July 18, 2008
Vol. 2, Issue 15
Teacher of the Year
The 20th annual Florida Department of Education/Macy's 2009 Teacher of the Year was announced on July 10 at the Hard Rock Live! located at Universal Studios CityWalk in Orlando. Jean Lamar, a teacher from Callahan Middle School in Nassau County, was recognized as the winner during a ceremony hosted by Emmy Award winner Deborah Norville. Lamar will serve for one year as the Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for education, visiting schools throughout the state to spread the word about educational opportunities and challenges in Florida. She will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from Macy's, a customized trophy and an all-expense paid trip to New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. To learn more about the Teacher of the Year program, visit http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/yeartch.asp.
Statewide Reading Leader Awards
Fourteen Statewide Literacy Leader awardees were recognized during the 7 th Annual Just Read, Florida! Leadership Conference. Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith, and Executive Director of the Just Read, Florida! Office Dr. Evan Lefsky presented awards of $500 to each statewide winner. Each winner also received $500 for each of their respective schools or school district.
The 2008 statewide winners are as follows:
District Literacy Leader of the Year - James Yancey, Jr., Superintendent of Marion County Schools
District Literacy Leader of the Year - Dr. Larry Tihen, Executive Director of Curriculum, Staff Development and Continuous Progress for K-12 in Lee County
Elementary School Literacy Leader of the Year - Denise Kelley, Principal of Hutchison Beach Elementary in Bay County
Middle School Literacy Leader of the Year - Shirley Baker, Principal of Mowatt Middle School in Bay County
High School Literacy Leader of the Year - William Shell Emerson, Principal of Navarre High School in Santa Rosa County
Elementary School Reading Teacher of the Year Award - Theresa Langley from Enterprise Elementary in Brevard County
Middle School Reading Teacher of the Year Award - Adriana Cantwell from John F. Kennedy Middle school in Miami-Dade County
High School Reading Teacher of the Year Award - Sandra Southerly from Treasure Coast High in St. Lucie County
Elementary School Reading Coach of the Year Award - Sherie Troisi of Palm Bay Elementary in Brevard County
Middle School Reading Coach of the Year Award - Mary Kris Schirmer of Lecanto Middle School in Citrus County
High School Reading Coach of the Year Award - Lori Sue Grieb of Leon King High School in Hillsborough County
Elementary School Reading Leadership Team of the Year Award - Riverside Elementary from Miami-Dade County
Middle School Reading Leadership Team of the Year Award - Sims Middle School in Santa Rosa County
High School Reading Leadership Team of the Year Award - West Port High School in Marion County
In addition to these statewide winners, regional finalists were also recognized. To view the names of these winners, visit the Just Read, Florida! Web site at http://www.justreadflorida.com/
Record Number of Florida Schools Earn High Grades
Florida has more schools earning “A’s” and “B’s” than ever before according to the 2008 school grades results. Of the 2,889 schools graded this year, nearly three quarters (2,125) are considered to be high performing (receiving either an “A” or “B” grade). Additionally, the number of schools considered to be low performing decreased significantly compared to last year. Of Florida's 2,889 graded public schools earning "A" through "F" grades this year:
- 1,583 earned an "A" (55 percent), an increase of 100 schools compared to last year.
- 542 earned a "B" (19 percent), an increase of 73 schools compared to last year.
- 565 earned a "C" (20 percent), a decrease of 22 schools compared to last year.
- 154 earned a "D" (5 percent), a decrease of 62 schools compared to last year.
- 45 earned an "F" (2 percent), a decrease of 38 schools compared to last year.
18th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
To increase awareness and knowledge of disability-related issues, the Governor's Commission on Disabilities, the Department of Education Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Ability 1st (Center for Independent Living of North Florida), and the Able Trust will hold an anniversary event from 9 to 11 a.m. on July 24, to commemorate 18 years since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The public celebration will be held on the 22nd floor of the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee.
Featured speakers will include Attorney General Bill McCollum, Ollie Cantos from the U. S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and Chair of the Commission on Disabilities, Lance Block.
The event will serve as a reminder to people of how much has been accomplished since the signing of the ADA. For more information or to RSVP, contact the Commission on Disabilities at (850) 487-3423.
Explore Adoption Initiative
Governor Charlie Crist recently launched the Explore Adoption campaign to promote the benefits of public adoption which aims to find loving homes for children in Florida’s care. Throughout the state, thousands of children are looking for a family and a permanent place to call home. The Explore Adoption Web site, www.adoptflorida.org, features information about the initiative including the benefits of adoption, contact information for local adoption offices and family success stories. Additionally, the campaign began airing television and radio spots in both English and Spanish this month (www.adoptflorida.org/news.html).
Public adoption is both affordable and legally secure. Families who adopt one of Florida’s children in care often receive monthly financial support, as well as health care benefits. Furthermore, children adopted from community-based care are eligible for free tuition at any state university, community college or technical school in Florida. For additional information about Explore Adoption, visit www.adoptflorida.org or call 1-800-96-ADOPT. Sign-up to receive the Explore Adoption e-newsletter at www.adoptflorida.org/subscribe.aspx.
Florida Students Recognized For Outstanding Achievement In The Arts
Twenty-three graduating public high school seniors from across Florida were recently recognized by Jeb and Columba Bush and the Foundation for Excellence in Education as the 2008 Arts for Life! Scholarship Program award winners. Each recipient will receive a $1,000 cash scholarship toward their pursuit of the arts in higher education. To see the list of winners, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/07-01.asp.
Florida Virtual School Receives Better Government Competition Award
Florida Virtual School (FLVS) recently won the Better Government Competition (BGC) Award from the Pioneer Institute, an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization. The online program was recognized because of its focus to create equitable access to instructional excellence for students throughout Florida. To read more, visit http://www.fldoe.org/SuccessStories/2008/07-09.asp.
Miami Dade College Students Selected For Latina Leadership Institute
Two Miami Dade College Kendall Campus students were selected for the prestigious Latinas Learning to Lead Summer Youth Institute, a week-long comprehensive program held in Washington, D.C., to train the next generation of Latina leaders. Yanyn San Luis and Odalys Solares are among 22 young women chosen from a pool of more than 5,000 applicants nationwide.
The Institute, which runs from July 20-26, focuses on personal and career planning, health and well-being, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. Participants will attend sessions on cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, race, class, and gender issues. In addition, they will have the opportunity to interact with high-level Latina leaders during lectures, group exercises and site visits.
Justice Education Institute and Southern Conference On Corrections
July 29-31, 2008
The 11th Annual Juvenile Justice Education
Institute and Southern Conference on Corrections will be held at
the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina in Tampa, Fla.,
July 29-31, 2008. The Institute will provide important information
concerning research, policy, and practice in the areas of juvenile
justice, education, and corrections. The three-day conference will
include workshops representing national, state, and local experts
as well as evidence-based practices in juvenile justice education.
To register for the conference, go to www.criminologycenter.fsu.edu/jjeep.
Florida Association for Staff Development Leadership Conference
Sept. 22-24, 2008
St. Pete Beach
The annual Florida Association for Staff Development (FASD) Leadership Conference will be held at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach Sept. 22 – 24, 2008. All educational personnel who have an interest in receiving, delivering or supporting high quality professional development are invited to join FASD members to participate in professional learning surrounding state of the art technology to support professional development, teacher and school leadership principles which align with high quality professional development, and support structures for new teacher induction programs. The conference will offer a blend of learning opportunities from experts and well as school-based practitioners in these, and other topics related to improved professional development. For more information, visit www.fasdonline.org.