A MESSAGE FROM OUR SUPERINTENDENT - 2023-2024
I am proud to celebrate where we have been and look forward to where we are headed, and there is plenty to get excited about for 2023-2024!
For starters, we are opening a new K-8 school, the Aurelia M. Cole Academy, this fall in Clermont. Named for an esteemed educator who worked many years in our district and made history as the first African American high school principal in Lake County after integration, our newest school will replace Clermont Elementary and Clermont Middle schools, and it will offer an innovative performing arts program and a STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) focused curriculum.
We are also launching our first International Baccalaureate program, which will be housed at Tavares High School, providing a rigorous accelerated curriculum option for students seeking advanced college preparation opportunities. The Advanced International Certificate of Education, AICE, that offers another advanced diploma track has been expanded to include four high schools and their feeder middle schools. Additionally, Mount Dora High School this year will become home to our new Criminal Justice Early College Academy, a specialized program that will give students an opportunity to earn their Associate of Arts degree while still in high school. They will take college credit courses while engaging in various experiential learning activities.
I’m also excited to welcome aboard Scott Flowers, our new Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Leadership. He replaces Amy Cockcroft, who retired after a 30-year career. With his leadership, we will build on the academic gains from last year and fine-tune our focus on essential standards and early interventions, which will lead to steady and sustainable growth in student achievement.
I am proud to say that we ended last school year maintaining our graduation rate above 90 percent for the third year in a row, and we have continued our focus and commitment to workforce development by offering new and innovative career programs. In fact, the district saw a 129-percent increase in the number of students taking and passing industry certifications leading to employment in high-wage and high-demand jobs in the future.
We have accomplished much, but there is still plenty of work to do. With the talent and the dedication of our teachers, staff and administration – plus the support of caring parents and guardians – I have no doubt that we are well on our way to becoming a high-performing school district and ensuring that every student graduates ready to go to work, college and/or the military.
Diane Kornegay, M.Ed.