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May 11, 2004

Frances Marine or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Horne Announces New "Back to the Classroom" Substitute Teaching Initiative
Top Department of Education officials, including Horne, to serve as substitute teachers in Tallahassee public schools

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner Jim Horne today announced a new substitute teaching initiative, dubbed "Back to the Classroom," where he and other top officials will serve as substitute teachers on a regular basis. Horne, K12 Public Schools Chancellor Jim Warford, Community Colleges Chancellor David Armstrong, and Universities Chancellor Debra Austin will begin substitute teaching in Leon County Public Schools tomorrow. Leon County Schools Superintendent Bill Montford, who helped facilitate the initiative, will also serve as a substitute. Governor Jeb Bush informed teachers of the initiative in an e-mail during Teacher Appreciation Week last Tuesday.

"There is no better way to understand the issues facing Florida teachers than stepping into their shoes — not on a school visit — but by picking up their lesson plans and taking their students for an entire school day," said Commissioner Horne. "I am excited about the opportunity to connect directly with students, while confronting some of the challenges our teachers deal with every day."

"Back to the Classroom" will begin on Wednesday, May 12 and participation will be as follows:

  • Commissioner Jim Horne will substitute for Mrs. McMahon's 4th grade class at Ruediger Elementary School

  • K12 Public Schools Chancellor Jim Warford will substitute for Mrs. Towey's 10th grade English class at Leon High School

  • Community Colleges Chancellor David Armstrong will substitute for Mrs. Erickson's Vocational Training Class at the Everhart School

  • Universities Chancellor Debra Austin will substitute for Mrs. Riblett's K-1 class at Bond Elementary School

  • Leon County Schools Superintendent Bill Montford will substitute for Mrs. Goodman's 10th grade Mathematics class at Rickards High School

"Florida's teachers are committed to helping all of our students achieve," said Chancellor Warford. "It is an honor to rejoin their ranks."