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Achieve Escambia boss resigns

February 15, 2017

After less than four months on the job, Achieve Escambia’s Director Greg Voss has resigned.

Achieve Escambia was founded in early 2016 by Navy Federal Credit Union, Gulf Power and other community leaders to improve public education. It’s mission has been to improve the lives of “every child, every step of the way, cradle to career.”

“While we are disappointed, we understand and support Greg’s decision,” said Debbie Calder, executive vice president of Navy Federal’s Greater Pensacola Operations and chair of the Achieve Escambia Executive Leadership Team. “I am confident that the Achieve Escambia Operational Support Team will continue to build the foundation of a successful collective impact that will help local children achieve success, cradle to career.”

Achieve Escambia has focused on meetings and team building exercises with representatives from the fields of education, business, faith, parents, students and non-profits. No concrete initiatives have been launched.

In August, Inweekly challenged Achieve Escambia to take five steps that would get the group beyond the talking stage and into accumulating data that would spearhead solutions:

1. Research whether it’s time for an appointed superintendent.

2. Hire experienced educators to investigate why Montclair Elementary and Warrington Middle failed to achieve the promised results.

3. Survey teachers and principals about what is working in their schools and what isn’t.

4. Perform “exit” interviews with teachers who have left the school district and of parents who pulled their children out of public schools.

5. Investigate the impact of school closures on their neighborhoods and the academic performance of the children transferred to other schools.

Two Achieve board members met with us, but nothing happened.

Meanwhile, the Studer Community Institute has used the past year to develop a partnership with the University of Chicago, called the “Pensacola Project.”  Their mission is help parents better prepare their babies for  kindergarten and life.

The program is done in cooperation with Sacred Heart, Baptist and West Florida hospitals. It’s based on science. Results will be measured and tactics adjusted as the pilot program is implemented.

John List, the Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, said yesterday at meeting host by SCI, “The world is watching.”

The “Pensacola Project” isn’t a “magic bullet” but it’s inspirational, life-changing for children, families and our community.




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  • Reply Dustin Huffman February 15, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I called into the radio show today in regards to the problems in the Escambia County School District. I am a substitute teacher and I still firmly believe that discipline is a major issue in the poor performance of many schools. Teachers spend WAY too much time correcting minor and serious disciplinary issues. Parents would be ashamed of their kids if they saw how poor they treated fellow students and staff. Isn’t it sad that the schools have so many problems that education support personnel like deans, behavior coaches, etc. are NECESSARY to get any learning accomplished? However, there are other issues besides discipline. I have listed some of them.
    1. Chromebooks-Technology can be implemented in other ways. The laptop is a TOO much of a distraction. The kids are on games and YouTube.
    2. Cell Phones-Ban them in all schools. Implement more video monitoring if parents are concerned about what teachers are doing in the classroom. If an issue arises, the video can be checked.
    3. Teachers Assistants-Every classroom should have one. This allows for more supervision of the rowdy kids. However, they need to be paid more.

    These are my suggestions. There are many good teachers and administrators in the district, but there are problems. Simply throwing more money is not going to be the solution.

  • Reply David Kettles February 15, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Science ? Just give babies Iodine for their brain development the first 3 years of life. It will increase their I.Q. by 15%.

    Oh, I forget.. No money to be made with that.
    Never mind.

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