Hundreds of people gathered in St. Paul on Tuesday to thank former Superintendent Valeria Silva for her nearly 30 years of service to the school district.

Tuesday also marked "Valeria S. Silva Day" in this proclamation issued by Mayor Chris Coleman:

Whereas, Valeria S. Silva led St. Paul Public Schools, the second largest and most diverse school district in Minnesota, as superintendent of schools from December 2009 to July 2016; and

Whereas, Valeria S. Silva launched the Strong Schools, Strong Communities strategic plan to improve student outcomes, align programming and resources, and ensure sustainability; and

Whereas, Valeria S. Silva dedicated more than 28 years of service to the students, staff and families of St. Paul Public Schools as an educational assistant, teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of English Language Learner (ELL) Programs, chief academic officer and superintendent; and

Whereas, Valeria S. Silva's contributions to the field of education reach beyond St. Paul and Minnesota; and

Whereas, Valeria S. Silva's courageous leadership has catalyzed local and national efforts around racial equity, gender inclusion and many other protected classes; and

Whereas, Valeria S. Silva puts children first, channeling all of her joy, passion and creativity toward helping every child reach his or her full potential:

Now, therefore, I, Christopher B. Coleman, mayor of the city of St. Paul, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, to be Valeria S. Silva Day in the city of St. Paul.