For Norma Silva, growing up in an underserved neighborhood in Los Angeles ignited a passion for education and its power to broaden possibilities for children. Putting her passion into action, Silva has spent more than 25 years as a teacher and principal bringing high-quality education to students from diverse backgrounds. She combines interests in bilingual education, inquiry based learning and using art as a language for understanding in all subject areas to create effective programs.

Principal Norma Silva
Norma Silva, Carol L. Collins Principal’s Chair

Norma Silva became principal of UCLA Lab School in 2010. She leads teachers in creating a learning environment that rewards curiosity and nurtures creative thinking while staying true to high academic standards. Her work with teachers promotes inquiry, work circles and close collaboration with researchers. Under her leadership, UCLA Lab School outreach programs have extended this work to educators from throughout the southern California area and internationally.

Previously, Silva was the founding principal of Para Los Niños Charter Elementary School, serving families living and working in the skid row area of Los Angeles. In that role she developed programs that both challenged and nurtured children through high quality instruction and supporting social and emotional needs.

From 1996-2003, Silva served as UCLA Lab School’s Director of Student and Family Affairs and Summer School Principal. She worked with colleagues to build the school’s diversity, and she helped develop a comprehensive safe school system for conflict resolution and problem solving that has been implemented in many schools in Southern California.

Bilingual in English and Spanish, Silva’s early career included working in the Los Angeles Unified School district as both a classroom teacher and an advisor for bilingual and Title I programs.

Silva holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University Los Angeles, and an M.Ed. in Administrative Studies from the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.