February 2014 Update

February 2014

Spotlight: Annenberg Sweethearts
Our Annenberg Sweethearts continue to shine:

  • Natalie Antunez has just completed her first semester at Harvard where she earned all “A” grades. As part of her program she traveled to Lima, Peru where she participated in classes and served as a volunteer. She has also been elected Treasurer of Latinas Unidas for the 2014 school year.
  • High school senior Payton Kaar will be making a presentation at the University of Florida Science Symposium. She will also travel to Washington, DC on February 14 - 16 to participate in the National Congress of Future Physicians.
  • Isabelle Morris continues to earn straight “A” grades, as well as demonstrating her leadership skills, as the coxswain of her high school rowing team. She is waiting to hear from Brown University, her choice of colleges.
  • Isabelle Tersio’s straight “A” average resulted in her being named the Salutatorian of her high school. She is a great athlete, who volunteers her time to work with handicapped children, and was recently recognized for her efforts on behalf of her high school football team.
  • Sean Vennett is the President of his high school in Hillsborough County.  His leadership was evidenced as he recently coordinated a College Fair for all of the students at the school.

Leadership Matters:

  • Congratulations to Miami-Dade Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, who was recently named the Florida Superintendent of the Year. The AASA, School Superintendents Association, also announced that Mr. Carvalho is one of four finalists for the title of National Superintendent of the year for 2014.
  • Congratulations to Dr. David Moore, former Leonard Miller Gold Medallion Finalist, on his recent promotion to Assistant Superintendent in the Office of Innovation and Accountability.
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools was recognized by the College Board for increasing access to advanced college-level courses, while at the same time, increasing the passing rate. This award is given to three districts annually, one small, one medium, and one large.
  • The Florida Department of Education recently recognized the six “best” principals in the state. Their decision was based on a new analysis of student achievement gains in reading and math. This analysis utilized data from over 3,000 high-poverty schools. Five of the six are principals in Miami-Dade. They are: Tangela Goa of Van E. Blanton Elementary, Anna Hernandez of M.A. Milam K-8, Linda Amica-Roberts, previously at Coconut Palm K-8 Academy, Dr. Verena Cabrera, previously at Hialeah High School, and Guillermo Muñoz, previously at Westland Hialeah Senior High. Dr. Cabrera and Ms. Amica-Roberts have been promoted to district office positions, and Mr. Muñoz is currently the principal of Homestead Senior High. It is interesting to note that four of these five principals have participated in Council for Educational Change programs.

 PASS© and Executive PASS©:
According to business partner, Ron Diner, Raymond James Financial’s PASS partnership with Mt. Vernon Elementary focuses on helping all kids – but especially those who need it most – to help them stay on track and do well in school. Company employees volunteer at the school.

Their focus:

  1. Student recognition – Part of a $15,000 Raymond James commitment to Mt. Vernon has gone to tee shirts recognizing kids who are performing well in school
  2. Parent involvement – a key – to encourage parents to be involved; some of the funds are directed to parent/student dinners and Publix gift certificates drawings to encourage parents to attend, at the dinners teachers can explain how parents can help their kids succeed
  3. Staff motivation and thank-you. Raymond James has provided gift cards to teachers in thanks for staying late to help kids with special projects

They are also helping with:

  1. Informational Technology volunteers to help with their computer problems
  2. Contributing computers
  3. Art programs – something we are looking into
  4. Most important - Mentoring and tutoring – we have over 40 Raymond James staff who visit their student once a week – for tutoring or mentoring or both
  • Cary Muñiz, business partner at James H. Bright/J.W. Johnson Elementary asked fourth graders to write an essay on being an entrepreneur, including information on earnings, spending, saving, and donating.  Winners, Melissa Castellanos and Bryan Fernandez, were invited to come to Radio Alma Vision 87.7 FM, a Spanish radio station in Miami, where they were both interviewed during the program “Lideres con Proposito" (Leaders with a Purpose). Melissa wrote about owning a restaurant, and with her business capital she would help a foundation at a hospital for people who had cancer.  Bryan wrote about having an electrical company.  He had many great business ideas that included lower pricing and attracting customers.  With his additional capital, he wants to invest in helping feed people in need, “Three meals each day”.
  • On January 3, Principal Guarn Sims of Village Academy did an outstanding job of presenting all of the wonderful programs at the school to representatives of the community, the district, and Kobacker Foundation.  Members of the Kobacker family were in attendance for this annual meeting as the Foundation is a long-time supporter of the school. Village Academy has grown from being a traditional elementary school to a school which serves toddlers through senior high.
  • New partnership in Miami-Dade: Gilberto Bonce, Principal at South Miami Senior and business partner Danny Alonso with QTC Advisory Group.


A printable version of the Update is available for download below.

Council for Educational Change Board....Florida's Educational Think Tank
Charles B. Blumenkamp, Chair • Dr. Elaine Liftin, President and Executive Director
Founder, Leonard Miller
Andrew L. Ansin* • Philip F. Blumberg • Hugh M. Brown* • Columba Bush* • Charles E. Cobb Jr.* • Irv Cohen • Scott A. Curtis* • Edward W. Easton*
T. Willard Fair* • Maribel Ferrer • Edward T. Foote, II* • Karen Fryd • Dr. Robert W. Graham, III • Bill Habermeyer* • Steven T. Halverson*
Elsie Sterling Howard • Cyrus M. Jollivette • David S. Kenin Esq* • Jonathan I. Kislak* • Daniel W. Mahurin* • Richard Manners
Gene E. Marshall • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller • Robert A. Morris Jr.* • Robert Moss • Anabel I. Nemrow • Beau Parrillo
Fred Pezeshkan • Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell* • Steven J. Saiontz • Michael Scheck* • Roger Slade • Elliott Stern* • Steven J. Uhlfelder
Keith T. Ward • Steven Wasserman • Joe G. Weaver • Lynne Wines • Dr. Paul Zimmerman • Robert A. Zinn     *Life Trustees
3265 Meridian Parkway Suite 130 Weston, FL 33331 phone: 954.727.9909 fax: 954.727.0990 www.changeeeducation.org
FEB 2014 Update.pdf272.28 KB