Victoria May

Executive Director of the Institute for School Partnership and Assistant Dean in Arts & Sciences

As a long-term educator, Victoria May’s contributions to the education of St. Louis youth reaches far and wide, spanning several decades. She has demonstrated a career-long passion for educational equity across the St. Louis area by working to provide support to both students and teachers.  

Victoria has a background in education herself: She served as a high school chemistry teacher before becoming a consultant for Washington University’s Science Outreach program in 1993. She rose to become Director of the program in 1998.  

“Without Vicki, we would still have a lot of good intentions, but much less to show for our efforts in science education outreach,” said Dr. Sarah C.R. Elgin, founder of Science Outreach. 

This work paved the way for the Institute for School Partnership (ISP), where Victoria serves as Executive Director. Through ISP, Washington University collaborates with many local area school districts to move closer toward their shared goal of educational equity. The programs created by Victoria and her ISP team have served approximately 250,000 students and 4,000 teachers within K-12 education. 

Victoria and her ISP team also played a major role in the creation of Missouri’s first all-girl public school focused on STEM, the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls. She has also partnered with local schools to explore how to implement new leadership strategies.  

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria demonstrated her commitment to St. Louis through the development of the STEM Challenges program. This program aimed to make sure that learning wasn’t disrupted during the pandemic by creating STEM activities for students to work on at home and distributing materials to families who may not have had access to the necessary technology at home. 

Her nominator summarizes, “Whether helping to build the state’s first all-girl, free STEM school in the area’s most under-resourced community, supporting leadership development in St. Louis-area public schools, or empowering thousands of teachers to create warm, loving, and innovative learning environments, Vicki has made it her life mission to transform the educational landscape in St. Louis.”