FADSS Enewsletter
Message from FADSS CEO Bill Montford
FADSS 2021-2022 Annual Business Partners
 
While July marked the start of a new FADSS membership year, it also marked the start of FADSS Annual Business Partnership Program year.
 
While we are fortunate to have the long-time support of several companies – some dating back to the inception of the business partner program in 2009 – I am excited to share that we also have some new companies joining the ranks as a FADSS Annual Business Partner.
 
Like our long-time, dedicated business partners, many of these new companies are already doing great work in school districts across Florida. The new companies are denoted on the 2021-2022 FADSS Annual Business Partner Directory which you can download via this link.

I want to thank you in advance for your support of FADSS annual business partners – Platinum, Gold and Silver.
 
As you know, the revenue generated through our annual business partner program enables us to provide additional training and professional development for superintendents. Additionally, your support of FADSS Business Partner Program has helped us keep membership dues at a steady rate without an increase and is central to the success of the program.
 
You can find information about each of FADSS annual partners on the FADSS website here. I encourage you to learn more about each of these companies and the quality products and services they provide to school districts and reach out to them if you would like more information.
 
Serving together in education,
 
Bill Montford
FADSS 2021 - 2022 Annual Business Partners

Superintendent Spotlight:

Up Close with Baker County Schools
Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson
What led you to pursue being a public school superintendent and to what do you attribute your continued success in the district?

I began my teaching career at Westside Elementary as a kindergarten teacher in 1986. My third year of teaching I was selected by my peers as Westside Teacher of the Year and then went on to be selected as the District Teacher of the Year and received the Ruth I. Shuler Teaching Excellence Award in 1990. That same year, I also received the Christian Educator of the Year award. I was asked to serve as a Primary Education Specialist at Westside and served in that capacity for 3 years before asking to go back to the classroom because I missed teaching so much. There I stayed for another 12 years. During this time, I received my Master’s in Educational Leadership and continued to teach until I was selected as Assistant Principal at Macclenny Elementary. After one year there, I was selected by Superintendent Paula T. Barton to serve as the Principal of the new PreK/Kindergarten Center that was built in 2004. After serving there for 3 years, Superintendent Paula Barton retired and after much prayer, I decided to run for this open seat. I was elected by the voters of Baker County in 2008 and have served unopposed the last three election cycles. I am in my fourth term. I look forward to leading the school district as they build a new elementary school and reconfigure our elementary schools to K thru 5.

I attribute any success I have had to prayer and lots of prayer warriors praying for me each and every day. I also believe that I am here by God’s design and that he called me to do this work. Every decision I make, I pray about it and I also keep the focus of what is best for our children. I also believe the relationships that I have built over the years have been one of trust with families. They know without a shadow of a doubt that I love their children like they are my own. I know most of our students and families personally and I strive daily to show them how much I care for them. My ultimate goal is to make sure they get a quality education and that they are valued by our teachers and staff.

What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing public education as a whole?

Public Education has such a special place in my heart. My school experience here in the county that I now serve impacted my life in such a powerful way. So many of my childhood memories and positive experiences are associated with my public school journey. I think the most pressing issue we continue to face is the shortage of highly-qualified and well-trained teachers. We need more young people to enter the field of education so they can make an impact in the lives of our children. As I reflect on my past experiences as a child and now as superintendent, I think about the pressing issues that we face and each year different issues arise and I think each issue helps us grow and those challenges that we conquer encourage me and I learn more from each of these challenges and become more grateful each day for our schools and what they mean to our children and our entire community.

Overcoming the challenges of COVID and the after effects of lost instruction and the impact on families is a pressing issue that I think we will continue to address. However, I see great strides being made and once again I see the resilience of our public schools and how we have been a lighthouse for our community during this crisis.

While 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, you faced an additional personal challenge with the diagnosis of, and subsequent treatment for breast cancer, and now thankfully in remission. From the outside looking in, you confronted this challenge with the same positive energy and confidence that you exhibit in your role as superintendent. What is your secret to perpetual positivity and confidence?

