Return to Headlines

New district positions filled with new and familiar leaders

Leader collage  
TAVARES – At Monday’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Diane Kornegay, M.Ed., formally introduced and welcomed an Executive Director of Academic Services, three Regional Executive Directors and a Director of College and Career Readiness for the new school year.
Kati Pearson is the district’s new Executive Director for Academic Services. She has been a public school educator for 18 years and has worked in several Florida districts. She has taught at the elementary and secondary school level, was honored as a Teacher of the Year, spent several years as a Literacy Coach and also as a district level Reading Specialist. She has been a conference keynote speaker and featured presenter, and a consultant to several districts across the nation. Most recently, she served as Director of Teaching and Learning for Lake County Schools.
In her new role, Ms. Pearson will ensure schools have effective instructional monitoring processes and tools; use district and school improvement plans and data to diagnose, assess and monitor school needs; and direct and oversee alignment of curriculum implementation to support district initiatives and student achievement. She will report to Chief of Transformation Emily Weiskopf, Ed.D., who said Ms. Pearson “brings a track record of student achievement and high expectations” to her new position.
The establishment of three geographic regions was part of a set of changes to the district’s organizational structure proposed by Ms. Kornegay and approved by the School Board last month. The goal is to ensure every school and every student receives the targeted support they need.
The Regional Executive Directors and their teams will have offices in their assigned region. The will be in the schools regularly, with the directors reporting Dr. Weiskopf and meeting with her weekly.
Rob Feltner is the Regional Executive Director for Region 1, which includes Eustis High, Mount Dora High, Umatilla High, Eustis Middle, Mount Dora Middle, Umatilla Middle, Eustis Elementary, Eustis Heights Elementary, Seminole Springs Elementary, Sorrento Elementary, Triangle Elementary, Umatilla Elementary, Round Lake Charter and Spring Creek Charter schools. He and his team will be housed at the Triangle Elementary campus. 
Mr. Feltner has been a public school educator for 20 years. He has served as an elementary and high school classroom teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal. Most recently, he was principal of the third largest high school in Clay County. In an announcement to staff, Dr. Weiskopf said Mr. Feltner “has become a master in curriculum development and possesses the drive and motivational skills to move all schools’ performing status to schools of distinction.”
Renee Dudley is the Regional Executive Director for Region 2, serving Leesburg High, Tavares High, Carver Middle, Oak Park Middle, Tavares Middle, Astatula Elementary, Beverly Shores Elementary, Fruitland Park Elementary, Lake Hills, Leesburg Elementary, Tavares Elementary, Treadway Elementary, Rimes Early Learning Center and The Villages Elementary schools.  Renee and her team of support will be housed at the Lake County Schools main office in Tavares. 
Ms. Dudley has served Florida’s public schools since 1995, when she started her career as a business teacher.  She has been a teacher, dean, assistant principal, principal and executive director in Marion County prior to coming to Lake County Schools.  “Her school-based experience covers both elementary and secondary settings and she has a proven record of successful district leadership through collaboration with stakeholders to increase student performance,” Dr. Weiskopf said.
Wayne Cockcroft is the Regional Executive Director for Region 3 serving East Ridge High, South Lake High, Lake Minneola High, Clermont Middle, East Ridge Middle, Gray Middle, Windy Hill Middle, Clermont Elementary, Cypress Ridge Elementary, Grassy Lake Elementary, Groveland Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, Pine Ridge Elementary, Sawgrass Bay Elementary, Minneola Charter and Mascotte Charter schools. He and his team will be housed at the Clermont Elementary campus.
Mr. Cockcroft has 29 years of service with Lake County Schools. He has been a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and most recently the Director of Leadership for the district. Dr. Weiskopf said, “He brings a proven record as a highly successful principal within Lake County Schools and has worked extensively with principal mentorships and leadership development.” 
Frances Celis is the district’s new Director of College and Career Readiness. She has worked for the public school system for 15 years as a behavior resource teacher, school counselor and school administrator, including a role as Supervisor of Secondary Education in Clay County. Her leadership led to the creation and implementation of two collegiate high schools. In her new role, Ms. Celis will coordinate, develop and implement a comprehensive college and career readiness program for pre-kindergarten through grade 12. She will also oversee industry certification exams, collaborate with principals on school counseling efforts to positively impact student achievement and post-secondary planning, and provide staff leadership to ensure understand and promotion of career-technical education objectives.
All five will begin work in their new positions on July 3.