-based narratives that plague underserved communities. Her firm belief in the power of community voice and teacher and leadership development is grounded in her work in transforming underperforming schools through a focus on high expectations, rigorous and relevant teaching and learning, and building and sustaining a culture of learning.
She currently serves as the School Transformation Officer and Administrator for the Office of Coordinated School and District Support at the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), where she leads and coordinates school improvement and support efforts across the NDE and partner organizations.
Prior to her work in Nebraska, Dr. Vargas spent ten years with the New York City Department of Education, where she held classroom, district, and central-level positions. She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Harvard University, a master’s degree in adolescent education from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature from the City University of New York –Hunter College.