About

The GFLedu.org website is part of an initiative spearheaded by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, in partnership with the Broward County Public Schools; a consortium of the county’s private, faith-based, and charter schools; area university presidents; and educational and economic organizations, groups, and individuals. We are united in our belief that the state of education in Greater Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County is worth talking about and is a topic anyone considering a move to the area wishes to discuss.

Greater Fort Lauderdale’s robust educational system provides a strong foundation for the region’s high quality of life, offering a wide array of programs to meet the individual learning styles of students and their families. Along with high-quality public, independent, and private schools, the region’s colleges, universities, and vocational facilities are committed to creating career opportunities and building a skilled workforce.

This website’s purpose is to provide easy access to top-line data about the county’s educational resources, and a portal to each individual school’s website for more in-depth information. To learn more, contact Randall Deich, Director– Talent Attraction and Education, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance at 954-627-0128 or email [email protected].

Student & Alumni Showcase featuring Hall of Fame Alumni

Let's recognize Broward County students and alumni who are making a difference, excelling at their chosen areas of concentration, and giving back to the institutions that are instrumental in their success.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Mary Barba

    Graduate of Cooper City High School Graduate of Florida Atlantic University, NSU, and St. Thomas University, member of Broward Education Foundation's Hall of Fame

    Mary Barba always loved school and according to her mother, she’d be dressed and ready for school before anyone in the house was even awake, always eager to learn.

    Today Mary brings that passion to Sheridan Technical College and High School where she is the Intern Principal and Assistant Director. A Broward County native, Mary attended Sheridan Park Elementary School and Driftwood Middle School and is a graduate of Cooper City High School, class of 1981.

    As Sheridan Tech’s administrator, Mary ensured a 100% graduation rate for her first five consecutive years, an amazing feat that resulted in $30 million in student scholarships. In one of her most impactful moments, Sheridan Technical High School was ranked one of the District’s top four schools and a top 5% school in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, within its first seven years of existence. In addition to the University of Florida, Mary also attended Florida Atlantic University, NSU, and St. Thomas University, earning an MBA and an MS in both Education Leadership and Education Law.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Antonio Burgess

    Graduate of Dillard High School Graduate of Florida A&M University, member of Broward Education Foundation's Hall of Fame

    Antonio Burgess is an Equity & Diversity Instructional Facilitator within the Broward County Public School system, where he coordinates districtwide mentoring events, activities and initiatives such as HBCU college tours, youth summits, field trips and mentoring programs. He’s a staunch advocate for underserved students and strives to provide racial equity and equal opportunities for all. Antonio attended North Fork Elementary School, Parkway Middle School and is a proud graduate of Dillard High School class of 2003.

    As the SFL district coordinator for the 5,000 Role Models of Excellence Project, a mentoring program for marginalized young men, Antonio provides leadership and guidance to more than 20 site directors in Broward County Public Schools. He recruited more than 100 adult men in various professions to encourage these young men to see their potential. Securing more than $25,000 in grants and scholarships to provide access and opportunities for these students, this initiative has led to an incredible 100% graduation rate. Antonio graduated from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a master’s degree in education.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Debra Hixon

    Graduate of South Broward High School Graduate of Florida State University, member of Broward Education Foundation's Hall of Fame

    Debra ‘Debbi’ Hixon is a 32-year nationally certified teacher in Broward County and serves as a countywide Broward County School Board member, Seat 9. Born and raised in Hollywood, Debbi attended Hollywood Hills Elementary, Olsen Middle and graduated in 1984 from South Broward High School and returned to teach science there. Prior to South Broward, Debbi taught science at South Broward High, and then and was a swim coach at Blanche Ely High School. As magnet coordinator of the Maritime/Marine Science and Technology Program, she created a student scholarship and intern Career Launch Competition with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.

    As a teacher and mother of a special needs student, Debbi is on the Parent and Community Involvement Task Force where she helped plan and implement BCPS’s Parent University, introducing new teaching methods and technologies to enhance virtual school experiences during the pandemic. Debbi is president of the Chris Hixon Athletic Scholarship Foundation, dedicated to the memory of her husband, Stoneman Douglas High School athletic director. She graduated from Florida State University double majoring in biology and education.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Cindy Stoddart Cooper

    Graduate of Northeast High School Graduate of Florida State University and Florida Atlantic University, member of Broward Education Foundation's Hall of Fame

    Cable industry leader, philanthropist, and community advocate, Cindy Stoddart Cooper has exceptional history of championing and developing countless statewide and local educational programs and initiatives that have positively impacted students, educators, and the community. A Broward County resident for more than 40 years, Cindy graduated in 1977 from Northeast High School.

