March 2014 Update

March 2014

Spotlight On: Sue Miller
On February 8th, Temple Beth Shalom on Miami Beach recognized the Council for Educational Change’s Development Chair, Sue Miller, as their 2014 Honoree. Sue is a dedicated philanthropic leader who has received numerous awards for her community involvement, including the Philanthropist of the Year from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. She is a true champion of innovation in health care, education, the arts, and Jewish education.

United Way of Miami-Dade President and CEO Harve A. Mogul, said that over the last 30 years, Sue’s leadership has been credited for raising at least $130 million for United Way. For her many years of service, Sue Miller received the United Way Worldwide 2012 National Tocqueville Award. In addition to founding the Million Dollar Roundtable, Sue Miller is credited with founding the local Tocqueville Society, which has 657 members at a contribution level of at least $10,000 a year. Sue established the Women's Leadership programs and lobbied in Washington, D.C. on behalf of early education.

Sue is a Board Member and Chair of the Council‘s Development Committee. Her volunteer duties focus on these major activities:

  • enlisting and engaging donor/partner support and funds for the Council’s work
  • visioning and developing programs that serve Florida educators and students

When Sue joined the Board, she did it for two important reasons—her husband’s legacy and the students of Florida. She wanted to continue the work of her late husband Leonard Miller, and the second reason, which has defined her work, was the children. Sue believes that if every child can get a quality education, every child can succeed.

PASS© and Executive PASS©…
Publix Super Markets Charities and Raymond James Financial are statewide sponsors of Partnership to Advance School Success (PASS)

  • New Executive PASS partnerships include:
    • Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior - Principal Jose Bueno, business partner Anabel Nemrow of BankUnited;
    • Andover Middle - Principal Rennina Turner, business partner Jena Williams of AIG Financial Network;
    • Caribbean Elementary – Principal Dr. Alina Diaz-Blanco, business partner Danny Alonso of QTC Advisory Group;
    • Alonso and Tracy Mourning Senior – Principal Lisa Garcia, business partner Jeniffer Viscarra of Nautilus Legal Services;
    • South Dade Senior – Principal Javier Perez and business partner Taylor Kollen of ING Financial Partners.
  • Village Academy, a PASS program school, secured a partnership with Incredible Years Parent and Child program, which is sponsored through Children Services Council (CSC). Incredible Years offers multiple parenting programs which include a Baby Parenting Program (for expecting and current parents with children between ages of 0-8 months) and a Toddler Parenting Program (for parents with children between ages 1-3 years). Incredible Years has agreed to bring the entire program to Village targeting parents inside Village Academy and in the surrounding Delray Beach community. Village Academy currently has programs serving children from newborn through high school graduation. The school has an ongoing partnership with the Kobacker Foundation.
  • Cypress Creek Elementary has had an after school Chess Club for several years. This year the neighboring middle school has partnered to continue the club for its students. This will create continuity for the program, as well as providing additional support during competitions. Also, lunchtime provides time for students to view educational (mainly science) videos on the big screen. Recent adjustments to the audio technology have enhanced viewing. New videos are purchased in an ongoing manner. The school’s PASS partner is former Council Board Chair Gene Marshall and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

Commissioner’s Leadership Academy…
The second session of the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Tampa on February 3 – 5. Participants heard outstanding national presenters including Kevin Baird, founder of the Common Core Institute, and Brian Dassler, Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality for the Florida Department of Education. As part of the experience, they had a chance to network in role alike sessions and work in their individual Cohorts, where they are planning Professional Development Forums for specific districts around the state. The Forums will focus on implementing the Florida Standards to effectively improve student achievement. Graduates of last year’s Academy, Brent Brummet, and Michelle Morrison St. Amour, were back and served as facilitators for several of the sessions.

The Council Effect
Principals from the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy continue to demonstrate why they are among the highest performers in the state:

  • Debra Snyder, Principal of Palm Pointe Research School and her Assistant Principal were invited to speak in China. Their presentation was about their school, assessing student achievement, and preparing students from China to study in the United States. The trip was sponsored by Riverdeep Immersion Subject English (RISE), an English learning company in China.  While in China there were opportunities to address and observe teachers at the different centers, meet with the Headmasters (Principals) of all RISE centers as well as speak at the Sino – US Principals Summit on the “Cultivation of Global Talents Subject English Education Summit”. Chinese and American principals discussed differences between their education systems and how to prepare children to become international leaders.
  • Owen Young, Principal of Middleton High School in Hillsborough County announced that his school was awarded a grant for $50,000 from Bristol Myers to support STEM education.
  • Denny Wilson, Principal of Oakcrest Elementary School was named the Escambia County Principal of the Year.
  • Sharon Scarbrough, Principal of WD Sugg Middle School, met with Manatee County Superintendent Rick Mills to share ideas on school leadership.

The Commissioner’s Leadership Academy is sponsored by Carnival Foundation, Florida Blue, and Publix Super Markets Charities.

Lawyers’ Alliance…
The Lawyers’ Alliance recently held its second meeting which included volunteer attorneys from the community. Through the Council, the lawyers organized future court visits for elementary, middle, and high school students. The attorneys also developed a hypothetical case involving aspects of the United States Constitution for an open class discussion, using the Socratic teaching method popular in law schools. The goal of the class instruction is for students to better understand what lawyers do and to learn, at least on a fundamental level, “how to think like lawyers.” Thanks to board member, Roger Slade of David B. Haber, PA for hosting the meeting.

Thank You!

  • Thanks to the generosity of the Deborah Natansohn Memorial Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, students at AC Perry Elementary in Broward will participate in a computer camp in preparation for the state mandated accountability testing. This is due to the recent purchase of five laptop computers.  Principal Catrice Duhart is delighted to be able to provide this supplementary learning experience for her students.
  • Commissioner’s Leadership Academy Steering Committee member, Joe Davis of the Florida After School Network, presented all of the participants at the Academy with a copy of an outstanding book entitled, “Expanding Minds and Opportunities; Leveraging the Power of After School and Summer Learning for Student Success.”

The Update is generously sponsored by BankUnited, N.A.

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


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