 Everyone that knows me will tell you that it is no secret who guides me and has carried me every step of this journey.  My faith in God has been my strength during this journey with breast cancer and my entire career as an educator. There is a verse that I have held onto a little more tightly over the last year and it is found in Ephesians 3:20 God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. He has taught me to trust more and to lean on him more and more each day.  I met so many precious people during my treatments and I have made new friends and have new prayer partners. After experiencing cancer, I have a renewed heart to serve our children and my community. I feel like that God has given me more time to make a difference in the lives of our precious children.

What is an innovative/impactful initiative in your school district that you are most proud of during your tenure as a superintendent?

I believe our school district team has done many great things during my tenure. We have had academic growth and success as well as students who have excelled in extracurricular activities. However, as I have been reflecting this summer about the past successes and the future, I truly feel like OUR BEST DAYS ARE AHEAD. We are working on a Special Facilities construction project to build a new K-5 Elementary School. This new project will transform the educational experience for our entire school district. We will be re-configuring all of the elementary schools to return back to a K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 experience for students.
 
What do you feel are the most challenging barriers at this time in meeting the educational needs of students?

Some of the most challenging barriers I see are the social/emotional needs of some of our students and families. There are many families in crisis and they need so much support. We live in a very low socioeconomic area with families that have not only financial needs but there are many other areas that they need assistance and support. These barriers impact the students and their ability to perform at their highest potential because of the struggles the children experience.

If you had the ability to change one thing in the realm of public education – what would that be?

My perspective comes from my experience of being elected in 2008 and walking directly into the financial crisis of the “Great Recession”. The majority of my time in leadership has been with great financial concerns and never enough resources to fund all of our needs. The majority of our school facilities are aging and we have many maintenance issues that we continue to struggle with. Special Facilities Funding is a blessing for us, but; we are going to need multiple new schools. And in addition to the aging facilities, our community is growing at a very rapid rate and to be able to keep up with the growth and provide a quality school facility for every student is going to be extremely challenging.
 
Outside of being a superintendent, what is something that your colleagues may not know about you that you?

I just went rock climbing for the first time last week. I love challenges and I was determined to get to the top of that rock wall and repel down. I think part of me will always have the heart of a child. I love to try new things and my goal is to be able to twirl and do a cartwheel when I am 90 years old.

Final thoughts you would like to share. 

My greatest blessings as a teacher and superintendent are the relationships that I have with my students and families.  I consider them to be my family. I am so blessed to have such sweet friendships. I will treasure each of these as long as I live. During my cancer treatment, I have felt so loved by my students and our entire community. As a result, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to give back to others and try to make others feel as loved as I have felt over the years.
Getting to Know Superintendent Raulerson
Individual you admire most for their positive impact on public education?

There are so many individuals that I admire and have taught me so much over the last 35 years. My 5th grade teacher Mrs. Daniels is one of the reasons why I choose to be a teacher. She made me feel so loved and taught me that education is as much about love as it is teaching skills and acquiring knowledge.

Another influential educator that I admire is Senator Bill Montford. He has been a great mentor to me and I have learned so much from him during my tenure as superintendent. He is a champion in public education and has positively impacted thousands of children’s lives through his many roles in the public education realm.

And most of all, I am so thankful to have a father and mother who made education a priority in our home. My father served on the School Board, was PTA President, and Band Parent President for many years. My mother taught piano lessons for 30 years and was a talented seamstress and artist. I am a first-generation college graduate and educator as a result of my parents valuing public education. I am forever grateful for them and their sacrifices to make sure I received a quality education.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not comment on how the FADSS organization and staff have impacted my life over the last 13 years. Any success that I have experienced has had a direct correlation with the relationships and support I have received from FADSS. If I could give any advice to a new superintendent it would be to lean on FADSS and your fellow superintendents. Senator Montford said on day one that this organization becomes like family and I did not fully grasp the significance of this statement until I began to live the life of a superintendent. I will forever treasure these relationships and the blessing of serving as superintendent in Baker County.

