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Press Release

Friday, June 14, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Florida Businesses Honored for Their Innovative Support of Public Education

Tallahassee, Fla., June 14, 2013 - More than 80 Florida businesses and organizations throughout the state were recognized last night in Tampa at the 2013 Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards ceremony. The awards program honors innovative public-private partnerships that support educational achievement in Florida public schools.

"Business partnerships provide wonderful opportunities for students to excel at every level and are a tremendous benefit to our public schools," said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. "They represent the important link between education and the workforce and I can't thank them enough for their unwavering support of education in our state."

The awards reception, hosted by Commissioner Bennett, was held as part of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents and the Florida School Boards Association joint conference. The Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards are administered by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Foundation to encourage successful alliances within the business community and among local school districts for the benefit of Florida's students. Sponsors of the 2013 awards program are Wells Fargo, Florida Trend, Mosaic, Publix Super Markets Charities and Microsoft.

"We are honored to recognize the businesses throughout Florida that support student achievement and success in our public schools," said Education Foundation Chairman Dominic M. Calabro. "Their contributions are beyond measure in the ways they make our students' education relevant to a successful future and economic prosperity."

Highlights of exemplary education partnerships across the state are below.

  • Condee Farm in Broward County supports students by providing an on-site location for hands-on learning. Students enrolled in the West Broward High School Veterinary Assisting Program have the chance to complete their 300 hours of on-site learning and 200 in-class hours at the farm in order to receive their industry certifications. The farm offers students the chance to gain experience with medical, physiological and nutritional care of animals.
  • Century Correctional Institution in Escambia County has partnered with several schools in the district to build positive relationships between officers and students. Officers have adopted classrooms, visited monthly to eat lunch with students and are working to debunk the negative stigma attached to law enforcement. The institution has also donated bikes, initiated clothing drives and provided labor to spruce up area schools.
  • Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee County has been working for more than four decades to impact the lives of youth in their community. The club has awarded nearly $100,000 in college scholarships and more than $20,000 in teacher grants throughout the duration of the partnership. In addition to the major financial contributions the club makes, each year club members donate school supplies and food to youth enrolled in the local Department of Juvenile Justice program.
  • Florida Airmotive, Inc. in Palm Beach County is helping students soar by establishing an aerospace program at Boynton Beach Community High School. The Boynton Aerospace Science Academy was born when the owner of Florida Airmotive, Inc. partnered with the school's principal and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Each year students have access to an old Cessna 310, gas, a free plane docking rental and free use of a hangar for fundraisers. In addition, they get hands-on experience performing annual plane inspections, making repairs to planes at the airport and 10 hours of free flying instructions with a certified flight instructor. The partnership also allows a number of students to graduate with one or more years of college credits and scholarships to Embry Riddle.
  • Ford Next Generation Learning (Ford NGL) in Pinellas County works with Clearwater High School's curriculum and course offerings each year to offer more learning opportunities to students. The school has designated four career-themed academies that offer content-specific certifications. Through the partnership, each academy has multiple certification options for students. The certification tests are fully funded through Ford NGL.

To learn more about the recognition program and to view a list of awarded businesses and organizations, visit Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards.