Sarasota County Schools News

Sarasota County Schools Celebrates Professional Development and Leadership

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SARASOTA COUNTY, November 8, 2018 – Sarasota County Schools’ Leadership Academy recently held its Leadership Legacy event. The event’s theme, “Sowing the Seed of Success”, not only honored the accomplished tenure of former superintendent Wilma Hamilton Delp, it also served as a celebratory fundraiser to further expand the leadership opportunities of aspiring leaders in the school district. Co-chaired by Lori Butters and Shannon Fleming, the festive evening also highlighted the district’s collaborative projects and recent professional development milestones.

“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to give back to a program that has offered us so much,” said Lori Butters, state reports analyst for Sarasota County Schools. “The Leadership Academy allows participants to interface with a group of like-minded leaders that otherwise might not have met. In a district so large, it is rare to see such a detailed and encompassing training program that spans all departments within the organization. We are grateful to have the support of our community partners and leaders, and are pleased to continue the legacy of growth for future participants.”

“Sarasota County Schools emphasizes “home grown” leadership, and it shows,” commented Shannon Fleming, high school math program specialist for Sarasota County Schools. “Nationally there is a high level of teacher and administrator turnover. The turnover rate is much lower in Sarasota County, with the average principal serves for 8 to 9 years. A district that cultivates talent from within, at various levels and within many departments, will ultimately have stronger morale and retain personnel. Our students and school communities deserve the very best, and the Leadership Academy provides unparalleled training.”

Founded in 2003, the Leadership Academy is an intensive, two-year program primarily comprised of teachers and other district employees who express a desire to become administrators and achieve growth in their respective school communities and departments. The program explores various career pathways and delivers on the district’s commitment to offer professional development opportunities to its employees. Please join us in congratulating the latest participants, Leadership Academy Cohort 8:

  • Bethanie Adams, Lamarque Elementary School
  • Danielle Ard , Fruitville Elementary School
  • Laura Busenburg, Alta Vista Elementary School
  • Lori Butters, Information Technology
  • Mary Cantillo, Phillippi Shores Elementary School
  • Alicia Charbonneau, Elementary Math Program Facilitator
  • Holly Chesnoff, ELA Elementary Program Specialist
  • Gina Cirillo, Glenallen Elementary School
  • Matthew Delaney, Laurel Nokomis School
  • Jade Ellis, Wilkinson Elementary School
  • Shannon Fleming, High School Math Program Specialist
  • Valerie Fletcher, Venice High School
  • George Goodfellow , Data Analyst - Research, Assessment, Eval.
  • Carly Gordon, Program Evaluation and Assessment
  • Ryan Lee, Sarasota Military Academy
  • Jessica Lucas, Venice High School
  • Katie Martin, Sarasota Military Academy
  • Kellyann McWilliams, Alta Vista Elementary School
  • Nicole Meo, Oak Park School
  • Georgia Plath, Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences
  • Tracy Prince, Middle School S.S. Program Specialist
  • Maria Schaedler-Luera, Arts Integration Specialist
  • Scott Schafer, Venice Middle School
  • Betsy Summerlee, Riverview High School
  • Brooks Tracey, Sarasota Middle School
  • Stephanie Vlahakis, Wilkinson Elementary School
  • Beth Walters, Venice Middle School
  • Emilie Webb, Garden Elementary School


About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 53 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,000 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit


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