FADSS Enewsletter
Message from FADSS CEO Bill Montford
Professional Development and Camaraderie are Key Components of FADSS Spring Conference 

FADSS 2023 Spring Conference is less than two weeks away and I am looking forward to seeing everyone February 15 – 17 in Orlando.
The connection, information sharing, and simple camaraderie that we experience when we are all together cannot be rivaled by any other meeting or conference. A FADSS meeting is a very unique and vital part of the ongoing, high-quality professional development that FADSS provides to Florida Superintendents.
In keeping with the conference theme – “Improving Student Outcomes through Organizational Leadership” – we will be talking about student mental health, transition planning for our students with disabilities, closing achievement gaps, and the importance of student voice in decision making. 
Our keynote speaker will be Sameer Hinduja, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University. He will discuss new research related to social media misuse by students and the role of the superintendent in preventing and responding to this issue. We will also hear from Wakulla County School’s Director of Health and Mental Health Services Amy Bryan about the evolution of mental health best practices in their district. Additionally, John Hunkier, former Leon County Schools Safety Director, will address student mental health related to risk management as part of his update on school safety.
As always, we will set aside time for Superintendent Only discussions with a focus on the legislative session and main topics of interest from the group. These closed door sessions are a great opportunity for superintendents to share and learn from each other.
We will also have the chance to hear from, and ask questions of, Education Commissioner Manny Diaz and new Senior Chancellor Adam Miller, as well as Paul Burns who now serves as the Chancellor for K-12 Public Education.
And last but not least, FADSS will also be hosting our Business Partner Showcase, which will provide opportunities to learn about the excellent services and products that our business partners provide to our districts.
Safe travels and I look forward to seeing each of you in Orlando!
Yours in education,
"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."

- Mark Twain
District Spotlight on Osceola County Schools
The Osceola County School District Uses the 'Helping Kids Mini Grant'
to Aid Students and Families Displaced from Hurricane Ian

By Janae Muchmore, SDOC Social Media Community Relations Specialist
No matter how different our stories may be, every Floridian remembers the 28th day of September in 2022. That's when Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southwest Florida, but the storm's impacts were felt across the entire state.  
This is the story of Quirna Martinez and her three kids: Emiahyaz, 10; Jeamie, 8; and Kiry, 7.  
Martinez spent the days leading up to the storm filling sandbags, buying supplies, and making sure her family of four was prepared. Having moved from Connecticut in 2017, she was used to riding out snowstorms not hurricanes. Her oldest son, Emiahyaz, summed up their experience in one word, "scary." 
Martinez tucked her children into bed and continued to monitor the storm from her window with the help of local news stations. Before she knew it, water was pouring inside her apartment unit. 
"Water started coming in inside the walls," said Martinez. " The toilet, the bathtub, everything was just backing up with water."
She made a call to request a rescue team but was told rescuers were grounded until the brunt of the storm passed. That's when her motherly instincts kicked in.
"I'm thinking how I am going to get on the roof with my three kids and my dog," said Martinez. "Because that's the only upper level that we had."
Emiahyaz remembers his mom waking him up. "The water was pretty much taller than me."
During her hurricane preparations, Martinez had set aside three children's life jackets. She fastened each one on her children, grabbed her dog, and started swimming.
"We swam to the other side of our complex," said Martinez.  Once they got to the opposite side of the complex, the water levels dipped, allowing the family to wade through the water.
"What we had to do was go across the street to the different apartment complex because they were at a higher level than us," said Emiahyaz. "We stood there [at the top of the covered stairwell], we dried up, we changed clothes and we stood there for a long time."
"[We were] basically in shock, waiting for rescue to come," said Martinez.
Once the rain cleared out in the morning, rescue crews lead the Martinez family to safety. It's been four months and the family is still without a home.
"I'm glad that I'm alive with my kids," Martinez said through tearful eyes. "Yeah, I lost everything, but we're alive. Little by little we are getting where we want to get. I'm still waiting for an apartment because they still haven't fixed the place where we used to live. So, we're still staying at a hotel temporarily, but I haven't lost hope."
The love and compassion that has resonated throughout our community since Hurricane Ian has helped this family of four stay strong.  
Dr. Longshore Receives Coveted Honor
Launch to Learning - STEM meets CTE
registration deadline approaching!
FADSS is pleased that due to our continuing relationship with Blue Origin Club for the Future and the Northeast Florida STEM2Hub, we are able to bring a second Launch to Learning event to fruition. The one-day event will be held on Friday, March 31st at the Blue Origin Manufacturing Complex.

The deadline date of February 6 to register is quickly approaching and you will not want to miss out on this unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity. This event will build on last’s year’s educational opportunity with a focus on Career Technical Education (CTE) and provide an even closer behind the scenes view of the Blue Origin manufacturing facility, which will include a unique opportunity to tour the High Bay and talk to the engineers working on the rocket components.
PLUS.. Attendees will also be able to board a New Shepard crew capsule which will be on site.
Registration is open to Florida District School Superintendents, District CTE Directors, CTE Supervisors, Deputy Superintendents of Curriculum, and/or Chief Academic Officers, a maximum of 2 participants per district. Again – the key focus is CTE and we strongly encourage participation of the individual in your district overseeing CTE.
Registration information was sent out earlier this month and the deadline to register is Friday, February 10th. If you need the registration information resent to you or have questions about the event, please contact Katrina Figgett.
National organization honors teachers across the country each month with $5000
Students and parents are encouraged to nominate a teacher now

Honored is a national nonprofit organization that recognizes and rewards extraordinary teachers across the country. With its innovative online platform, Honored empowers students and families nationwide to give their teachers the individualized, direct recognition that research shows keeps teachers engaged and in the profession longer.

The Honored program is built on two pillars. The first is Honored National, in which any student or family at any school type (public, private, charter) across the country can submit an “Honor Story” about a teacher, which serves as a nomination for our monthly $5000 Honored National Teaching Award. The second pillar is Honored Schools, which is an in-school teacher recognition program in which schools run their own year-round teacher recognition program and weave teacher appreciation into their school cultures. Honored Schools currently operate 41 schools in Washington DC, Indianapolis IN, New Haven CT, and Inglewood CA.

Honored’s Impact
Teachers who have received Honored nominations report the following:
  • 94% feel more enthusiastic about teaching
  • 95% feel more inspired in their teaching practice
  • 88% of teachers share that receiving this recognition is likely to keep them in the classroom for five more years

Since inception, 2,385 teachers have been nominated and 64 have been selected to be Honorees. A total of $320,000 has been given to Honorees. 

To find out more about Honored and submit a nomination, please visit: https://www.honored.org/nominate.
Be sure to follow FADSS on Twitter [@PublicSchoolSup] and tag FADSS in your district tweets so we can share the great stories and happenings in Florida public schools across our state!
Florida Association of District School Superintendents
208 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301