Portrait of a Graduate

Last Updated: 12/16/2019 5:18 PM

Every school system is unique, but connected by a shared aspiration: that all students have an educational experience preparing them to be effective lifelong learners and contributors to society.

Now more than ever, that experience not only provides for the acquisition of rigorous academic content, but it must also be more intentional about fostering critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and other skills our young people need to thrive in this complex, rapidly changing world. 

Many school systems across the country have engaged their larger community in developing a Portrait of a Graduate, a collective vision that articulates the community’s aspirations for all students. 

Locally developed, but globally positioned, the Portrait of a Graduate serves as a North Star for system transformation. Providing strategic direction for the redesign of the overall educational experience for students, this collective vision reinvigorates and re-engages students, teachers, and community stakeholders.

As Superintendent, I wish to engage in a thoughtful, productive and inclusive beginning in leading Waterbury Public Schools. Through listening and learning from you, I expect to gain a thorough understanding of the school district.  It’s important to learn about strengths and challenges, opportunities for students to expand learning, creative and innovative projects, the district’s culture, and its partnerships with the community.  The purpose in beginning this work is to best serve our students and to support our staff in this critical work.

In the upcoming weeks, you will hear from principals, committee members and me about the development of a plan for all of us in Waterbury Public Schools.  We will ask questions such as:

  • What should a graduate from Waterbury Public Schools know?
  • What should a graduate be able to do?
  • What qualities of mind and character should a graduate from Waterbury Public schools possess?
  • What experiences do you think our schools should provide for students to enable them to develop the desired knowledge, skills and dispositions indicative of a Waterbury Public Schools student?

Your input into these conversations is important as we develop a path for all students in Pre-K-12 leading to outstanding college and/or career bound graduates. 


Verna D. Ruffin, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools 


Waterbury Public Schools
236 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702
Phone: (203) 574-8000

Fax: (203) 574-8010