November 2015 Update

The Legacy of Leadership – Council Effect

Over the past 13 years, the Council for Educational Change has been providing programs which develop the leadership skills of school site administrators. The results have been extraordinary. Thanks to the generosity of the Braman Foundation, the Council has authored “The Legacy of Leadership” a publication which captures the stories of leaders who have made a difference in the lives of children. These leaders have forged partnerships which have improved the academic performance of students. The publication will be shared at the annual Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award luncheon on November 19th. However, we will begin highlighting individuals who have participated in Council programs, and where they are now. This is the “Council Effect.”

Pam Stewart:  Mrs. Stewart was a participant in the Council’s Florida Leadership Academy during her tenure as a principal in Marion County, Florida. After graduating from being an elementary school principal, she became a senior high principal. Later, she served as the Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality for the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). After leaving the FDOE, Mrs. Stewart moved to St. John’s County as the Deputy Superintendent for Academic Services. Later, she returned to the Department of Education as the Chancellor of Public Schools, and ultimately as the Commissioner of Education. Mrs. Stewart maintains an ongoing relationship with the Council, partnering with the organization to deliver the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy.

Brian Dassler: Mr. Dassler first became a participant in a Council teacher leadership program while he was an instructor at Stranahan High School in Broward County. In 2007, he was named the Broward County Teacher of the Year. He served as the Chief Academic Officer for the New Orleans School for Creative Arts and the Principal at KIPP Renaissance High School in New Orleans. Mr. Dassler returned to Florida and was named Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality with the Florida Department of Education.

Dr. Nikolai Vitti: A recipient of the prestigious Presidential Scholarship from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Dr. Vitti came to Miami-Dade County Schools (MDCPS) and became a middle school principal. As such, he participated in the Florida Leadership Academy. He subsequently moved to the Florida Department of Education and then returned to MDCPS as the Assistant Superintendent for the Educational Transformation Office. Dr. Vitti is now the Superintendent in Duval County.

 PASS© and Executive PASS©

  • New Executive PASS partnerships in Miami-Dade include: Miami Gardens Elementary – Principal Kathleen John-Louissaint, and Business Partner Favio Taborda, MassMutual; City of Hialeah Educational Academy, Carlos Alvarez, Principal and Business Partner Dr. Joaquin Martinez, Miami Dade College-Hialeah; South Dade Senior – Principal Javier Perez and Business Partner Dr. John Barimo, Miami Dade College-Homestead; Jane S. Roberts K-8 Center – New principal Milly Arango and Business Partner Manny Menendez, HBW Advisory Service; Leisure City K-8 Center – Principal Kenneth Williams and Business Partner Javid Mortazavi, MassMutual; Shenandoah Middle– Principal Bianca Calzadilla and Business Partner Remy Dou, MassMutual.
  • At the annual Spooky SMATH Night on Oct. 29th, Mort Elementary Principal Woodland Johnson and his staff announced their PASS partnership to all of the parents. An educational evening was enjoyed by all.
  • The semi-annual Miami-Dade Executive PASS meeting was held on Nov. 3 at Ponce de Leon Middle. Over 60 principals and business partners shared best practices and had the opportunity to have an interactive presentation on Nearpod. Nearpod is an app for a program which allows the teacher to differentiate feedback which is given to students. Thanks to Principal Martha Chang, for her hospitality.

Meet the 2015 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award Gold Medallion Finalists

Three outstanding principals have been named Gold Medallion finalists for the Council's 2015 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award. Kiwana Alexander-Prophete from Carver Middle School in Palm Beach, Jayne Ellspermann from West Port High School in Marion County, and John Haley from Franklin Middle Preparatory Academy in Hillsborough County will each receive $5,000 for personal use.
The overall winner will be named during the annual luncheon on November 19, at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center. The winner will receive an additional $5,000.
The Award sponsored by Carnival Foundation, Cobb Family Foundation, Richard & Susan Finkelstein, and the Miller Family Foundation.  

Kiwana Alexander-Prophete
Carver Middle School
Palm Beach County Public Schools

Accomplishments & Practices:
Motivates through recognition, challenges, personal and professional growth incorporating positive personal relationships.
Under her leadership:
• Reduced out of school suspensions by 70%
• Increased state accountability score from 493 to 526
• 100% of the students in Algebra 1 and Geometry passed the EOC assessments

Jayne Ellspermann
West Port High School
Marion County Public Schools

Accomplishments & Practices:
Created a culture of excellence for students and staff, where the school not only moved to an “A”, but to the highest “A” in the district”.
Under her leadership:
• Reduced the failure rate from 37% to 3%
• Increased the graduation rate from 60% to 94%
• Increased the number of Advanced Placement classes being taken from 344 to 1107

John Haley
Franklin Boys Preparatory Academy
Hillsborough County Public Schools

Accomplishments & Practices:
Opened the unique single gender middle school which has been tremendously successful for both students and staff.
Under his leadership:
• Raised the school grade from “D” to “B” to “A”
• Boosted reading gains from 48% to 69%
• 50% of students make the quarterly honor roll and 32% meet the requirements for National Junior High School


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 • Columba Bush* • Ambassador Charles E. Cobb Jr.*
Scott A. Curtis* • Diane Davis* • Edward W. Easton* • Dorothy Eisenberg • T. Willard Fair*
Edward T. Foote, II* • Karen Fryd • Karnardo Garnett, Esq. • Dr. Robert W. Graham, III • Steven T. Halverson*
Lori R. Hartglass • Cyrus M. Jollivette* • Jonathan I. Kislak • Joseph E. Mahoney, Jr. • Daniel W. Mahurin*
Gene E. Marshall • Brad Martin • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller
Arthur Noriega V • Harold E. Patricoff • Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell*
Steven J. Saiontz • Ned Shandloff* • Steven J. Uhlfelder • Scott Ulvi • Steven Wasserman
Joe G. Weaver • Lynne Wines* • Paul Zimmerman, MD    *Life Trustees
3265 Meridian Parkway Suite 130 Weston, FL 33331 phone: 954.727.9909 fax: 954.727.0990
NOV 2015 Update.pdf184.12 KB