Vilicia Cade '88

Vilicia Cade '88Dr. Vilicia Cade ’88, is the first Black female CEO and Superintendent of the Capital School District and the only Black Female Superintendent in Delaware. A pioneer of her time, she continues to stand on her ancestors’ shoulders to break new ceilings in service to the Central Delaware Community.

Dr. Cade brings over three decades of improving outcomes for vulnerable children and adults.  A transformational leader and innovator her dissertation research focused on improving schools for at risk students through interagency partnerships.  She has an established national footprint of public-private partnerships that validates her understanding of how k-12 education is a catalyst for advancing quality of life and workforce development. She is known for her inspired and creative approaches to bolstering community, faith-based, and business partnerships that interrupts the school-to-prison pipeline. Notably, she has developed numerous parent empowerment programs, innovative instructional programs and student-centric college and career readiness programs.  In 2022, Capital School District was one of three districts in the state to have a nationally recognized Blue-Ribbon School (North Dover Elementary School) and in 2023 the district was the only district to launch three Verizon Innovative Learning Schools.  A first-generation college completer, she believes that access to a high-quality education including digital literacy is a 21st century civil rights issue.   

Dr. Cade enthusiastically embraces her personal journey as a former ward of the State of New York — described in her debut bestseller — If Not for Love. Her story resonates with many Americans illuminating how establishing a firm foundation for resilience and empowering the disenfranchised can be a key lever in economic development.  A servant leader, her service extends beyond k-12 to various boards, such as the United Way of Delaware and Northeast Ohio Boys and Girls Club Corporate Board.  Under her leadership, the Capital School District was selected to join the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools in 2022.  In 2023 Dr. Cade was appointed to Digital Promise’s National League of Innovative Schools’ Superintendent Advisory Board.  She was also recently appointed to the IRMC Extended Learning Opportunities Subcommittee.  A prestigious committee established to oversee coordination, research, and planning statewide for before and after school and summer learning programs for school-age children and advise the General Assembly and the Governor.

Dr. Cade is celebrated and has received numerous commendations including the incomparable Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Educational Advocacy Centennial Dove Award. A sort after speaker and radio personality on WNZN (Lorain, OH), she uses urban inspiration to connect the significance of service, educational equity, and economic development.  A fierce advocate of educational equity, the intersection of her service is rooted in uplifting the humanity, dignity, and humility of others.  Most recently, she was appointed to President Biden’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence, Equity and Economic Opportunities for Black Americans. 


A scholar, Dr. Cade has earned a bachelor’s degree from New Paltz State University, three master’s degrees, a doctorate from New York University and was a fellow at Cleveland State University.  She is the proud mom of Curtis Anthony a recent graduate of HBCU.