    As a Comcast executive, she developed impactful marketing and communications campaigns earning multiple top honors from the National Cable Television Association, Cable Television Public Affairs Association and the Cable Television Association of Marketers. Among Cindy’s successful endeavors was jumpstarting the License for Learning campaign by outfitting Comcast’s South Florida fleet of vehicles with the tags which helped to raise an impressive amount of funds and awareness for Broward County Public Schools and Broward Education Foundation.

    Other significant initiatives Cindy developed include Cable in the Classroom and the Critical Viewing Initiative with the Florida PTA. She worked closely with the late Dr. Phyllis Schiffer-Simon at BECON-TV to develop a formidable public/private partnership that promoted and aired vital after-school educational programming throughout Broward County. Cindy attended Florida State University and Florida Atlantic University, earning her bachelor’s degree in fine arts theatre.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Thomas Good, Jr

    Graduate of Cooper City High School Graduate of University of Florida, member of Broward Education Foundation's Hall of Fame

    Thomas Good, Jr. is a Navy veteran who serves as Vice Mayor for the City of Pembroke Pines, where he was first elected as City Commissioner in 2018. He attended Sheridan Park Elementary and Driftwood Middle School and upon graduation from Cooper City High School in 1977, he joined the military. Unsure of his path, and coming from an economically challenged home, financing a degree from a four-year university was not a viable option. He served in the Navy for six years while stationed on the USS Caron and is a staunch advocate for those who’ve served.

    Thomas supports advancing collaborative partnerships between municipalities, trade associations, and school districts’ vocational education programs. He is confident that students can benefit greatly by learning vital skills that can lead to meaningful careers. His teacher, Mr. Joiner, taught him that diagnosing and fixing an automobile increased his knowledge and his ability to utilize those same deductive lessons in any setting. To this day, Thomas believes that to continually improve and succeed, one must practice overcoming resistance. Thomas attended Broward College and the University of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in engineering and a master's degree in business.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Dr. Katina Davis-Kennedy

    Graduate of Dillard High School of the Performing Arts Graduate of Florida A&M University, member of Broward Education Foundation's Hall of Fame

    Dr. Katina Davis-Kennedy, EdD, APRN, FNPc, PMHNP-BC wears many hats. She is a nurse practitioner, author, professor, entrepreneur, educator, and founder of Dr. Katina Health and Wellness. A proud 1999 graduate of Dillard High School of the Performing Arts, where she graduated in the top 10% of her class, Katina attended Walker Elementary Magnet School and Parkway Middle School of the Performing Arts.

    Katina believes her experience in the Broward County Public School system groomed her for professional success. As both student government president and Miss Dillard in 1999, she learned valuable leadership and speaking skills.  As a cheerleading and step team captain, staying active and healthy motivated her to share the importance of fitness, teamwork, hard work, and community involvement. Katina opened her own multi-specialty medical practice and provides accessible, affordable, and quality medical, gynecological, mental health, and urgent care to teens and adults and low-cost sports physicals to high school and middle school students.

    She attended Florida A&M University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a doctoral degree in educational leadership, and a post-master’s certificate in psychiatric mental health on the nurse practitioner track.

  • Alumni Showcase

    New Found Glory

    Graduates from Marjory Stoneman Douglas and J.P. Taravella High Schools Members of Broward Education Foundation's Hall of Fame

    Recognized for their positive impact on youth across the country, national recording artists New Found Glory is known for their high-energy performances and immense fan following.

    Formed in Coral Springs in the summer of 1997 by graduates from Marjory Stoneman Douglas and J.P. Taravella High Schools, New Found Glory has been going strong ever since. Bandmates Jordan Pundik, lead vocals, Ian Grushka on bass guitar, Chad Gilbert, lead guitar and backing vocals, and Cyrus Bolooki on drums have a lengthy recording career.

