December 2013 Update

December 2013

Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award…

Sue Miller hosted the 11th Annual award luncheon on Nov. 14th at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center. The winner of $10,000 was Adolfo Costa of Coral Gables Senior High in Miami-Dade. The Gold Medallion finalists and winners of $5,000 each were Kyle Dresback of Allen B. Nease High in St. Johns County and Robert McCue of South Lake High School in Lake County.

Adolfo Costa implemented the Florida Continuous Model for all students to include all students and adjust the learning focus to meet their needs.

Under his leadership:

  • the school has received three “A” grades
  • 811 students are enrolled in dual enrollment classes
  • Increased the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement to 1148
  • Increased the percentage of passing exams from 49% to 59

Kyle Dresback introduced a focus calendar and book study through a summer leadership retreat to address changing student demographics. 

Under his Leadership:

  • 73% of students received a 3 or above on Reading FCAT
  • 91% of students received a 3 or above on Math FCAT
  • 92% of students met the standard on Writing FCAT
  • 70% of students made learning gains in Reading

Robert McCue implemented a school wide initiative to have reading and writing across the curriculum which permeates the campus with teacher led professional development that model some of the best practices. 

Under his Leadership:

  • Increased percentage scoring 3 or above in Reading FCAT from 43 to 52
  • Increased percentage of lowest 25% in reading showing growth from 42 to 53
  • High school acceleration performance increased from 56% to 66%
  • Improved graduation rate from 77% to 83%


  • Raymond James Financial and Outback provided support for two Family Night activities at Mount Vernon Elementary in Tampa.  In addition to 50 volunteers and mentors, they provided gift cards for door prizes and for teachers who trained parents on third and fourth grade computer programs. Attendance incentives are also being provided. The Technology Department at Raymond James is providing technology support for the school.
  • Thanks to the generosity of PASS partner Dr. Gerald Glass, the students at Bunche Park Elementary have additional state-of-the-art technology. He has also ensured that students have supplemental small group instruction in reading and math by hiring additional part-time teachers, and provided educational materials for special needs classrooms. At the close of the 2013 school year, he provided and end of the year picnic for fifth grade students where they received a Target gift card to purchase school supplies and uniforms for middle school.

Executive PASS©…

  • New Executive PASS partnerships in Miami-Dade include: Parkway Middle – Principal Fabrice Laguerre and business partner Sonia Chess, The Chess Factor; South Hialeah Elementary – Principal Haydee Villanueva and business partner Rafael LaTorre, Office Xpress Supply; City of Hialeah Educational Academy – Principal Carlos Alvarez and business partner Eduardo Suarez, Mass Mutual Financial Group.
  • Valpak has an outstanding Executive PASS partnership with Skyview Elementary in Pinellas County where the company is supporting the 7000 Books Challenge. On November 16th, 500 kites were donated for the Kite Flying event – a celebration of students who read at least 10 books or the equivalent and their parents. VALPAK is also working with BIGS to recruit mentors for students.

Great News…

Commissioner’s Leadership Academy program school, Dunbar High in Lee County, was recently named a Microsoft® Mentor School. One of only six such schools in the United States, Dunbar joins the 74 schools worldwide who have achieved this prestigious designation. The Council for Educational Change extends our congratulations to Principal Carl Burnside and his school team.

Thank you to our 2013 Donors for their support...

It is through your support that we are able to deliver our programs to schools throughout the state of Florida. Together we are impacting communities and making a difference in the lives of students and educators. Thank you for allowing us to give every child the opportunity to succeed.

Alfred & Ida Kobacker

Arthur & Sara Jo Kobacker


Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP

Mr. Richard & Dr. Billie Birnie

Mr. Peter B. Bucholtz

Mr. Gary M. Carman

Carnival Cruise Lines

Mr. & Mrs. Gary Chartrand

Mr. & Mrs. Gary B. Clarke

Cobb Family Foundation

Committee for Economic Development

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Deborah L. Natansohn Foundation

Dr. Gail Quigley

Ms. Dorothy Eisenberg

Financial Information Technologies

Florida Blue

Dr. & Mrs. Edward T. Foote

Mr. & Mrs. Richard Finkelstein

Dr. Gerald Glass

Global Village Charitable Trust

Mr. & Mrs. Frank Guerro

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Hanson

Ms. Lori Hartglass

Ms. Tracey Jean Hastings

Himan Brown Charitable Trust

Helena Rubinstein Philanthropic Fund

Irving and Joan M. Bolotin Fund

Dr. Edward Iwanicki

JPMorgan Treasury Services

Mr. John Devaney

Jones Lang LaSalle

Ms. Helen M. Lane

Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children

Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Lewis

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Mr. Gene E. Marshall

Ms. Maria Mesa

Mrs. Sue Miller

Dr. John Moore

Mr. & Mrs. Russell B. Newton, Jr.

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Nemrow

Mrs. Joan W. Newton

Ms. Aileen Ortega

Mr. Roderick Petrey

Publix Super Markets Charities

Mrs. Toni Randolph

Raymond James Financial Services

Ms. Amelia Rendeiro

Mrs. Nancy Rodriguez

Ms. Hazel Rosen

Mr. Steven Saiontz

Sam W. Klein Charitable Foundation

Mrs. Raquel Selinger

Mr. Gabriel Selinger

Silbiger Family Foundation

Joan Peven Smith

South Florida Charities Inc.

South Florida Youth Foundation

Sterling Public Relations

Ms. Alina Taranco

TECO Energy Foundation

The Airlift Tanker Association

The WellCare Community Foundation

United Way Suncoast

University of Pennsylvania

Valerie B. Ward & Associates



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


December 2013.pdf403.05 KB