The Milwaukee Public School Board unanimously approved Dr. Darienne Driver to lead Milwaukee Public Schools on October 1, 2014. Dr. Driver is a high-energy visionary who has initiated a series of bold reform measures designed to improve student outcomes through deeper engagement with community organizations, parents, students and staff and by increasing opportunities for staff development and support.
Dr. Driver is committed to improving the academic outcomes of each student in Milwaukee Public Schools. Key efforts introduced under Dr. Driver's leadership include: development of Eight Big Ideas, a series of organization-wide strategies that link and reinforce key efforts to improve outcomes; creation of a Regional Development Plan to expand high-performing programs and increase enrollment opportunities; reframing the budget process to hear directly from schools about their needs; expansion of college and career readiness programs, including innovative career and technical education programs; and creation of a new office to address the educational achievement of Black and Latino male students.
Prior to being named superintendent, Dr. Driver was MPS' first Chief Innovation Officer. In that role, she was successful in narrowing the achievement gap in MPS' Commitment Schools, which are the schools with the greatest need for improvement.
Previous to joining MPS, Dr. Driver served as Deputy Chief of Empowerment Schools for the School District of Philadelphia. Prior to her work in Philadelphia, she served as Coordinator of Strategic Management and Accountability and Special Assistant to the Superintendent in Clayton County (GA) Public Schools. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in the Detroit Public Schools.
Dr. Driver's academic achievements include a doctorate from Harvard University in Urban Superintendency, master's degrees in education from Harvard University and in curriculum development from the University of Michigan, and an undergraduate degree from Spelman College in child development.
Dr. Driver is committed to working in partnership with organizations within Milwaukee and serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County; City Year Milwaukee; Bradley Tech Commission; Educational Deans of Greater Milwaukee; Public Policy Forum; and is a member of Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Education Committee. She also serves as the Youth Council Chair of the Milwaukee Education Partnership and is a member of the Executive Council for Milwaukee Succeeds. Dr. Driver is the Chair for the Council of the Great City Schools and sits on the Harvard University Board of Overseers.
During her tenure as superintendent, Milwaukee Public Schools earned a Silver Well Workplace award from the Wellness Council of America and a Distinguished Budget Presentation award from the Government Finance Officers Association. In January 2015, Dr. Driver was acknowledged for her dynamic professional achievements and the contributions to build a stronger community by the Milwaukee Business Journal, was selected as a 40 Under 40 award recipient; and, in 2017, was named Player of the Year by the Boys and Girls Clubs.