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June 17, 2003

Frances Marine
Press Secretary
(850) 245-0413

State Board of Education Member Dr. Linda Eads Returns From Military Visit

ORLANDO — Dr. Linda Eads, a member of the State Board of Education, returned to Florida this week after participating in the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Civilian Orientation Conference (JCOC 66) from June 7-14, 2003. Dr. Eads visited military bases in England, Germany, Italy, and Georgia where she had an opportunity to speak to service personnel about international terrorism, military life, education, and factors impacting families.

"Change, education and leadership were consistently addressed and observed during the week," said Eads. "As a State Board Member and educator, I clearly see how education and the ability to read continually impacts the world."

The program began in Washington, D.C., where Eads was met and briefed by Defense Department leaders including Assistant Defense Secretary Wolfsberg, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Myers, and other senior military and civilian officials. The JCOC team traveled by military aircraft. They also flew on helicopters used in Operation Iraqi Freedom to reach seagoing vessels in the Mediterranean Sea simulating interdiction exercises.

Eads and the rest of the JCOC team saw soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen in action, and had the opportunity to learn more about military intelligence, day-to-day military operations, and leadership activities of being a service member. This conference was initiated in 1948 by Secretary Forestal and is the Department's premier civic leader program. Forty-five U.S. citizens are selected from hundreds of candidates nominated by military commands worldwide.

Eads, whose school-community programs and partnerships have earned national recognition, is known as a hands-on member of the State Board of Education. A dedicated administrator and teacher in private and public schools as well as an administrator in three universities, Dr. Eads works closely with governments, universities, scientific agencies, and major corporate leaders throughout the country. Today, Dr. Eads will continue her work with the State Board of Education in Orlando, where the board will visit a local summer reading camp before convening to discus a number of issues, including assistance to failing schools, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), and implementation of recently passed legislation.