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Press Release

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

New State School Improvement Experts Eager to Build on Progress of their Predecessors

~ District and school leaders receive support from a new crop of Regional Executive Directors ~

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s successful school improvement program, Differentiated Accountability (DA), is poised to continue the progress it has achieved over the last three years through the introduction of a new team of five Regional Executive Directors (REDs). Through the DA program, each RED, along with their team of instructional specialists, works in partnership with district and school leadership to support local school improvement efforts. The new REDs bring with them a wealth of expertise, each possessing direct experience in moving challenged schools forward academically.

“This new team of REDs is backed by a wealth of experience, high-octane energy and an urgency to do this work that will undoubtedly result in serious positive changes for thousands of our students,” said Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith. “They have already hit the ground running, working with local officials and educators quickly to emphasize a collaborative approach to school improvement where assistance is tailored to meet the needs of individual classrooms and schools.”

Under the Differentiated Accountability program, schools are placed into six categories based on their state-assigned letter grade, percentage of federal proficiency requirements met, and the number of years they have failed to meet those requirements. Support provided to these schools varies, depending on the amount of improvement needed. Some examples of support services include assistance in school-wide planning, leadership development, teacher training, curriculum development, and data analysis.

The new REDs are:

  • Region I - Mr. Fred Heid has held various teacher, assistant principal and principal positions throughout Sarasota and Orange counties. While serving as principal at Liberty Middle School, he was able to successfully transform the school’s culture and academic performance by moving the school from a “C” to an “A.” Mr. Heid also improved proficiency rates in reading, math, and science while at Memorial Middle School.
  • Region II - Dr. Gina Eyerman has more than 25 years of experience in education. She has transitioned from a classroom teacher to an Area Director of School Improvement responsible for supervising 25 schools in Broward County. Dr. Eyerman is a proven principal recognized by Florida as a “Turn-Around Principal” for her work at Fort Lauderdale High School by improving her school’s grade from a “D” to a “B.”
  • Region III - Kathryn Shuler has served Orange County Public Schools for the past 22 years in various roles as a classroom teacher, dean, assistant principal and principal. Her most recent accomplishment includes leading a school in reform from a school letter grade of an “F” to an “A”, making 100 percent AYP.
  • Region IV - Ms. Julene Mohr brings 17 years of education experience to her position. Most recently, she served as the Region IV Mathematics Instructional Specialist where she was instrumental in raising student achievement in mathematics at her targeted schools.
  • Region V - Dr. Deedara Hicks returns to the REDs team after serving as the regional executive director of Region III. Dr. Hicks supported eight school districts, all earning 500 or more points and maintaining a district grade of "A" or "B". She began as a teacher and has assumed multiple leadership roles including Assistant Principal, Language Arts Supervisor, Principal, and Director of Effective Schools Program in Broward County.