By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council
Today I participated in my first Partners in Education Academy session with twenty nine other business and community members. What a great experience! The program, initiated by the School District of Lee County and the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, is designed for all types of community partners, from business professionals and Realtors to parents, retirees and volunteers. The in depth orientation is meant to create a pool of Lee County School District Ambassadors who are knowledgeable about school choice and the amazing array of specialty programs that begin as early as the elementary grades.
During the first session we heard from Marshall Bower, CEO of the Foundation and Christy Kutz, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, the lead Student Assignment agent, Mark Mora and then a spectacular set of leaders from the Division of Teaching and Learning. These professional educators unraveled the intricacies of School Choice, advanced studies programs, Career Academies, Standards, Assessments, Elementary Math standards and techniques and how schools are graded. This is the first of four sessions; the others include focus on the Division of Operations, the Division of Business and Finance; and finally, the roles and functions of the School Board, the Superintendent and District Principals. I can tell you one thing already. We have highly motivated and passionate leaders working for our students. Each presentation we took in was well organized, succinct, topically important and engaging. I have three staff members going through at this time and can tell you that we are all looking forward to the next session.
Three cheers for the Lee County School District. They saw a need to tell a better story, one that would be easier for both parents and community members to understand, and after what we saw today, I’d say they are going to be very successful.