Florida Blue is committed to helping people and communities achieve better health – this mission leads my work and encouraged me to find outlets to use my passion for education to encourage Floridians to achieve a better life. My parents, educators and extended family all mentored. They taught me as a young girl that education is something no one can ever take away from you. It is one of the pathways to achieve a better life.
Earlier this year, I was appointed to serve on the Board of the Florida Education Foundation, a direct support organization to the Florida Department of Education and a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to lead in education enhancements statewide. My first meeting was during the Teacher of the Year event in July, and that is where I learned the theme of the week was “encourage.”
As I reflect on the teachers and other educators who have encouraged me throughout my life, I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to pay it forward to educational professionals by serving on the Florida Education Foundation Board.
I am encouraged by the steps Florida education has taken: The Florida graduation rate is at an all-time high, having increased by more than 22 percent in 10 years; we are No. 1 in the nation for the number of students taking advanced placement exams; and we are the only state in the country to improve significantly in grade 4 math and grade 8 reading and math from 2015 to 2017, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
With continued encouragement from community leaders and organizations like Florida Blue, the Florida Blue Foundation and initiatives like Florida’s Teacher of the Year program, I am confident 100 percent of Florida students can achieve a high school diploma and graduate ready for post-secondary education and a career. No student deserves to be left behind.
I am committed to encouraging Florida educators to help students reach their highest achievement – this mission leads my work to make Florida the best place to live, work, learn, play and grow.