• Dr. Leslie C. Ricciardelli
     
    “My parents owned and operated a local hotel where I grew up in the family business and had the principles of excellence, hard work, honesty, respect, care, and compassion modeled daily. These values and my childhood experiences instilled in me a desire for excellence, to serve others, and to make a positive impact on my community. I was inspired to pursue a career in public education and chose to return to my Collier community to raise my own family and join the district that did so much for me as a student.”
    - Dr. Leslie C. Ricciardelli  
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  • Dr. Leslie C. Ricciardelli
    SUPERINTENDENT'S PROFILE

    Dr. Leslie C. Ricciardelli is the 20th superintendent of the A-rated Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) district, which during School Year 2023-24 celebrates 100 years of excellence in education. In this centennial year, CCPS will educate approximately 50,000 students and employ approximately 7,000 full- and part-time employees. Dr. Ricciardelli’s expertise and experiences in the school district and her understanding of the diversity of the various regions of Collier County provide her with a deep understanding of the needs, expectations and values the people of Collier County have of our public education system.

    In December 2023, the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA) awarded Dr. Ricciardelli with the Outstanding Superintendent Communicator Award. Naples Illustrated included Dr. Ricciardelli in the 2024 edition of the Naples 100, which annually recognizes the most influential business leaders in Collier County. She has been recognized by the Southwest Florida Speakers & Trainers Association as one of the most effective communicators in the region.  

    Dr. Ricciardelli was raised in Naples from the age of two and attended neighborhood public schools: Lake Park Elementary, Gulfview Middle, and Naples High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree (1991) in Secondary Education from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. She then earned a Master of Science degree (2000) in Educational Leadership and a Doctor of Education degree (2009) in Organizational Leadership with a Specialization in Higher Education from Nova Southeastern University.

    She has devoted her life’s work to strengthening the quality of education in Collier County and has held a variety of instructional and administrative roles during a career spanning almost three decades. Earlier in her career, Dr. Ricciardelli worked in three other Florida counties — Broward, Orange, and Seminole — where she served as an ESE classroom assistant, then as a teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. When she returned to Collier County she served in a variety of capacities in the middle and high school levels: inclusion teacher, ESE Specialist, assistant principal, and principal. When she moved to the District, she served in various roles including Executive Director for Teaching and Learning, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning, School Leadership and Performance Officer, and Deputy Superintendent.

    The District School Board of Collier County selected Dr. Ricciardelli as interim superintendent in December of 2022. She quickly demonstrated consensus-building skills in working with the School Board, colleagues, and community members to implement a shared vision of positive student outcomes. In March 2023, Dr. Ricciardelli issued a 100-day report outlining engagement with stakeholders, empowering colleagues to think creatively, and enacting positive changes aligned with student achievement. She displayed fiscal acumen by aligning student achievement and finance during the budgeting process to efficiently allocate resources. She set a course for improving the climate and culture in CCPS, opening lines of communication between and among all stakeholders. Following a national search, the School Board appointed Dr. Ricciardelli as superintendent in May 2023. 

    Follow Dr. Ricciardelli on social media to see the CCPS superintendent meeting students, visiting schools, and engaging with the community. https://twitter.com/SupRicciardelli