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Press Release

Friday, September 16, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Finalists Named for Second Annual District Data Leader of the Year Award Program

~ Five superintendents recognized for their commitment to using data to improve student outcomes ~

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson today announced five school district superintendents as this year's finalists for the second annual District Data Leader of the Year Award Program. Each of the finalists was chosen based on their exemplary leadership in using data to increase student achievement within their school district.

"Data continues to be an essential tool in our work to improve classroom instruction and drive the academic achievement of our students to higher levels," said Commissioner Robinson. "I am honored to recognize these five outstanding leaders for embracing that concept and working creatively to build a culture of data usage that complements and informs the educational process."

This year's finalists and a short description of their data accomplishments are as follows:

  • Supt. MaryEllen Elia from Hillsborough County gathered stakeholder input to build customized school- and district-level performance scorecards and a comprehensive data dashboard that integrates existing longitudinal district and state data for students, teachers, and principals into a single, secure, user-friendly interface.
  • Supt. Alberto Carvalho from Miami-Dade County spearheaded a Data Assessment & Technical Assistance/Coordination of Management (DATA/COM) process to monitor the immediate operational needs of the district's most struggling schools and was able to deploy resources to deal with critical issues in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Supt. Alexis Tibbetts from Okaloosa County fostered a district-wide system of data access and usage for all levels of administrative and instructional staff. From systematically incorporating student information systems via web interfaces and training literacy coaches to thoroughly analyze student data, schools are able to interpret and diagnose learning needs for each student.
  • Supt. Joseph Joyner from St. Johns County helped the district put programs in place that encourage systematic collection of student data for the purpose of guiding instruction and increasing student achievement. The data is used by principals, teachers and students to guide decision-making with the goal of improving the success of students and schools.
  • Supt. Michael Lannon from St. Lucie County established policies that set the stage for implementation of clearly defined curricular and performance standards, leading to the acquisition of the Learning Village curriculum management system. This system serves as a comprehensive repository of tagged digital assets that are aligned with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Common Core State Standards, including curriculum and instructional resources.

Established by the Department of Education's Division of Accountability, Research and Measurement, the District Data Leader of the Year Award Program recognizes school district leaders for their critical role in supporting and encouraging the use of data, and in communicating data's relevance to teachers, administrators, parents, students and other education stakeholders. A selection committee will interview the five regional finalists and announce the statewide District Data Leader of the Year winner on Oct. 19, 2011, during a special celebration in Tallahassee.

For more information about the District Data Leader of the Year Award Program, visit