January 2014 Update

January 2014


Art Noriega, CEO of the Miami Parking Authority has been an Executive PASS© partner with Miami Northwestern Senior High since the 2007– 2008 school year. During that time he has been an overwhelming supporter of the school, students and staff. Each year he serves as a valued member of the school’s Advisory Committee and also served on the interview panel for the school’s football and basketball coach positions, and is currently assisting in securing championship rings for the girls’ track team.

Principal Wallace Aristide comments that Mr. Noriega is fully committed to the school and serves as a source of ideas for the principal. Over the past three years he has helped the school in securing a large number of “Teach for America” teachers for the school. This has changed the culture of the school, which is now an “A”. Mr. Noriega takes pride in providing internships for a number of the students at Northwestern.

Mr. Noriega sponsored a Senior Leadership retreat for members of the school’s Leadership Team. As a result, he also raised funding for a team of 12 to visit a charter school in Chicago with similar demographics. However, this school had a graduation rate of 98% and a college ready culture. The team has implemented a number of the best practices they observed.


  • Melrose Elementary students who made the Principal's List, were treated to a luncheon at 400 Seafood & Tap House in St. Petersburg. The students also received a free bicycle and bicycle helmet. The student achievement recognition event was made possible with the help of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast, which is Melrose Elementary’s Executive PASS partner.
  • New Executive PASS partnerships in Miami-Dade include:
    • Miami Northwestern Senior  – Principal Wallace Aristide and business partner Dr. Maria Lovett of The Education Effect, Florida International University;
    • Horace Mann Middle – Principal Leon Maycock and business partner Jay Bergel of ING Teachers Retirement;
    • James H. Bright Elementary – Principal Maritza Garcia and business partner Cary Muniz of Primerica;
    • Henry M. Flagler Elementary – Principal Zulema Lamazares and business partner Carlos Temperan of John Hancock Financial Network;
    • Miami Senior High – Principal Benny Valdes and business partner Dr. Lourdes Perez of Miami Dade College – InterAmerican Campus;
    • TERRA Environmental Research Institute – Principal Carrie Montano and business partner Jacky Carvajal of Wells Fargo. Ms. Montano is currently the Miami-Dade Principal of the Year.


  • Good news from the PASS partnership at Cypress Creek Elementary:
    • Third through fifth graders had a 64% passing rate (70% or above) on their nine week chapter exams. This is a 15% increase from the same time last year.
    • 850 parents attended the fall festival and 650 attended the report card pick-up night.
    • Nooks were purchased for ELL students to use.
    • Lunchtime includes science videos on the big screen! The audio technology has been enhanced and new videos are being added to the collection.
  • On December 3, PASS Principal Ken Hart and the staff at Monroe Middle in Hillsborough County welcomed officials from the school district, MacDill Air Force Base and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to share all of the outstanding programs underway at the school. One of the programs is the Student 2 Student program which is an induction for new students enrolling at the school. Students explained how successful the program has been, and honored George Howell who was responsible for bringing the program to the school. After the meeting, interested parties convened to discuss strategies for meeting the needs of students who move from school to school.
  • Principal Robert Ovalle and Emery Ivery, Regional President of United Way Suncoast have been active in the first few months of the Campbell Park Elementary PASS partnership. They have also formed a triad with Valerie White, PASS Coach and a former outstanding Pinellas principal of a PASS school sponsored by Raymond James. Jamie Toennies, Senior Director, United Way Suncoast has also been a big support to the initiative. Robert has involved educators at Campbell Park and community members in the PASS initiative. PASS objective activities are under way with increasing the percentage of students meeting reading standards through the use of guided reading and increasing math levels through the use of math instructional technology. Mr. Ovalle is also concerned about the less obvious needs of students, such as the need for glasses for students who do not have access to them. He recently reached out to a friend at Future Optics about donating lenses and the doctors at Eye Designs Vision, into giving the students free exams and two pairs of frames, one for school and one for home. Thirty six students now have glasses.


  • The Board of Trustees of the Council for Educational Change welcomes Charles B. Blumenkamp as its new Chairman!
  • Principal Owen Young, and the staff at Middleton High School have reason to be proud. The school has been identified by the U.S. Department of Education and the Doing What Works initiative as a school that has successfully engaged in a turnaround process and had significant gains in student achievement. The school will be featured on the School Turnaround Learning Community website. The purpose of the website is to share tools to enable educators and administrators to share school turnaround practices and lessons and facilitate networking to support schools more effectively. Owen Young is a participant in the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy. 


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 • 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
Gene E. Marshall • 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 www.changeeeducation.org


JAN 2014 Update.pdf134.1 KB