January 2015 Update

January 2015

Leadership in Education Award…

On February 5, 2015, the Council for Educational Change will host its inaugural Leadership in Education Award dinner. Diana Diaz from Channel 7, WSVN-TV will preside as the Council honors Alonzo Mourning for his commitment to education. Mr. Mourning has donated time, resources and talent to improving education in Miami-Dade. The event will be held at the Trump National Doral.
For sponsorship and ticket information, please contact Maria Mesa at (954) 727 – 9909.


How does a College influence the quality of education in its community? If the College is Miami-Dade College, one way is by participating in the Council for Educational Change’s Executive PASS program. Six of the campuses are part of the program and offer a wide variety of services to their partner schools. In addition to the mentoring of the school’s principal, the campuses also are involved in other activities such as offering dual enrollment classes (some actually at the high school), use of the campus facilities and laboratories, field trips to the College campus so that students can experience what it would be like to be a college student, and mentoring activities – just to name a few. While the partnership activities vary among the different campuses, they all share one commonality. In every instance, the principal of the partnering school says that the experiences are not only meaningful and productive, they help to improve student achievement.

The first campus to initiate a partnership was the Hialeah Campus where the business partner is Dr. Ana Maria Bradley-Hess with both Westland-Hialeah Senior High and the City of Hialeah Educational Academy. The North Campus representative is Dr. Malou Harrison who partners with three schools: Brentwood Elementary, North Miami Beach Senior High, and Jose Marti MAST 6 – 12 Academy. James Watson represents the Homestead Campus, and is partnered with Homestead Senior High.  From the Inter-American Campus, Dr. Lourdes M. Perez partners with Miami Senior High and Coral Gables Senior High. Dr. Michelle Thomas and Dr. Victor Vazquez-Hernandez, both from the Wolfson Campus, are partnered with Booker T. Washington and Miami-Jackson Senior High Senior High schools. The Kendall Campus, with Dr. Lourdes Aroza, is partnered with John A. Ferguson Senior High.


  • Congratulations go out to Hillsborough County's Superintendent, MaryEllen Elia, who was named 2015 Superintendent of the Year by her peers across the state. Senator Bill Montford, who also runs the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, rated Elia as one of the top 10 district chief executives in the country. She leads the nation's eighth-largest school district.
  • PASS principal Kenneth Hart from Monroe Middle has been promoted to Principal at Alonzo High School in Hillsborough. Mr. Hart was one of the Gold Medallion finalists for the 2014 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award. He moved the school grade at Monroe Middle from a “D” to a “B”.
  • Congratulations to Carver Middle School in Palm Beach County as the Council for Educational Change’s newest PASS school. The Business Partner is the City of Delray Beach and Lula Butler, Director of Community Involvement will be the liaison. The Principal is Kiwana Alexander-Prophete and the PASS coordinator is Dr. Geneva Woodard. Jeffrey Rubin from It’s Sugar is the CEO for the partnership.


This is the concluding semester of the Helios funded middle school STEM initiative in Hillsborough County. The first weekend of December, the schools teams met to review the lessons that have been developed in the areas of math and science integration. The workshop was conducted by Larry Plank, the district’s subject area supervisors. The district funded stipends for teachers who attended, and the entire departments at participating schools were invited. The plan is for the district to phase in their funding of the project and its expansion to the remainder of the middle schools in the district.

PASS and Executive PASS….

  • New Executive PASS partnerships in Miami-Dade include: Allapattah Middle – Principal Bridget McKinney and Business Partner, Gerard Darang of First Investors Corporation; James H. Bright/ J.W. Johnson Elementary – Principal Claudine Winsor and Business Partner, Serafin Blanco of Que Barato Stores; North Dade Middle – Principal Fabrice Laguerre, Business Partner, Rhonda Wimberly of Turner Construction; Pine Villa Elementary – Principal Renita Lee, Business Partner Fernando Pabon of Liaison Financial Solutions; Lenora B. Smith Elementary – Principal Dr. Contessa Bryant, and Business Partner Mike Hill of Marlins Ayudan.
  • Great partnerships are evolving in Pinellas County as part of the Executive PASS program. Steve Allen, owner of iDatix, and Business Partner for Kings Highway Magnet School for Innovation & Digital Learning did a presentation at the Great American Teach In. His personal story of his challenges in school as a learning disabled child and how his passion for technology and robotics helped drive his love of learning was powerful. He even took students outside so he could fly the drone he built. The children (and adults) all loved it! This presentation is also serving as a build up to the Robotics Club he is helping to sponsor as a part of the school’s grant objectives.
  • The City of Dunedin sent out a "call to action" blast in all of their communications to encourage volunteering at Dunedin Elementary. On November 13, there was a "call to action" meeting at Dunedin Elementary, which is partnered with the City as part of the Pinellas Executive PASS program. The meeting was attended by the city manager, Rob DiSpirito and Mayor Elect, Julie Ward Buljaski. Prospective volunteers were welcomed and a presentation was made regarding Dunedin Elementary.
  • On December 2nd, Business Partners and Principals met to establish partnerships in Duval County. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has contracted with the Council for Educational Change to bring the program to the district. Approximately 35 partnerships will be established. Facilitator Francis Gupton will ensure that all partnerships will have the required plans which include measurable metrics.
  • Twelve Nielsen volunteers came together to make an uncommon impact on future citizens attending Belleair Elementary in Pinellas County. The Nielsen volunteers spent half a day teaching students about 'Our Community', a Junior Achievement lesson that covered topics including the importance of various jobs in the community, why we pay taxes, and how decisions are made through voting. Students were excited to get insight into the grownup world as they learned key concepts and participated through fun games.


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 2015 Update.pdf155.97 KB