Spotlight on Annenberg Scholar: Natalie Antunez
Natalie Antunez is a young woman who will change the world – for the better! When staff at the Council first met her, she was a junior at Hialeah High School in Miami-Dade. At the request of the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund, the Council for Educational Change, assisted in crafting her application for a $250,000 scholarship. Her application was so impressive, she was one of five students nationally to receive this incredible scholarship which includes, tuition, room and board, a computer, and stipends for books and monthly expenses.
She is making the most of every opportunity available to her at her chosen school - Harvard. During her freshman year, she served as the freshman representative and treasurer for Latinas Unidas, took part in a Language, Culture, Gastronomy and Service Program in Lima, Peru, joined Delta Gamma Women’s Fraternity, and volunteered for an Alternative Spring Break Program at an urban farm in New Orleans. That following summer, she studied abroad in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain with the Harvard Summer School.
As a sophomore, Natalie joined the Mumbai delegation of the Harvard College in Asian Program, a two part conference held in Harvard in January and at St. Xavier’s in Mumbai in March. She was a Peer Advising Fellow for first year students living in Straus A – her freshman entryway the year prior. She also performed an Indian Folk/Regional dance at Ghungroo, Harvard’s largest student production, and participated in the Institute of Politics’ Women’s Initiative in Leadership Program. During the summer, she was an intern, alongside five other Harvard students, at the Maru-a-Pula School in Gaborone, Botswana.
During her just completed junior year, she returned to the Harvard College in Asia program, this time as a Foreign Delegation Representative to Istanbul. She also joined the Leverett House Committee as the Social Co-Chair. Natalie was most recently selected as a First-Year Outdoor Program (FOP) Leader and trained to lead a weeklong pre-orientation program for incoming freshmen in August.
Commissioner’s Leadership Academy Institutes
The final session of the Commissioner’s Leadership took place in Orlando on June 13 – 15. Approximately 180 participants have attended the sessions this year. Three of the sessions have been with the entire group, and there have been five Cohort sessions throughout the state during the year. The participants were divided into Cohorts of 10 – 15 based on their geographical location. During the walk through sessions, they observed actual classroom settings and participated in targeted feedback sessions under the direction of the Cohort leader, from the Center for Educational Leadership at the University of Washington.
An official graduation ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 14, conducted by the Florida Department of Education. Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart addressed the graduates. Brian Dassler, Deputy Commissioner of the Florida Department of Education closed the session.
The Commissioner’s Leadership Academy Institutes were generously sponsored by the Carnival Foundation, Florida Blue, Publix Super Markets Charities, and State Farm Insurance.
PASS© and Executive PASS©
Statewide Sponsors: Raymond James Financial and Publix Super Markets Charities
- Our most sincere appreciation to Raymond James for their ongoing statewide support of the Council's PASS and Executive PASS programs. Raymond James' employees are active volunteers at Mount Vernon Elementary, an Executive PASS program school. Thank You for ALL you do for students in the Greater Tampa Bay Region and throughout the State. Corporate leaders also drive the Lunch Pals program in the Tampa Bay Region. Raymond James is an exemplary corporate citizen, sincerely investing time, financial support, and, most importantly, human resources that benefit the community.
- Christine Hoffman has been appointed as the Principal of Campbell Park Elementary for the coming year. This experienced and dynamic administrator served as Assistant Principal for Robert Ovalle, who is now going to be the principal of Mt. Vernon Elementary. Christine shared her excitement about the new leadership opportunity and the chance to continue working with The United Way Suncoast as her PASS and Executive PASS business partner. A PASS transition meeting was recently held with PASS Coordinator Sherry Clarke, PASS Coach Sandy Leanes, Jamie Toennies, Senior Director Education Strategies United Way Suncoast, and Christine Hoffman participating. Emery Ivery, President of United Way Suncoast, looks forward to supporting Christine during her first year as a principal and the fourth transitional year of this valuable PASS partnership.
- The PASS partnership at Palm Beach’s Carver Middle School has become a real crowd pleaser. In conjunction with Jeff Rubin, CEO and Founder of IT'SUGAR, the students developed and market a gummy-bear lollipop, which the students named Carver's Gummypop. It took over a year, but when the candy was released for sale in the candy store, it became an instant success. It sells for $1.99 and has sold out, or is close to selling out in almost all the company's stores. The school will keep all profits. According to Mr. Rubin, "They are outselling traditional lollipops 2-to-1 and are among our top 10 items now."
- PASS partner Brian Butler, President of Vistra Communications and Principal Woodland Johnson are proud of Giovani Reyes, a Mort Elementary student and president of the C.A.S.A. Yellow House, on his selection as a Hillsborough School District Education is Key award winner. C.A.S.A., a school within a school model, is built on the four pillars of character, achievement, service and attendance. C.A.S.A. is one of the initiatives developed to support the school’s PASS plan focus areas. Giovani, along with a number of Mort Elementary students, also recently visited Vistra Communications and attended a Vistra Board meeting as a leadership experience. The support of the Mort PASS model by the Spurlino Foundation is making a positive impact at Mort Elementary!
- Magnet Schools of America recognized PASS School Ponce de Leon Middle with the School of Distinction Award. The school partners with the prestigious law firm of Holland and Knight. Congratulations to Principal Martha Chang and her staff.
- The Semi-Annual Executive PASS Networking Session in Miami-Dade was a resounding success. Principals and their business partners took time to meet at the Miami-Dade College – West Campus in Doral to share “what’s working.” It is wonderful to hear of the many exciting programs which are sponsored as a part of the program that enrich the academic programs and extra-curricular activities at the schools. It is such a positive program that all seven of the Miami-Dade campuses are partnered with schools, and all participated in the networking session. Thanks to Executive PASS Coordinator Boots Richards for a job well done.
- Thirty four schools in Pinellas County participate in the Executive PASS program. Principals from several low performing schools credited the initiative for implementing programs to improve school attendance and for launching mentoring programs. Lakisha Falana, principal at Maximo Elementary School in South St. Petersburg, recently partnered with architectural firm Harvard Jolly. She says the partnership is doing a good job of helping her provide needed resources to students. "It lets my kids know about career choices," she said. "It also lets them establish a rapport with our business partner as well as mentors that we will be picking up as a result of this partnership." Falana says the aim is to introduce students to career options they may not have been aware of.
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
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