Valerie Diaz Leroy—Director of Program

Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi

 “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”

Valerie Diaz Leroy (she/her) is entering her 2nd year at PSCS and holds over 20 years experience in education. She spent 14 years teaching in independent schools, including 13 years at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, FL. She is certified in Conflict Transformation through Imani Works, a non-governmental organization of the United Nations and has been trained/holds certification in Creative Facilitation, Youth Mental Health First Aid, restorative practices, neuro-divergent teaching/administrative strategies, racial and gender equity and identity facilitation, and organizational leadership.

Val is also an instructional coach focused on culturally responsive practices and historical fidelity. She is a curriculum developer focused on equitable representation and restoration, as well as collaborative impact, decolonizing education, mentorship, and youth empowerment.

Val brings with her a depth of knowledge and experience, which includes education and programming, as well as music, performance, and all things creative. She was drawn to PSCS because “this community is dedicated to working together to confront systemic inequities through education. The self-reflective work each community member does, is essential to helping us uncover the truths lost to many traditional models and requirements in the education system. PSCS knows this is ongoing work-and each day we put in effort we grow stronger together.”

Although Val spent the last seven years near Nashville, Tennessee, she was born and raised in and around Boston, Massachusetts. As a child she spent a lot of time in Harvard Square in Cambridge, surrounded by buskers, academics, skate boarders, and musicians. “All of these people, known and unknown to me, influenced how I view the intersectionality of our world. Summers on Walden Pond and Martha’s Vineyard allowed this Pisces time to splash around in the water and connect with nature.”

Val was influenced by her first shop class in elementary school and for many years, wanted to be a carpenter when she “grew up.” If I had a shop again I’d make toys for my daughter. I find peace when I have time to sew, knit, and make jewelry.” She loves sharing her favorite things with her daughter: reading, playing music, dancing, cooking and baking! “I can’t wait to take my daughter to her first live music show as music has been an integral part of my life.”

Val is a member of The Thang: Affrolachian On-Time Music Gathering, has Baking & Pastry Certification from The Arts Institute of Tampa, and currently lives in Burien in a multi-generational home, with her daughter, her mom, and lots and lots of instruments.