Book you are currently or recently finished reading:
I am currently doing a book study. The book is Leader Shift by John C. Maxwell.
I am also reading a devotion book, Calm My Anxious Heart/ A Journey to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow 

Favorite quote?
“Blessed are the flexible for they shall never get bent out of shape.”
Philippians 1:6 Confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will compete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
A teacher at heart, Superintendent Raulerson makes visiting classrooms and schools a priority. The "true magic" that occurs when teachers and students are fully engaged in learning is a sight she enjoys seeing as often as she can.
In Case You Missed These Tweets...
AASA, the School Superintendents Association, recently created the American Plan Rescue Committee. This national committee is charged with developing recommendations and providing insights as schools move toward a safe reopening following the impact left by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two Florida superintendents were invited to be part of this national committee and provide input on important conversations centering on education following the pandemic: Dr. Debra Pace, the School District of Osceola County (SDOC) and Dr. Kam Patton, Collier County Public Schools (CCPS).

There is no doubt the insight and experience that these two seasoned superintendents bring to this process will be of tremendous value to the work of the American Rescue Plan Committee as well as Florida school districts.

FADSS will provide highlights of the work of the committee in future issues of this newsletter.
CCPS Superintendent
Dr. Kam Patton
SDOC Superintendent
Dr. Debra Pace
VCS Named a Cambridge International District of the Year

Volusia County Schools (VCS) was recognized by Cambridge International as a Mid-Size District of the Year.

VCS doubled its student enrollment in the prestigious Cambridge International program in its first 3 years of participation and had a 94% pass rate for the program’s Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) diploma!


Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) Superintendent Dr. Kam Patton was recently appointed as the 2021-2022
Chair-Elect of Leadership Florida!
Congratulations Dr. Patton, and thank you for your continued service and commitment to public education and our state as a whole!


#FLPublicSchoolProud
CCPS Superintendent
Dr. Kam Patton
Download the report here.
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!
Mark your calendar...
FADSS Fall Leadership Conference is set for Sept. 22-24, 2021
at The Omni Resort at ChampionsGate.

Registration information for Superintendents will be going out soon.

We look forward to everyone being together for our first full membership
in-person FADSS conference since January 2020.
News You Can Use ...
Tobacco Prevention Program offers Free Prevention Courses
The Tobacco Prevention Program, which is run out of Palm Beach County Schools, is administered by the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Department of Health. The primary purpose of the Tobacco Prevention Program is to impact students with tobacco and vaping prevention lessons and messages. By providing free professional development and continuing education opportunities, the program seeks to build capacity among educators and school nurses to teach tobacco and vaping prevention lessons.

Adult Courses
  • 10 hour Vaping/ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery System)
  • 30 hour Tobacco Prevention
  • 60 hour comprehensive Tobacco Prevention
  • 20 hour CEU Tobacco Prevention Health course for School Nurses

Student Courses
Additionally, the program facilitates free tobacco prevention courses for students who are caught using vaping or tobacco products. Courses such as these are excellent alternatives to consequences such as suspension, which can worsen students’ addiction to nicotine products and increase the chances of repeat offenses.
  • Option for holding suspension days in abeyance
  • For counties with another option in place, use this course for 2nd/multiple infractions

Program staff are available to meet with you online and provide more information as well as attend administrator and teacher conferences.  For more information contact Lisa Kraus at 561-323-8123 or lisa.kraus@palmbeachschools.org.
Community Partnership Schools Address Holistic Needs of Students

Schools are much more than a place to learn and students need far more than a high-quality education. Community Partnership Schools™ address the holistic needs of students and have shown impressive outcomes. Through a long-term partnership with the school district, a college or university, a community-based nonprofit organization and a health care provider, Community Partnership Schools bring together high-quality academics, health care, counseling, support, mentoring and more to meet the needs of students, parents, teachers and their communities.
 
Founded by Children’s Home Society of Florida, Orange County Public Schools and the University of Central Florida, this model is advancing educational equity in 26 schools throughout Florida. Through intentional, dedicated collaboration, community partners align necessary resources to address key barriers to learning – poverty, mental health struggles, inadequate access to health care and more – to help ensure student success and well-being. The success of Community Partnership Schools is evident, from increased learning gains in FSA reading and math, decreased out-of-school suspensions, increased teacher retention, and increased graduation rates.
 
For more information on the Community Partnership Schools model, contact Jarvis Wheeler, CHS Senior Director of Community Partnership Schools. You can also visit the Community Partnership Schools website and the UCF Center for Community Schools website for additional information.   
Florida Association of District School Superintendents
208 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
850.577.5784