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Schools chief Valeria Silva withdraws from Florida job race, sticks with St. Paul

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A day after it was revealed she was one of four finalists for a new job in Florida, Valeria Silva has pulled out of the race and pledged to stay on as superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools.

After a meeting with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Silva made the announcement at a news conference that she would remain at the school district she has been at for 30 years, the Star Tribune reports.

"I have a call and the call is St. Paul," she said. "I’m pleased that together — on behalf of our students — we are going to finish what we started."

Silva was among four applicants from the 72 who applied for the position of superintendent at Palm Beach County school district in Florida – the 11th largest district in the country – to make the final round of interviews.

Her candidacy had raised a few eyebrows given that it had come just a few weeks after the St. Paul school board had approved her new three-year contract extension.

She said that she began the application process in February as the Palm Beach job was an appealing one, KARE 11 reports, but has decided to stay in St. Paul after "reflecting" on her options.

"Over the last several days I have reflected on all we have accomplished together in St. Paul. It is now even clearer to me that, despite what our critics might have you believe, we have made steady progress in improving the academic success of all students," she said, according to the TV station.

"My heart and soul are in St. Paul and that is why I choose to stay," she added.

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