October 2012 Update

October 2012

Good News…

  • Best wishes to Board member Lori R. Hartglass in her new position as a partner with Arnstein & Lehr in Miami-Dade.
  • Congratulations to Leonore Annenberg Scholarship winner Natalie Antunez from Hialeah High School. Natalie recently learned that she has been named a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar. It is an award granted by the College Board based on PSAT scores from the student’s junior year.
  • The Council for Educational Change has received approval for funding to provide a mentorship opportunity to a principal from the Deborah L. Natansohn Foundation. We will be partnering with Angeline Flowers, Principal of Charles R. Drew Elementary in Broward, as she implements a schoolwide STEM related magnet program.

Spotlight On…

Congratulations to the Principal and staff at Van E. Blanton Elementary School in Miami-Dade. On September 19th, the school was awarded $100,000 on national television. Teacher Rachel Faust broke down in tears while being interviewed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, when she was surprised with a check in that amount. The award was made on Ms. Faust’s 24th birthday!

  • Ms. Faust began her career at the school three years ago as a Teach for America teacher. She applied for the program as a senior in college and committed to remain at the school for two years. She fell in love with her school, her students, and her colleagues, and says she will not leave.
  • Principal Tangela Goa and Assistant Principal Keverette Wells attribute the success of their school to the attitude that “nothing can get in their way.” Blanton is a school where 99% of the student population qualifies for the free/reduced price lunch.
  • Ms. Goa was a part of two of the Council for Educational Change’s programs – the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation funded “Leader to Leader” program, and Executive PASS.
  • Van E. Blanton was nominated by the Council for a grant from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children for a school wide technology initiative.
  • Last year, Ms. Goa received a bonus of $25,000 from the district for improving student achievement.
  • Van E. Blanton maintained its state accountability grade of A.
  • Funding for the gift Ms. Faust and the school received came from JCPenney Cares. Ms. Faust stated that the school did not have the funding for her to be able to decorate and equip her first grade class the way she wanted it, so she spent $1,000 of her own money, “because her students deserved it.”

Helios Education Foundation…

Some 36 Hillsborough educators attended a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workshop on September 15 in Tampa. The workshop is part of the ongoing STEM: Strong and Steady Project which is funded by the Helios Education Foundation and conducted by the Council for Educational Change in collaboration with The School District of Hillsborough County. The project aims to develop the STEM instructional leadership of teams--Principal, Assistant Principal, Guidance Counselor and STEM subject teachers from nine Hillsborough schools.
The day long workshop offered STEM-related learning and interactive activities for the participants. Dave Weber, a nationally renowned leadership expert, presented a session on Leadership Redefined. The workshop sessions provide a wealth of knowledge and innovative strategies which the project participants apply back at the school site and in classrooms. The workshop was also attended by School District of Hillsborough County leaders and staff with responsibilities in STEM subjects, such as math and science. The STEM Strong and Steady project is coordinated by Pete Bucholtz from the Council. Larry Plank, the Hillsborough Director of K-12 STEM Education, is the district's lead agent for the project.


Congratulations to 25 “cream of the crop” principals on having been selected to participate in the Florida Commissioner of Education’s Leadership Academy. This honor is due to the proven leadership of principals who have demonstrated success in improving the academic performance of children. Participation will afford participants the opportunity to meet and work with the best and brightest of their colleagues statewide. The intent of the Academy is to:

  • provide a group of principals with consulting skills that would enable them to work with other principals, their districts and the FDOE;
  • use these successful leaders to mentor and assist other principals in how to use proven strategies and techniques to improve the leadership and professional skills of other principals to drive student academic achievement;
  • provide these educational leaders with a “tool kit” of skills and techniques in support of these behaviors.

The first session was held in Tallahassee on Oct. 15 – 17th.  Speakers for the initial session, in addition to the Commissioner, will include such nationally recognized “change agents” as Lyle Kirtman, Dr. Todd Whitaker, and Dave Weber.

Program Sponsors:
Florida Department of Education
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida
Carnival Cruise Lines
Publix Super Markets Charities

PASS© and Executive PASS©

Alexis Perez of Dade Technology Solutions is truly passionate about helping children at South Hialeah Elementary.  He is aware that the community serves is composed primarily of children whose first language is not English and whose parents do not speak English.  Mr. Perez acknowledges that this places the students at an academic disadvantage.  That is why he has made it his personal goal to assist his school in providing resources to improve their academic success.  He demonstrates his commitment by connecting South Hialeah Elementary with available resources.  Where some community partners might assist or be involved for a year or two, Mr. Perez has been diligently donating goods for the past four years.


New Executive PASS Partnerships...

David Lawrence K-8 Center: Principal – Bernard Osborn
Business Partner – Cory Clair, John Hancock Financial Network

Frederick Douglass Elementary: Principal – Yolanda Ellis
Business Partner – Richard Russ, Russ & Associates

Highland Oaks Middle: Principal – Cheryl Kushi
Business Partner – Jacy Kline, ING Financial Partners

Miami Heights Elementary: Principal – Jorge Rivas
Business Partner – Stuart Robertson, John Hancock Financial Network

Miami Edison Senior: Principal – Trynegwa Diggs
Business Partner – Henry Petithomme, Youth Power Movement

Publix Super Markets Charities & Raymond James Financial, Inc. are statewide sponsors of the PASS© and Executive PASS© Programs



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 • 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 • Dr. Akshay Desai
Edward W. Easton* • T. Willard Fair* • 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* • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller • Robert A. Morris Jr.* • Robert Moss • Beau Parrillo • Fred F. Pezeshkan
Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell* • Steven J. Saiontz • Michael Scheck* • Roger Slade • Elliott Stern* • Steven J. Uhlfelder
Keith T. Ward • Steven Wasserman • 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


OCT 2012 Update.pdf227.79 KB