November 2013 Update

November 2013

It is fitting that on November 14, Secretary of State John Kerry will present the Charles Cobb Award to the top career ambassador and the Sue Cobb Award to the top non-career ambassador in Washington, DC. On that same day, Ambassador Charles Cobb will pay tribute to his long time friend, Leonard Miller at the Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award luncheon. He will honor Mr. Miller’s legacy by reminding the audience of what an extraordinary leader he was and how he was convinced that the best principals in our schools produce the best education for kids.

Ambassador Cobb is the CEO and Senior Managing Director of Cobb Partners, Ltd., an investment firm. He was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arvida Corporation and Disney Development Company during the 1970s and 1980s. Arvida was a public company and then a subsidiary of Penn Central and later of Walt Disney Company. He also served as a member of the Walt Disney Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Disney Board. Earlier, he was the Chief Operating Officer and a Director of Penn Central Corporation, a multi-industry company that had approximately 40,000 employees. He led a leveraged buy-out of Arvida Corporation from Penn Central with the Bass family in Texas, and subsequently merged Arvida with Walt Disney. Earlier, he was an Investment Manager with Dodge & Cox and the CEO of subsidiaries of Kaiser Aluminum.

Ambassador Cobb was the U.S. Ambassador to Iceland during the GHW Bush Administration. During the Reagan administration, he served as undersecretary and assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In the 1950s, he served as an officer in the United States Navy. Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed Ambassador Cobb as Chairman of Florida FTAA and Gateway Florida, which had the responsibility for Florida’s international trade agenda. Ambassador Cobb created the Cobb Award for Export Advocacy within the U.S. Department of State that is awarded annually to the career ambassador who best leads U.S. trade policy.

Commissioner’s Leadership Academy…
The second class of the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy met for the first time in Tallahassee from October 13-15. These are 25 of the premier principals in the state who will have three projects as part of this year long experience. This first will be to build the leadership capacity of their staff to ensure that the outstanding practices they have in place are maintained. The second is to mentor a colleague in their district, and the third is to work with the members of their Cohort to deliver a professional development Forum in an assigned district.

In addition to meeting Commissioner Pam Stewart, participants heard nationally recognized speaker Dr. Todd Whitaker, Professor Emeritus Dr. John Hansen, and a panel including Senator Bill Montford, Dominic Calabro, President and CEO of Florida Taxwatch, Bob Cerra of Cerra Consulting Group, and a panel of last year’s CLA graduates. They also networked with members of their Cohort and role alike principals.

Helios STEM: Strong and Steady…
On October 5, the Council’s STEM: Strong & Steady project held a workshop at Stewart Middle School in Tampa, hosted by Principal Baretta Wilson. The STEM: Strong and Steady project, now in its second year, is generously sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation and conducted in cooperation with Hillsborough County Public Schools. The daylong, interactive workshop was attended by 36 participants, most of whom were Math and Science Subject Area Leaders (SAL's) project team members. Other team members include the Principals and Assistant Principals of the 17 project middle schools. Session topics included: Defined STEM Planning; STEM Think Tank: Developing New Ideas for Lessons; and Writers Workshop: Crafting Integrative Lessons.  Additionally the participants explored a new set of Integrative Model Lessons which are being developed as part of the project. Seven lessons were produced last year. 

During the workshop, some project team members who are also participating in the Endeavor Academy shared some best practices they have learned through this professional development which is facilitated through the Helios STEM project. The Endeavor Academy is a rigorous online program, sponsored by NASA, with course work leading to an Endeavor STEM certification. Peter Bucholtz, Council for Educational Change Consultant, is the STEM: Strong and Steady Project Director and Larry Plank, Director of K-12 Science, Technology & Mathematics (STEM) Education for Hillsborough County Schools, is the project liaison for the district.

PASS© and Executive PASS©…

  • Students, faculty and staff members, and elected officials opened a new botanical garden at Scott Lake Elementary School in Miami Gardens last month. The 1.5 acre garden includes approximately 50 varieties of plants and will be incorporated into a STEM curriculum at the school. Councilman David Williams, the school’s Executive PASS partner, was one of the speakers at the event.
  • More than 60 people attended an exciting and informative networking meeting for Miami-Dade Executive PASS business partners and principals which was held on Thursday, October 24th. Art Noriega, CEO of Miami Parking Authority and business partner to Miami Northwestern Senior High hosted the meeting. Partner Principal Wallace Aristide was in attendance. Boots Richards is the Executive PASS coordinator for Miami-Dade.
  • New Executive PASS Partnerships in Miami-Dade: Pine Villa Elementary – Principal Vanessa de la Pena and business partner Danny Alonso; Natural Bridge Elementary – Principal Frank MacBride and partner Dao Jun Xu-Turner of Mass Mutual Financial Group; Dr. Rolando Espinosa K-8 Center – Principal Marie Caceres and partner Eduardo Suarez of Mass Mutual Financial Group; North Miami Beach Senior – Principal Randy Milliken and partner Robert Langsett of Pinnacle Financial Planning Group; Oak Grove Elementary – Principal Joyce Jones and partner Adam Vega of John Hancock Financial Network;Jane Roberts K-8 Center – Principal Ana Othon and partner Manny Menendez of HBW Advisory Services, LLC.; Miami Edison Senior Principal Try Diggs, North Miami Senior – Principal Michael Lewis, and Toussaint L’Ouverture Elementary Principal Liliane Delbor partner with Serge Louis of Louis Financial Group
    Continuing partnership: Homestead Senior – new Principal Guillermo Munoz and partner James Watson of Miami-Dade College, Homestead Campus.

Great News…

  • Payton Kaar, winner of a $250,000 Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship continues to demonstrate what a special young lady she is. In addition to being invited to participate in the National Academy of Future Physicians Congress in Washington D.C., where she will interact with Nobel Laureates, she has also been invited to compete in the 2014 Miss Teen Fort Lauderdale Pageant. She recently made a presentation to the Broward County Gifted and Talented Seminar. The aim of the event was to give pointers to educators about how to teach gifted students. Payton was the only student to speak at the event.
  • The initial meeting of the Lawyers’ Alliance was hosted in the Downtown Miami offices of Arnstein and Lehr. The purpose of the meeting was to engage the legal community in Council programs. Special guests included Judge Alan Fine, and Council Board members Lori Hartglass, Anabel Nemrow, and Roger Slade. Refreshments were graciously provided by The Cheese Course

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

Council for Educational Change Board....Florida's Educational Think Tank
Gene E. Marshall, Chair • Charles B. Blumenkamp, Chair-Elect • 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 • 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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