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Shaun Nelms headshot

Shaun Nelms

Professor (Clinical), William & Sheila Konar Director of the Center for Urban Education Success

Educational Leadership

EdD, University of Rochester (K-12 school leadership)
MS, University of Rochester (educational administration)
BS, State University of New York - College at Fredonia (education)


Shaun Nelms is the vice president of community partnerships at the University of Rochester. He previously served as the superintendent of East Upper and Lower Schools, formerly East High School in Rochester, N.Y., a position created through a unique partnership between the New York State Education Department, Rochester City School District, and University of Rochester. As the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) superintendent for East, Nelms was charged with creating a school reform model that can be replicated in urban settings throughout the United States.

In 2018, he was named the first William and Sheila Konar Director for the Center for Urban Education Success (CUES) at the Warner School. In this role, Nelms leads the center’s efforts to support the success of K-12 urban schools both locally and nationally through a combination of research, relationship building, and a commitment to pursue and share best practices.

Prior to his superintendency, Nelms served as chief of schools for the Rochester City School District, where he supervised the Northeast Zone and successfully led implementation of the New York State Regents reform initiative. His focus on professional development for principals and teachers led to improvements in leadership capacity, instructional delivery, and student achievement. Nelms also worked as a principal in the Rush-Henrietta School District, and as an assistant principal and social studies teacher in the Greece School District.

Throughout his career, Nelms has maintained a focus on helping students to be successful. He has served as a role model and mentor for students and faculty alike, and his legacy includes several successful programs that he established to give all students the opportunity to reach their academic and personal goals.

Nelms has been a frequent speaker on topics related to the creation of equitable school systems and administrative leadership. He is also an associate professor at the Warner School, where he teaches courses in human resource management, school governance, and leadership in urban schools. He is active in numerous community organizations and has been honored with several awards for his leadership and work in education.