Biography of Dr. David Christiansen
Dr. David Christiansen is serving in his third year as the Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Schools for the School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC), the 11th largest district in the country with a student enrollment of nearly 195,000 students and an annual budget of $2.9 billion, and the largest employer in Palm Beach County with over 24,000 employees, including 13,000 teachers.
Dr. Christiansen believes public schools should be “engines of equity and opportunity.” He is passionate and committed to providing a high-quality, world-class education for each child where each student reaches his or her full potential.
In his role as Deputy Superintendent, he focuses on accelerating achievement for all students, optimizing resources, maximizing talent, delivering innovation and eliminating redundancy and waste. He works directly with the superintendent and each school board member to serve the community as a high-performance, responsive, governance team.
Dr. Christiansen interacts with community partners, local, state and national elected officials, higher education officials and business and economic development partners to create systemic, long-term, sustainable relationships, partnerships and agreements. He is actively involved on a local, state and national level, serving on the Boards of the Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches and Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders (FOIL), a national staff developer for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a 2017 graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County (LPBC), a 2016 graduate of the National Superintendents’ Academy (NSA) and a local member of the Glades Career Readiness Roundtable and Achieve Palm Beach.
In his time serving as Deputy Superintendent, Christiansen has played a key role in the following district accomplishments:
- Raised over $1.35 billion for capital repairs through the successful passage of a penny sales tax referendum in a historic level of collaboration across the school district, Palm Beach County and 39 municipalities
- Reorganized school support model to move $5.5 million back to schools and eliminate 85 district positions
- Created and implemented strategic plan for district with 4 clear, long-term outcomes focused on equity and access for all students in collaboration with over 20,000 community stakeholders
- Created and implemented a nationally recognized Principal Scorecard focused on race, gender, ESE, ELL and other subgroups across academic and social-emotional areas with teacher and student data
- Secured over $18 million in competitive grant funding to support school transformation, family engagement and social-emotional learning initiatives in 2017-2018 school year
As Chief of Schools, Christiansen has led significant academic, social-emotional and operational improvements across 187 traditional K-12 schools, Pre-K centers, alternative schools and charter schools including:
- Raised the bar and closed the achievement gap on graduation rates as district operated (non-charter) schools improved from 85% to 90%, up 5 percentage points, including a 10 percent increase for Black students, a 7.9 percent increase for Hispanic students and a 5.4 percent increase for White students
- Led state of Florida in “Schools of Excellence” amongst seven largest, urban school districts
- Accelerated the improvement of low-performing schools moving from 29 DA schools to 6 DA schools over a 3-year period including no traditional “F-rated” schools and no schools in 2nd year of Hope eligibility
- Created and implemented process to increase teacher voice and support systems, Elevating and Supporting Effective Teachers and Teaching, (ECET2) with 150 teacher representatives from across school system
- Increased teacher support and collaboration through the expansion of Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s), and the creation of year-round Single School Culture Coordinators for Title I schools
Over the last 26 years, he has served as a classroom teacher, coach, advisor, director, school principal, associate superintendent and chief academic officer and he has experience at each level of education including early learning/Pre-K, elementary school, middle school, high school and higher education. As a district leader in Lake County, Florida and Fresno, California, he helped earn national and state recognition in closing the achievement gap in reading, math and science. In Fresno, the district ranked in the top 3 in the country in improvement in NAEP while Lake was recognized nationally by the College Board for improvement in performance and participation in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
As a High School Principal at Evans High School in Orlando, Florida, Christiansen led efforts which
- Increased the school grade from “F” rating in 2007 to “B” rating in 2012
- Increased the graduation rate from 49% in 2007 to 80% in 2012
- Collaborated with the nation’s second largest university, an industry partner and a state service organization to create and implement a nationally recognized “Community School” model to provide holistic services to all students; a 25-year partnership between Orange County Public Schools, the University of Central Florida, Children’s Home Society and JP Morgan Chase
Christiansen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University on North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters of Art’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership Degree from the University of Central Florida. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Kim, who is also an educator and his three boys.