Stephanie Downey Toledo

2021 40 Under Forty Awards
Stephanie Downey Toledo | 39 | Superintendent, Central Falls School District

How do you think COVID-19 will change your industry going forward? Public education had to change so rapidly due to COVID-19. I am so impressed with my teammates in Central Falls, as well as our entire field nationally. Through all the tragedy of the pandemic, the innovations to public education are definitely a silver lining.

Where do you see yourself in five years? My dream would be to still be leading the incredible school district in Central Falls. What would be different would be all the progress we will have made and the improvements to the educational opportunities that we have created.

What advice would you give your 22-year-old self? Respectfully question the rules – most especially when the rules seem to keep a broken system in place and oppress others.

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What is your greatest attribute that you bring to your job? I hope my team would say that I provide both high expectations with high support. We have the great privilege of educating our incredible students, and so I am constantly raising the bar but will also be alongside everyone to support them as we do.

What is your favorite Rhode Island food or drink? Awful Awful!


What is your favorite song? “For Good” from the musical “Wicked.”

THE PROP: Stephanie Downey Toledo poses with her children, Luke, 8; Dean, 6; Hope, 4; and Reed, 1.