September 2013 Update

September 2013


  • Council board members Robert Zinn and Roger Slade have relocated and are with other law firms. We congratulate Robert Zinn on his new position at Carlton Fields, and Roger Slade on his new position at David B. Haber, PA.  We wish them both much success.
  • Sean Vennett is an exceptional young man. Not only is he a winner of a $250,000 scholarship from the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund, but he also is now an Eagle Scout.
  • In a year when many schools have seen a serious drop in their school accountability grades, it is a cause for celebration when a school’s grade improves. Council board member, Charles Blumenkamp should be especially proud. Both schools where he serves as the business partner improved their grades on the 2013 FCAT. Congratulations to Principal John Haley and the staff at Franklin Middle Boys Preparatory Academy who raised their grade from a D in 2012 to a B in 2013. Kudos also go out to Principal Ken Hart and all of the staff at James Monroe Middle who improved their 2012 grade of D to a C in 2013. The PASS program is funded at Franklin Middle by the Phillip & Betty Casey Family Fund within the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, and at Monroe Middle by the Friends of MacDill Air Force Base, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, NorthStar Bank, Wellcare Community Foundation, TECO Energy Foundation, Financial Information Technologies, and Airlift Tanker Association.

Spotlight: Belleair Elementary Executive PASS Partnership
Principal Tabitha Griffin is excited to share all of the wonderful things that are happening at Belleair Elementary in Clearwater as a result of the school’s Executive PASS partnership with Nielsen. They have three major areas of focus: campus beautification and school pride; increased parental involvement to decrease attendance issues; and moral support for the staff. Thus far, Nielsen has supported:

  • painting the cafeteria and purchasing new televisions for the cafeteria
  • enlisting the services of their graphic arts department to create a new logo and posters with Belleair’s vision, mission, and school-wide expectations
  • designing inserts for the school communication folders
  • creating calendars to distribute to all students with the school’s information
  • assisting with the welcome back breakfast, giving welcome back goodie bags to teachers and staff
  • designing and purchasing two Belleair polo shirts for all staff members
  • assisting with Back to School/Open House (including renting chairs and fans, providing refreshments, renting a costume so that the school mascot could make an appearance, providing translators and gift card raffles for the parents and the students)
  • donating new furniture and lighting for the school’s cafeteria, and media center
  • sending representatives to participate with the SAC and PTA
  • donating 10 picnic tables for outside classrooms and spreading mulch around the campus
  • connecting Belleair with the American Heart Association to receive a $15,000 grant for the creation of a Teaching Garden

Partners email each other daily and have weekly meetings. Nielsen has created teams for each of the projects at Belleair. Nielsen will host a Professional Development Day on October 25th complete with lunch and gifts for the teachers.

Helios Academy:
The Helios Academy was held August 1- 3 in Sarasota to kick off the second year of the program. There were 112 attendees, representing 17 middle schools. This is an increase from the nine schools that participated last year. Teachers in the areas of math, science and technology, along with 22 school administrators participated in STEM related activities as well as the motivational presentation by nationally recognized speaker, David Weber. Dr. Stacy Carlson, the Helios Education Foundation Vice President and Program Director participated.  Four additional Saturday workshops are being scheduled for October, November, February, and May.

PASS© and Executive PASS©:

  • Nita Smith, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Suncoast, has raised over $4000 in donations for Melrose Elementary in Pinellas, to go toward student uniforms and school supplies. Every student at the school received a new Polo shirt at their August 16th Back To School Event. Last year the school had very few students and parents attend this event. Executive PASS partner, Nita Smith, wanted to find a way to get more parents to attend.
  • On August 13th, the teachers and staff at Baypoint Middle School in Pinellas enjoyed a "back to school" staff barbeque. Their business partner is Eckerd College and the CEO is Norm Smith. Executive PASS coordinator, Debbie Ramker, was able to assist the Principal by organizing with one of the parents at the school to get donations for the food, which was prepared by "Team Oink". Principal Jason Shedrick is delighted and excited to celebrate improving their school grade and to show his appreciation to teachers and staff for all their hard work.
  • Miami-Dade Executive PASS partnerships: Continuing partnerships at Miami Lakes K-8 Center with Principal Rosy Calvo and business partner Sarah Suarez and her new business affiliation, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; West Miami Middle with new principal, Katyna Lopez-Martin and partner John Navarro of Publix Super Market; and Miami Beach Senior with new principal, John Donohue and partner, Fernando Bravo of RGB Group, Inc. New partnerships at Scott Lake Elementary with Principal LaKesha W. Rochelle and partners Eddy Barea of Ibiley Uniforms and Cristal Cole of Foundation for Florida’s Future; William Turner Tech Senior with principal Lavette Hunter and Serge Louis of Mass Mutual; Kelsey Pharr Elementary with new Principal Dr. Carol Sampson and partner Steve Richards of CES-Miami, LLC; Westland Hialeah Senior with new Principal Giovanna Blanco and partner Ana Maria Bradley-Hess of Miami Dade College – Hialeah Campus; Miami Coral Park Senior with new Principal Alicia Hidalgo and partner Jose Felix Diaz of Akerman Senterfitt; and at Hialeah Senior with Principal Heriberto Sanchez and partner Raphael Lopez of LopezRoca, P.A.

$10,000 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award:
Each year, the Council for Educational Change presents the Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award to a principal who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, involved the parents and community, and raised the academic performance of the students. Raising the academic performance is not necessarily related to the school grade. It can be measured by such things as an increase in the graduation rate, the percentage of students in a grade level or subject area showing improvement, or in learning gains.
Applications are now being accepted for this prestigious award from all principals who have ever participated in a Council program. The application can be found on the Council’s website: The $10,000 award is presented to the principal for personal use.

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 • Charles B. Blumenkamp, Chair-Elect • 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 • 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


SEP 2013 Update.pdf133.95 KB