Valerie B. Ward, principal of Scott Lake Elementary in Miami, FL is retiring after 35 years of service with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS). Ms. Ward was the recipient of the Council for Educational Change’s $10,000 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award in 2009. She has been affiliated with the Council since 2001, as principal of Biscayne Gardens Elementary - a PASS© program school. After a successful PASS partnership, Biscayne Gardens Elementary became a PASS demonstration school in 2005.
Ms. Ward has participated in many of the programs offered at CEC such as: PASS, Executive PASS©, Florida Leadership Academy© (where she was the recipient of a scholarship sponsored by the Deborah Nathansohn Foundation), SP Snapshot™, New/Beginning Teacher Development and Retention through Wachovia, Accelerated School Administrator Program© (ASAP), Florida School Report©, and the Principal Portal©.
Ms. Ward has enjoyed an exemplary career within MDCPS. She has also served as a member of the City of Miami Gardens Education Council. Valerie is looking forward to the next phase of her career including consulting in the South Florida area, traveling and serving in ministry. The Council family wishes her the best of luck in all her future endeavors.
- Russell and Joannie Newton are the recipients of the 2012 Children’s Champion Award. Over the past eight years, they have embraced the children of Jacksonville through their support of the PASS program at S.A. Hull Elementary, Reynolds Lane Elementary, and Carter G. Woodson Elementary School of the Medical Arts. The Newtons have given generously to non-profit organizations with the goal of improving educational opportunities for economically disadvantaged children and their families in the Jacksonville area. They have also given of their time with the hope that the personal attention will supplement their material gifts.
- Dr. Elaine Liftin, President and Executive Director of the Council for Educational Change, has been selected for membership in the prestigious Hunter College Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place in May in New York City. Dr. Liftin is being recognized for her tremendous contributions to improving education in Florida.
New Executive PASS partnerships include: North Miami Middle – Principal Alberto Iber and business partner, Dao Jun Hauptman of John Hancock Financial Network; Homestead Senior – Principal Cory Rodriguez and business partner, Dr. James Watson of Miami Dade College–Homestead Campus; Miami Jackson Senior – Principal Julian Cazanas, Jr. and business partner Maria Soledad Bodero of Boyd-Jenerette, P.A.; West Miami Middle – Principal Dr. Colleen Del Terzo and business partner, John Navarro of Publix Super Markets–Store #00044; Phillis Wheatley Elementary – Principal Catalina Flor and business partner Jose Cruz of John Hancock Financial Network; Kelsey Pharr Elementary – Principal Yvonne Perry and business partner Steve Richards of CES-Miami, LLC.
Update on Council Programs…
- Building school culture, a PASS focus area, for Franklin Boys Preparatory Middle Magnet has been especially powerful this year as the journey of a single gender school began. Principal John Haley has utilized the support of PASS business mentor, Chuck Blumenkamp and PASS coach Brenda Nolte in team building, communications and student achievement initiatives. The series of trainings that Mr. Blumenkamp provided for support staff was truly appreciated. Mr. Haley is proud of his staff as they support their students who engage in quarterly achievement and character competitions through middle school house (team) divisions at Franklin. The incentives and quarterly trophy, provided through PASS, have added an extra spark to the positive competition. Franklin was also selected to participate in the recent Florida State Fair in Tampa. The theme for their booth was "Men of Distinction". This PASS model is sponsored through the Betty and Phillip Casey Family Fund within the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
- PASS program school Hialeah Elementary, hosted a Parent Academy focusing on the importance of Health Care, especially for women. The school and community have become involved with a research project through the University of Miami focusing on cervical and colon cancer preventives. Carolina Naveiras is the principal and Emma Webb is the Community Involvement Specialist.
- Golden Glades Elementary hosted its second annual SWAT (Science With a Twist) Night on February 29th, for more than 200 parents, students, and community stakeholders. The evening’s festivities included a display of the students' science projects, presentations by NASA and the Department of Agriculture. FCAT strategies were introduced, and hands-on activities were experienced by all. Theron Clark is the principal, Dr. Paul Zimmerman is the CEO, and Dr. Geneva Woodard is the Coach of this PASS school.
- FCAT preparation is continuous in schools. PASS schools like Rutherford High in Bay County cite afterschool tutoring two days a week, and Saturday school, as valuable preparation components. A number of PASS schools like S.A. Hull Elementary in Duval County include spirited FCAT pep rallies to release stress and increase excitement prior to testing along with their many achievement activities.
- After spending a day walking in the shoes of Hialeah High School Principal Dr. Verena Cabrera as part of the Principal for a Day program, Hialeah Hospital CEO Ralph Aleman gained a firsthand look at the issues facing educators on a daily basis. With all of the challenges public schools are facing, the hospital wanted to lighten the load just a bit for Hialeah High, in albeit a small but meaningful way. One classroom’s floor was in disarray, so as a special gift, the hospital’s environmental department came into the school after hours to refinish the floor. Not only was the classroom teacher surprised and grateful, but the students noticed the difference as well.
- Executive PASS Principal Lino Rodriguez of Grand Avenue Primary Learning Center shared breakfast and a great big thank you with Rollins College business partner Pam Woodley for the wonderful school supplies provided for the first semester of school.
- Eighteen high schools across the United States have been chosen to launch the prestigious and rigorous AP Cambridge Capstone Program designed to equip high school students with stronger research and writing skills, as well as teamwork and critical thinking. Of the four schools selected from Miami-Dade, two are Executive PASS schools: Miami Southridge Senior - Principal Dr. David Moore, business partner Charles Casanave of Data Access Worldwide; and Barbara Goleman Senior - Principal Joaquin Hernandez and business partner Eddy Barea of Ibiley Uniforms. Our congratulations to both schools for receiving this honor.
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