July 2016 Update

July 2016

Council is “Best of Miami”

The Council for Educational Change was named “Best of Miami” in the category of education by Miami Today. Barry Johnson, President and CEO of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, made the nomination. In his nomination he said, “The Council is transforming the educational landscape in Miami-Dade by helping school principals strengthen their leadership skills. An empowered principal who is a strong leader will run a successful school. Operating under that principle, the Council partners business executives with school principals, often in urban communities for one to three years.”

One example cited by Mr. Johnson was the partnership between Miami Northwestern Senior High Principal, Wallace Aristide and Miami Parking Authority CEO Arthur Noriega. “The school went from being a D/F school for 14 consecutive years to becoming an A/B school, and the graduation rate rose from 55% to 82%. At the same time, students went from barely securing college scholarships a few years ago to receiving more than $9 million in scholarship funding during the 2015 – 2016 school year.

Commissioner’s Leadership Academy Institutes

On June 14th, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart recognized approximately 150 graduates of the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy Institutes. Commissioner Stewart was joined by Chancellor of K-12 Public Schools, Hershel Lyons, Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality, Brian Dassler, and State Board of Education Member Andy Tuck. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Senior Program Director, Jason Graham.

Dr. Elaine Liftin, President and Executive Director of the Council for Educational Change, welcomed the graduates and district leaders to the ceremony. Principal Kristy Moody addressed the group on behalf of the graduates, while Dr. Emily Weiskopf from Clay County Schools spoke for the Facilitators in Training.

The ceremony marked the end of a rigorous year-long professional development program for principals, principal supervisors, and education leaders. The job-embedded and research-based program led by the University of Washington’s Center for Educational Leadership included three Institutes and five school site Learning Walks with a regional cohort.

The graduation reception was sponsored by State Farm. The Council’s Leadership Development programs are supported by the Carnival Foundation, Florida Blue, and Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc.

Spotlight: Miami Northwestern Senior High School, Miami-Dade

Highlights of the 2015-2016 School year

  • Received a $1 million grant to expand and improve health services offered
  • Jessie Trice Health Center and Florida International University School of Nursing operate a full service health center servicing the needs of students and the community
  • My Brother’s Keeper Initiative was launched by the White House at the school
  • Wind Ensemble- First time in ten years the Wind Ensemble received a superior rating
  • 40% of the student body has a 3.0 or above GPA
  • Corey Lane – awarded scholarship - US Air Force Academy Scholarship Valued at $400,000
  • Johannia Brown awarded a full scholarship to Mount Holyoke
  • 207 academic, athletic, and military scholarships totaling $9,555,798.68
  • Scholarships - $7 plus million in academics, $1 million in athletics, $1 million in arts
  • Students from NW’s CTE Automotive Program are working for Braman and General Motors

The Miami Northwestern (MNW) Senior High School TV Production ended its initial year with success. This was a part of the school’s PASS program, funded by the Himan Brown Charitable Trust. The Eyes on Your Mission Academy (EOYM) was launched to create a unique opportunity for the Performing and Visual Arts Center (PAVAC) Television/Film Students of Miami Northwestern. This venture came as a result of The Education Effect, a partnership between Florida International University’s Communication/Journalism Department and Miami Northwestern's PAVAC Film Department. Dr. Moses Shumow and Miriam King have collectively worked to offer greater levels of exposure to communications, journalism, filmmaking and marketing through the Media Arts. Undergraduates in Dr. Shumow's Cornerstone class are preparing for post-graduate careers in Media Arts, and have used this opportunity to mentor MNW students.


  • FIU College students have 'adopted' younger friends that they can share their knowledge and field experience 
  • MNW students have been immersed in a field of study that opens doors for endless opportunities
  • MNW students now have pre-collegiate, professional experience upon which they can market and build

Downtown Doral’s PASS© Program
Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School’s (DDCES) inaugural year was filled with successes both in and out of the classroom. The first day of school began with Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and other school board members touring the school. Since then, DDCES has shown off its state of the art facility and talented teaching to former Governor Jeb Bush, Council Members from the City of Doral and Miami-Dade, Congressman Mario Diaz Balart, and more than 300 prospective parents.

The DDCES family has opened its doors to the community through events such as the Dedication Ceremony, Winter Wonderland, Breakfast with Santa, Cat in the Hat Celebration, after school care show case, talent show, and elaborate events showcasing global learning through the Hispanic Heritage, Brazilian Heritage, and World Fair festivities. Instrumental to the school’s success are the partnerships established with the community including more than 8,000 hours of service donated to the school by the parents.

Students’ growth, both academically and globally, is a source of pride. Instilling leadership in students is a priority for DDCES. Second and third graders are the core of numerous programs, including the Student Ambassadors and Global Singers.

DDCES Cheerleaders performed at the first Miami Heat playoff game. Kids for Kids spearheaded efforts to raise more than $2000 for the community and led drives for food, toys, school supplies, toiletries, and clothing. The DDCES News Team reports the school news daily and has interviewed several of the dignitaries who have visited the school.

Academically, students have soared. Learners new to the English language are now not only speaking their new language, but reading and writing as well. Students in the Spanish program were honored with the Cervantes Award for Excellence in Spanish Education, and Portuguese students participated in Guincana from Focus Brazil.

Third graders have outshined their peers in local schools. Eighty-two percent of the students scored a 3 or above on the FSA ELA exam, establishing DDCES as the 11th highest score in the district and second of all schools in the city of Doral.

On the Math FSA, stellar results were also reported: 86% of DDCES scored a 3 or above establishing DDCES with 12th highest score in the district.

A printable version of the Update is available for download below.

Council for Educational Change Board....Florida's Educational Think Tank
Steven Wasserman, Interim Chair • Dr. Elaine Liftin, President and Executive Director
Founder, Leonard Miller
Andrew L. Ansin* • Philip F. Blumberg • Columba Bush* • Ambassador Charles E. Cobb Jr.*
Scott A. Curtis* • Diane Davis* • Edward W. Easton* • Dorothy Eisenberg • T. Willard Fair*
Edward T. Foote, II* • Karen Fryd • Karnardo Garnett, Esq. • Dr. Robert W. Graham, III • Steven T. Halverson*
Lori R. Hartglass • Cyrus M. Jollivette* • Jonathan I. Kislak • Joseph E. Mahoney, Jr. • Daniel W. Mahurin*
Gene E. Marshall • Brad Martin • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller
Arthur Noriega V • Harold E. Patricoff • Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell*
Steven J. Saiontz • Ned Shandloff* • Steven J. Uhlfelder • Scott Ulvi
Joe G. Weaver • Lynne Wines* • Paul Zimmerman, MD    *Life Trustees
3265 Meridian Parkway Suite 130 Weston, FL 33331 phone: 954.727.9909 fax: 954.727.0990 www.ChangeEducation.org
JUL 2016 Update.pdf159.09 KB