    Most notably, New Found Glory headlined and organized a benefit concert at Pompano Beach Amphitheater, raising more than $115,000 for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy. The City of Coral Springs declared November 13, 2002, New Found Glory Day and gave the band a key to the city. Worldwide, fans know the band is from Coral Springs and the band has multiple t-shirt designs to prove it. Broward County is, and always will be, home for them.

    Together they believe what’s most important is the mental health of students. It’s crucial to make sure kids feel safe without fear of getting bullied. Realizing not every child has a strong support system at home, they encourage young people to open up and talk to a teacher or guidance counselor- feeling safe is most important.

  • Student Showcase

    Aries Trinidad Castrudes

    Florida Atlantic University

    Aries Trinidad Castrudes is pursuing a degree in psychology, with a minor in Exceptional Student Education (ESE). He expects to graduate in December. Afterwards, Castrudes plans to work towards a Master’s in ESE with a concentration in Gifted Education. “I emigrated from the Philippines with my family 11 years ago and during that time I was pursuing my degree in psychology,” Castrudes said. “When we moved to Florida, I started to have interest in education, mainly to be an educator for children who are gifted or have disabilities. I also took classes as a nursing assistant and medical technician.” Learn more about Aries here.

  • Student Showcase

    Lucas Araujo Ferreira

    Broward College

    After a tough upbringing in Brazil, Lucas Araujo Ferreira overcame many challenges to attend Broward College. After finishing high school there and coming to America, he was able to obtain his green card. “I never thought I would leave Brazil,” he said. “But, wow, America was just like in the movies.” Although he could barely keep a conversation in English, Ferreira immersed himself in both a new language and campus life at Broward College. He became president of the Honors Student Committee where he learned of more scholarship and transfer opportunities. He also got involved in student government, founded the international student club and joined a handful of organizations that provided him an avenue to assist disadvantaged children. Those volunteer efforts continued in Sri Lanka, where Ferreira, while on a study abroad assignment, volunteered at the Orphanage of Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Upon his return to Broward College, he traveled to conferences with President Haile and gave presentations throughout Florida on behalf of the international student perspective. Recently, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awarded him a prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship that will provide him with up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete his bachelor’s degree. “My American dream is not much different than my grandmother’s Brazilian dream,” he said. “It’s just that my dream is within reach.”

  • Alumni Showcase

    Dr. Fonkem Achankeng

    Graduate of Nova Southeastern University Associate Professor – University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

    Fonkem Achankeng, Ph.D., graduate of the doctoral program in the Department of Conflict Resolution Studies in Nova Southeastern University's College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, has co-edited a book with Janet Hagen, Ph.D., entitled, Crime, Second Chances, and Human Services: Creating a Pathway to Ordinary Life for the Convicted. Rowman and Littlefield published the book. For more information, please go to: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498595889/Crime-Second-Chances-and-Human-Services-Creating-a-Pathway-to-Ordinary-Life-for-the-Convicted. In addition, Dr. Achankeng received the Thabo Mbeki Award for Public Service and Scholarship at the 19thAnnual Africa Conference, University of Texas, Austin, in March. Among other things, when choosing him for this honor the Awards Committee noted his community services, his membership in organizations and societies that promote peace, his promotion of African culture, and his ability to merge practice with theories. Read more: https://sharkbytes.nova.edu/shark-success-stories/cahss-alum-publishes-book-and-receives-thabo-mbeki-award-for-public-service-and-scholarship/

  • Student Showcase

    Lorraine Angelakos

    Pompano Beach High School

    Lorraine Angelakos, a senior at Pompano Beach High School, has been selected for the 2020 United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Lorraine was chosen from among the state’s top student leaders to take part in the program. She is one of two students in the state selected as delegates to join Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott in representing Florida in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, March 7 – 14, 2020. Lorraine is president of her senior class and serves as an appointed member of the Broward County School Board’s Diversity Committee. She was also selected as a nonpartisan teen leader to participate in a Congressional Youth Cabinet to foster civic engagement and community service among young people. A mental health advocate, Lorraine created a nonprofit organization – Lolo’s Cocoa – to promote goodwill, positivity and conversations about the mental health of young people.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Sen. Christopher L. Smith

