April 2011 Update

April 8, 2011


  • President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush visited Miami Central Senior High School to celebrate the school’s academic turnaround. Previously, the school had been one of the state’s lowest performing schools, but for this year has earned a grade of “C” on Florida’s accountability measures. Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said “We need to make sure that every child in Miami-Dade is ready for the global economy of the 21st century.”  Miami Central’s Principal, Rennina Turner is a participant in the Council’s Executive PASS© program. She is partnered with William Clark of the Miami Central Alumni Association Inc., and Julio Llanes of BankAtlantic. The foundation of the school’s turnaround efforts began with 2008 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award winner, Doug Rodriguez. Board Member Jeffrey Miller attended, representing the Council.
  • The Helios Education Foundation was named the Business Partner of the Year by the Pinellas Education Foundation in the district category. The Council partners with Helios in its Teacher Retention Initiative.  The Helios Education Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education, and is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals by creating opportunities for postsecondary success.
  • Agustin Grana, an Exceptional Student Education Teacher at Southwest Miami Senior High is Miami-Dade County’s Teacher of the Year.  Mr. Grana was selected from more than 22,000 teachers. James Haj, Principal at the school, has two Executive PASS partnerships - one with Yara Lorenzo, an attorney, and the other with Ozzie Delgado, John Hancock Financial Network.
  • Holmes Elementary has created a Parent Resource Center that has become the hub of Miami’s Liberty City community. Under the leadership of Dr. Thelma Branch, the school’s Community Involvement Specialist, and the unwavering support of PASS© CEOs and Council Board Members, Jeffrey Miller and Karen Fryd, the Parent Resource Center has grown from three parents being actively engaged to many days having standing room only! There are weekly workshops on various topics and on a daily basis parents can be seen doing arts and crafts...many to be sold as a fund-raiser to support both the Center and student incentives. Handmade dolls are the latest project. Most importantly, the Center is more than a meeting place; it is the heart of the school for the community where parents are taught empowerment and the importance of being actively engaged in their children's lives.

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PASS and Executive PASS

  • Bunche Park Elementary, Dr. Viola Irons, Principal, in Miami-Dade County hosted the feeder-pattern elementary schools' first-ever Dr. Gerald Glass Brain Bowl for grades 3-5 in preparation for the 2011 FCAT.  Dr. Glass is the school's PASS CEO and sponsored the event. Selected students from each of the schools competed in reading, mathematics, and science. The Brain Bowl was structured similar to the game show “Jeopardy” with the students having the opportunity to work both independently and as school teams.  Golden Glades Elementary, a new PASS School, tied for first place with Nathan B. Young Elementary. Theron Clark is the principal at Golden Glades and the PASS CEO is Yossef Sagi. The awards were presented by Dr. Carmen Marinelli, Region Superintendent, Dr. Wilbert 'Tee' Holloway, School Board Member, Dr. Geneva Woodard, PASS Coach; and Dr. Patricia Dixon, PASS Coordinator.
  • HD Perry Middle hosted the Miramar and Flanagan Zone Schools' Principals in Broward County. Present were their Board Member, Patricia Good; Area Director, Dr. Valerie Wanza; and other district level staff. The audience was entertained by the school's award winning Step Team and ROTC. Principal Estella Eckhardt, Assistant Principal Jackson Self, and PASS Coordinator Dr. Patricia Dixon, shared information about the school's new PASS Partnership with the Jason Taylor Foundation - Seth Levitt, PASS CEO.
  • Enid Valdez, Principal at Piper High School in Broward County, hosted a strategic planning meeting at the school to boost community involvement, as well as share highlights of the excellent existing programs.  Present at the meeting were Jordan Zimmerman, PASS CEO and owner of Zimmerman Advertising; Mayor Michael Ryan, City of Sunrise; Dave Goldstein, PASS Coach; Renee Grutman, Parent Educator; and Dr. Patricia Dixon, PASS Coordinator. Mayor Ryan and Mr. Zimmerman have begun a marketing campaign to showcase the school and the entire Sunrise Community!
  • New Executive PASS partnerships include: Sunny Isles Beach K-8, Dr. Annette Weissman, Principal — Cory Clair, John Hancock Financial Network, partner;  Mays Middle, Martin Reid, Principal — Paul Baker, John Hancock Financial Network, partner; Sunset Elementary, Dr. Marlene Leyte, Principal — Gabriela Sabate, Health Semantics, partner;  Miami Southridge Senior,  Dr. David Moore, Principal — Brandon McCoy, John Hancock Financial Network, partner.

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
Willard D. Dover, Esq.* • Edward W. Easton • T. Willard Fair • Thomas J. Flood • Edward T. Foote, II • Karen Fryd • Dr. Robert W. Graham, III
Bill Habermeyer • Steven T. Halverson* • Alfred Hoffman, Jr.* • Elsie Sterling Howard •Cyrus M. Jollivette • David S. Kenin Esq • Jonathan I. Kislak
Daniel W. Mahurin* • Beth G. Martinez* • Philip G. McNally • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller • Robert A. Morris Jr. • Robert Moss • Beau Parrillo • Fred F. Pezeshkan
Charles E. Porter • Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell • Steven J. Saiontz • Michael Scheck • Roger Slade • Elliott Stern* • Steven J. Uhlfelder
Gwynn C. Virostek • 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


APR 2011 Update.pdf286.6 KB