March 2012 Update

A Turn on Fashion

Who hasn’t seen the trend with our youth walking around with their pants sagging below the waist exposing their undergarments? This sight is so bothersome that communities across the nation are compelled to enforce legislation against sagging pants. The problem with enforcing this type of legislation is the risk of violating an individual’s constitutional civil right of expression.  How can you fairly and justifiably enforce laws against people for sagging their pants while allowing others to freely express their views through speech and dress? It has already been stated that the enforcement of such legislations will bring forth law suits and public outcry.

Henry Petithomme, a South Florida financial service leader with John Hancock Financial Network and CEO of the Youth Power Movement (YPM), has decided to take on a more positive approach. As an organization and an affiliate of the Council for Educational Change Executive PASS Program, YPM has already implemented its vision of a true “Pull Your Pants Up” campaign in several of Miami Dade County Public Schools under the Education Transformation Office (ETO). The "Pull Your Pants Up" campaign is an eight week workshop geared toward building leadership qualities. The campaign incorporates topics that range from politics, business, etiquette and everyday walks of life. The program is founded on the concepts of volunteerism and mentorship. Many students and school staff have found the program to be a unique and interesting concept introduced to the school system. The program has grabbed the attention of many including ex Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway who has worked closely with the organization.

Executive PASS© business partner David Lombardi, Lombardi Properties, donated bikes to Jose De Diego Middle during the first two quarters of the school year for an Attendance Bike Rally. Principal Yaset Fernandez credits these incentives for the school’s rise in attendance to Most Improved in all Miami-Dade schools.

Congratulations are in order for two of our PASS© schools in Hillsborough County, Leto High School (alumni PASS) and Cypress Creek Elementary (current PASS). Walter Balzer at Leto High and Wayne Stinnard at Cypress Creek Elementary are two of the five finalists for the Ida S. Baker Diversity Educator of the Year Award. PASS funds were used to support additional English Language Learner teacher collaboration this year at Leto High.

The Cypress Creek Elementary PASS team members meet regularly and spend quality time working on PASS focus areas.  The recent University of Miami monitoring report process provided additional reflection and discussion topics.  The Cypress Creek PASS model is sponsored through the Hazel P. Bryson Fund within the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.  Principal Roy Moral and PASS coach Dr. Mary Knox value the insights and support of business mentors Evelyn Lunsford and CEC Board Chair Gene Marshall.

New Executive PASS partnerships include:  Dr. Henry Mack/West Little River Elementary - Principal Martha Harris and Partner Vladimir Magloire, Adrenaline Fitness; Allapattah Middle – Principal Humberto Miret and Business Partner Favio Taborda of John Hancock Financial Services; Lenora Braynon Smith Elementary – Principal Dr. Earl Burth and Partner Jose Cruz of John Hancock Financial Services; Miami Southridge Senior – Principal Dr. David Moore and Partner Charles Casanave of Data Access Worldwide; Miami Carol City Senior – Principal Ja Marv Dunn  and Partner Marilyn Footman with Wells Fargo.

PASS© and Executive PASS© are the Council’s signature mentoring programs. Visit "Our Programs" for more information.


Spotlight On Miami Northwestern

Twelve members of the faculty and administration of Miami Northwestern Senior High (MNW) traveled to Chicago for a visit to Gary Comer College Prep, an innovative charter school that has had tremendous success with the same representative demographics that exist at MNW. Participants spent two days at the school meeting with the staff there and came away with some of the best practices that could be replicated. They have formed a working group as a result of the meeting and hope to have some major innovations in place for next year.

Executive PASS Partner, Art Noriega, CEO of the Miami Parking Authority, raised $6,000 to help fund the trip. Gary Comer College Prep has had tremendous success with setting students up to not only be accepted into prestigious colleges and universities, but to prosper in their undergraduate studies and graduate from college. The school was chosen for two reasons; first, because of its incredible academic results and college ready culture, and second, because the student body that attends Gary Comer College Prep shares the same representative demographics as MNW.

Principal Wallace Aristide commented, “the biggest outcome that was learned from the Chicago trip was the power of high expectations. Everyone expected each and every student to excel, the community, the staff, the students, the parents, and every stakeholder that was involved in that school had incredible expectations. In essence, failure was not an option and this is something we strive for daily at Miami Northwestern. This trip showed us that if we continue on our current path, our students will reach or exceed our wildest expectations.”

 Council News….

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Rodrigo Halaby, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of One Laptop Per Child, and John S. & James L. Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen presented 525 laptops - one per child – to the students of Holmes Elementary. The idea is to spark their curiosity for new ways of learning.

The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Graylyn Swilley Woods, Executive Director of the Visitor Industry Council, with an Outstanding Community Service Award as part of their Black History Month Celebration. Ms. Woods is an Executive PASS business partner with Miami Norland, Booker T. Washington, and Miami Northwestern Senior High Schools.

Enid Valdez, 2011 Leonard Miller Principal Award winner, and Principal of Piper High School was a finalist for Broward Principal of the Year. In addition, Susan Leon-Leigh of Coral Springs High (an Executive PASS participant) was also a finalist.  Also, Joseph Vallone of Plantation High School (Executive PASS) was a finalist for Teacher of the Year. The Caliber Award event was held on March 1, at the Signature Grand.

Arcola Lake Elementary has been awarded $5,000 for the Miami Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. The funds will be utilized to involve faculty, staff and students in activities to include exercising, healthy food/snacks, and a comprehensive health fair.

The Council for Educational Change has received a grant for $396,760 from the FLDOE for the development and delivery of an elite Commissioner's Leadership Academy. This is a statewide activity which will identify outstanding principals who are making a difference in student achievement. The Academy will capture their successful strategies and prepare them to share their best practices.


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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 • 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 • Dr. Akshay Desai
Edward W. Easton* • T. Willard Fair* • 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* • Beth G. Martinez* • Jeffrey Miller • Sue Miller • Robert A. Morris Jr.* • Robert Moss • Beau Parrillo • Fred F. Pezeshkan
Andrew S. Rosen • Peter S. Rummell* • Steven J. Saiontz • Michael Scheck* • Roger Slade • Elliott Stern* • Steven J. Uhlfelder
Keith T. Ward • Steven Wasserman • Lynne Wines • Dr. Paul Zimmerman • Robert A. Zinn     *Life Trustees
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MAR 2012 Update.pdf180.38 KB