May 2017 Update

May 2017


  • Palm Beach County PASS school, Village Academy, has been recognized as a School-wide Site of Distinction for the AVID Program. Of the 771 eligible schools for the award, only 104 were recognized.
  • Annenberg Scholar Isabelle Morris is working in the psych research labs on campus at Stanford University. The lab is the Social Learning Lab and the project is one that measures young children's ability to estimate time, effort, and difficulty associated with certain tasks.
  • Mark Truitt, Council Consultant and Broward County Executive PASS Coordinator was recognized in Bold Moves for Schools. The book is the cumulative result of years of work with people in a wide variety of capacities and roles within communities, businesses, and organizations—including colleagues, teachers, administrators, organizations, students, parents, software designers, game designers, architects, business companies, and communities. According to the author, “these individuals and groups in different ways have served to lead us toward our north stars. They have informed and inspired others to explore how to create innovative approaches to the design of learning environments, curriculum, instructional models, assessment, personalized learning, leadership models, and, certainly, systems policy.”
  • Board member Eric Montes de Oca, Vice President and partner at Grycon LLC has been selected by Miami-Dade College as one of its top 15 alumni for the 2017 Hall of Fame. Mr. Montes de Oca is President-elect of the Latin Builders Association and a member of the Transportation, Parking, and Bicycle Pedestrian Facilities Committee for the City of Miami Beach. Eric Montes de Oca is the PASS business mentor for the Latin Builders Association Charter Academy High School.
  • UPenn junior, Isabelle Tersio, a Biological Basis of Behavior major with plans to go to medical school was recognized in Penn Currant. Isabell is a Leonore Annenberg Scholarship winner from Palm Beach.
  • Congratulations to Council Board Chair, Steve Wasserman, and his partner Casandra Robinson for the outstanding Career Fair held at Dillard High School in Broward County. Students had the opportunity to meet and speak with a vast array of local businesses.

Program Updates: PASS© and Executive PASS©
Statewide Sponsors: Raymond James Financial and Publix Super Markets Charities

  • What could be more validating for one of the Executive PASS partnerships than to celebrate the college graduation of 32 graduating high school seniors! Miami Dade College’s North Campus and Mater Lakes Academy’s Executive PASS partners, Dr. Malou C. Harrison and Principal Rene Rovirosa are beaming as they share in the pride of 32 Mater Lakes Academy Class of 2017 graduating 12th graders. These outstanding students excelled in college and AP courses throughout high school, and are earning an Associate in Arts degree from MDC. North Campus’ Pre-College Advisors recently visited the school to present each graduating student with their academic regalia, which students immediately donned for a “photo op”. These Mater Lakes Academy “stars” will be among the more than 1200 graduates who will walk across the stage at Commencement at the James L. Knight Center in downtown Miami. These high school seniors have been accepted to various universities, and will be college juniors when they begin the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Duval Executive PASS schools have three of the five finalists including the winner in the Duval County Florida Blue Teacher of the Year Program coordinated by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. The three Executive PASS school finalists include Latrece Brown from Andrew Robinson Elementary, Michael Bostic-Jones from William H. Raines High and Caitllyn Stetson from Reynolds Lane Elementary. Finalists were honored at the Eddy Awards and Latrece Brown was named the Duval Teacher of the Year. Ms. Brown's principal is Latrese Fann and FARR (Friends of Andrew R. Robinson) is the business partner. Jay Higbee of Foland and Higbee Property Managers is her contact for FARR. The principal of Raines High is Vincent Hall and they have two business mentors, Dr. Royce McGowan of McGowan's Spinal Rehab Center and Bobby Phillips of Harvey's (Winn-Dixie). The principal of Reynolds Lane Elementary is Marianne Simon and Russell B. Newton Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Timucuan Asset Management serves as the school’s business mentor.
  • To celebrate Earth Day, on April 18, Covanta Dade Renewable Energy LLC. provided recycling containers to Miami-Dade’s John I. Smith K-8 Center. Covanta employees will service the containers and all proceeds from the recycling will be returned to the school to purchase supplies.
  • A new Executive PASS partnership in Broward is at Mirror Lake Elementary: Principal, Marlen Velez, with Business Partner – Diane Hickman of Learning for Life.

Spotlight on PASS School: Miami Northwestern Senior High
“The movie “Moonlight” made Oscar history as the first made-in-Miami movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture and Writing Adapted to a Screenplay. It was directed by Barry Jenkins, a graduate of Miami Northwestern Senior High, Class 1999. He studied filmmaking at Florida State University. He was a student athlete—a Medical Magnet and Performing and Visual Arts Center (PAVAC) student and a member of the Varsity Football Team. Barry insisted on filming “Moonlight” in Miami Northwestern’s PAVAC magnet program is the first and oldest performing arts magnet in the state of Florida. “The recognition and accolades the movie has garnered demonstrates the talent being developed at this PASS school. Three of their PAVAC students landed roles as extras in “Moonlight” which tells the story of Chiron, a young gay man growing up bullied and afraid in Liberty City, raised by a drug-addicted mother (Naomie Harris) and sheltered by a Cuban drug dealer (Mahershala Ali), who becomes a father figure to the kid.

Another example of the talent that has graduated from Miami Northwestern is Tonya Thompson, a member of the ensemble of the Broadway hit musical, “Something Rotten”. The show played at the Broward Theatre for Performing Arts from March 21 through April 2.

Dr. Moses Shumow, an assistant professor at Florida International University, School of Communication and Journalism, directed a documentary in 2015 entitled “Liberty Square Rising”. The film chronicled the rich history of the community, the oldest and largest public housing complex in the United States, built in 1937. Dr. Shumow stated “He will reprise the Eyes on Your Mission Academy Project that debuted last year again this summer” which brings together students from Miami Northwestern Senior High School TV Production class and Florida International University to create marketing and digital videos for local nonprofit organizations.

Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children
For the past nine years, the Council for Educational Change has assisted schools in Florida in crafting proposals for submission to The Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children. A total of $150,000 in grants has been awarded to three schools in Florida for the 2017-2018 school year. Gertrude K. Edelman/Sabal Palm Elementary in North Miami Beach, Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School in Jacksonville and Pioneer Park Elementary School in Belle Glade will each receive $50,000.

The Council for Educational Change is the conduit for the grant allocations. The Council identified qualifying elementary schools that would receive the greatest benefit from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund, administered by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and consulted with each school principal in the application processes. The Council’s mission is to provide school principals and their school leadership team with the resources and support necessary to achieve significant improvement in the academic performance of their students.

Since 2008, the Leonore Annenberg School Fund has provided $1.2 million to elementary schools across Florida. The funds will help furnish schools with resources such as computers and educational technology, support for arts programs, library upgrades, and new books and e-readers for classrooms and libraries.

Pioneer Park Elementary School in Palm Beach County (Pamela Buckman, Principal) plans to purchase tablet computers and educational technology to support student-centered learning in classrooms and the media center and foster interdisciplinary instruction. Sabal Palm Elementary School in Miami-Dade (Alicia Costa-Devita, Principal) plans to use the grant to install new educational technology to support the i-Ready Program, which would allow students to have individualized reading and math programs online. Sallye B. Mathis Elementary in Duval (Kathleen Atkins, Principal) will purchase laptop computers, software, video recording devices, and a 3D printer to encourage interdisciplinary instruction and provide students with opportunities to synthesize information across disciplines.



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