Cheryl Proctor, Ph.D., is a recipient of the 2022 FAU Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Proctor has enjoyed a long career in K-12 public education serving in various roles.  

Currently, Dr. Proctor is the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction and School Communities for the Portland Public School system. Prior to this role, Dr. Proctor was PPS’s Chief Academic Officer providing leadership to the Office of Teaching & Learning. 

Dr. Proctor’s background includes leadership roles in two large urban school districts. She served the students and families of the School District of Philadelphia as Assistant Superintendent, supporting high school principals to drive academic achievement through instructional improvement. As Deputy Chief of Schools, she led and guided school leaders in planning and implementing programs geared toward increasing student achievement. Before her time in Philadelphia, Dr. Proctor enjoyed a 17-year career with Broward County Public Schools, where she served in school leadership roles for more than 10 years.  

Dr. Proctor began her career in education as a special education teacher, an exceptional student education specialist, and as a literacy specialist. Dr. Proctor was promoted to assistant principal and later principal due to her growth in leadership and curricular expertise. 

Dr. Proctor believes that “teachers are at the heart of learning, and principals create the conditions for a safe and engaging learning environment for both teachers and students to thrive.” 

An accomplished academic, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in K-12 leadership through the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology at Florida Atlantic University.  

“As a doctoral student at FAU, I was challenged to deeply examine my leadership and desired impacts for children. As it was often said by Dr. Ira Bogotch, ‘Context matters!’ My range of study, grounded in the now controversial Critical Race Theory, inspired me to conduct a Critical Policy Analysis, which fostered my love of data analysis and policy synthesis through the lens of our most marginalized and oppressed student populations. I am grateful to FAU.”

Dr. Cheryl Shields Proctor, Ph.D. ’17