Susan L. Valdes was elected to the School Board (District 1) in 2004, and was re-elected in 2008 and 2012. Mrs. Valdes served as School Board chair in 2009, and vice chair in 2008. She is one of seven members responsible for making policy decisions and overseeing a budget of $2.7 billion for the 8th largest school district in the nation, which also is the county's largest employer with more than 25,000 employees.
Mrs. Valdes serves in many leadership positions at the national, state, and local level. At the national level, she currently serves as the southern region director for the National School Boards Association National Hispanic Caucus as well as a steering committee member for the National Schools Board Association Council of Urban Boards of Education. At the state level, she represents the school district as the chairman of the Central Florida Coalition, which encompasses 10 school districts representing more than 850,000 students; as well as the vice-chairman for the Florida School Boards Association Multicultural and Diversity Committee. At the local level, Mrs. Valdes serves as the vice-chair of the Value Adjustment Board, executive committee member of the Lowry Park Zoo board of directors, and is an active member of the Back to School Coalition in Hillsborough County, which has provided an annual "Back to School Health Fair" in the Town & Country area since 2005, for citizens of all ages.
Mrs. Valdes is a product of Hillsborough County Public Schools. She graduated from A. P. Leto Comprehensive High School, has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Everest University.
Prior to her full-time commitment as a School Board member, Mrs. Valdes worked with the recipients of the Hillsborough County Health Care Program, managing the clinic, helping patients find resources available for social services assistance, and encouraging adults to pursue their education. She has been a classroom volunteer, a PTA member, and continues to strive for the betterment and empowerment of her community/district through education.
Her motto is "AN EDUCATION CAN NEVER BE ERASED."