Cynthia R. Savo, MA

Cynthia Savo

Cynthia Savo, M.A. is the SDP Communications Director and a member of the Professional Development Team. As the communications director she develops content, including video, for the SDP website, the SDP Newsline, an e-newsletter, and the SDP’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. She has produced two DVDs that include videos on the Balanced Curriculum Process, adult and student perspectives on the developmental pathways, collaborative problem solving, and parent and family involvement. To support implementation in schools and districts and to facilitate internal communication and coordination she set up and maintains the SDP’s Basecamp, a web-based project management tool. Other responsibilities include developing promotional print materials, media relations, and other related communication tasks.

She is a member of the faculty team that designs and delivers customized professional development events for K-12 educators. Her areas of focus include community and team building, understanding and managing student behavior from a developmental perspective, and effective communications and outreach strategies for engaging middle and high school parents and families. She is particularly interested in working with middle school educators and parents.

She rejoined the SDP staff in 2007 after ten years as the principal of Cynergy Associates, LLC, a communications and organizational development consulting practice that served foundations, school districts, national education reform organizations, and other nonprofits.

For nine years she consulted to the Rockefeller Foundation's Working Communities program, providing the officers with analyses of grantee networks and program impact; research to inform grant making; and technical assistance on strategic communications.

In 2001 she co-designed and managed Leveraging Change: The Comer School Development Program, a national symposium in Washington, DC,that brought together Rockefeller Foundation grantees to examine lessons learned from the foundation’s 10-year investment in the School Development Program. She served as a producer for Through the Schoolhouse Door, a documentary about the School Development’s work in Brooklyn, New York, Guilford County, North Carolina, and Dade County, Florida, that premiered at the Leveraging Change symposium and the multimedia proceedings

In 1990 she joined the School Development Program staff as the as the organization was beginning its national scale-up efforts with major funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. As the communications and dissemination manager, she used diverse strategies to link the SDP to its national network of school, districts, and universities. She launched and edited the SDP Newsline; designed the SDP’s first website; served as a producer on For Children’s Sake: The Comer School Development Program and co-authored the accompanying Discussion Leader’s Guide.

She worked with Dr. Edward T. Joyner on the development of the national leadership academies and the creation of the Patrick Francis Daly Memorial Awards for Excellence in Educational Leadership. She was a member of the design and technology teams of the ATLAS Communities Project that brought together Harvard Project Zero, the Coalition of Essential Schools, the Education Development Center, and the School Development Program to design a "break the mold" education model.

She was a school counselor at the Center for Vocational Arts (now the Briggs Center), a small, alternative high school in Norwalk, Connecticut and oversaw youth employment programming for the Town of Fairfield. She was a grant writer for the New Haven Public Schools and served on the superintendent’s cabinet.

She was a founder and publisher of the New Haven Independent, an award-winning community newspaper. She was an aide to former Congressman Bruce A. Morrison.

She has a B.S. in psychology from Georgetown University and an M.A. in counseling and community services from Fairfield University.



Cynthia R. Savo, MA
Communications Director
100 York Street, Suite 1A
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: 203.737.4008
Fax: 203.737.1023