    Graduate of Plantation High School Partner/Governmental Affairs at Tripp Scott

    Senator Christopher L. Smith, Esq., partner at Tripp Scott Conklin and 1988 graduate of Plantation High School, has been a dedicated public servant for the past 23 years. In 1995, Christopher was appointed as the youngest member of the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Planning and Zoning Board, and in 1998 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives serving the City of Fort Lauderdale and six surrounding municipalities. In his final term, he was elected by his peers to be the youngest Democratic Leader in the Florida Legislature. Following a successful career in the House of Representatives, Christopher was elected to the Florida State Senate in 2008 representing Broward and Palm Beach Counties. A highlight of his charitable support includes founding the Chris Smith All-Star Classic which is a football and cheerleading battle and celebration of youth sports that encourages children ages 6 to 16 to return outdoors to play. Christopher has received the Citizen of Year Award by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Humanitarian Award from the Young Democrats of America. He was named a Legislative Champion of Justice by the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) and Legislator of the Year by the American Jewish Congress.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Joshua Simmons

    Graduate of Florida Atlantic University Commissioner, City of Coral Springs

    Commissioner Joshua (Josh) Simmons was elected to office and sworn into the City of Coral Springs Commission on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Josh is the first African American Commissioner to be elected since the City became incorporated in 1963. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Josh earned a B.S. in Political Science. He served as an intern for a law firm, where one of the partners served on the Finance Committee for President Barack Obama, inspiring his own political aspirations. After earning an M.S. in Psychology, Josh worked in the mental health field for a company that provided services in Broward County. In 2015, Josh was offered an opportunity to teach in the Broward County Public School System. He is currently assigned to Coral Springs High, where he teaches 12th grade Government and Economics and 10th grade Modern World History. Watch Josh’s FAU Alumni Spotlight Video: https://youtu.be/UwzJ_NR-glI

  • Student Showcase

    Tsion Yared

    Pine Crest Upper School

    Pine Crest School student-athlete Tsion Yared ’20 was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Florida Girls’ Cross Country Runner of the Year and a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year. As the most prestigious award in high school sports, the Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also academic achievement and exemplary character. One female and one male winner from each of twelve sports are chosen from all 50 states, who are then considered for recognition at the National Player of the Year level. National Player of the Year recipients are finalists for the Gatorade Athlete of the Year.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Andrés Ulises Cortés

    Pine Crest School

    In 2009, the City of New York Department of Buildings launched a design contest in the hope of one day replacing traditional dark sheds with visually appealing options. Pine Crest School alumnus and architect Andrés Ulises Cortés ’92 and his team at Agencie Group entered the design contest and beat out over 450 entries from major firms around the world to win for their Urban Umbrella design. After the contest announcement, the Agencie team began engineering, testing, and building the first Urban Umbrella, which was unveiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 100 Broadway in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District. The possibility of redefining city sidewalks in dense urban centers for new development or restoration became a reality. Andrés and his team began developing business plans and raising venture capital and by 2016 had acquired new customers in New York City, Vancouver, and Toronto. As with most startup ventures, there have been bumps in the road — supply shortages and design challenges, for example — that have required Andrés to go back to the drawing board repeatedly to improve design, fabrication, supply chain, marketing, and all areas of his business. When listening to Andrés speak about his work at the Agencie Group and their Urban Umbrella project, it is abundantly clear that he is doing what he loves. To him, an entrepreneurial mindset requires a willingness to persevere and work under adverse conditions. “There are going to be successes and failures; I take nothing for granted,” said Andrés. “Knowing this, my advice to students and young adults is to select a career path based on something you are passionate about. Make decisions based on what you enjoy…that is the fuel that will push you through the tough times.” To read more, click here.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Bob Swindell

    Graduate of Boyd Anderson High School President & CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance

    A 1979 graduate of Boyd Anderson High School, Bob Swindell was named President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance in November 2009. He joined the Alliance as the Senior Vice President of Business Development in 2003. Bob and his team market and promote Broward County as a highly desirable location to do business; bringing high skill / high wage jobs and diversifying the local economy. A lifelong Broward resident, Bob has served in several business and community leadership roles. Prior to his position with the Alliance, Bob was President of Champion Manufacturing for 18 years; a Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale based industrial supply company serving the Southeastern United States.

    In February of 2019, Bob was elected Chairman of the FARDA Board. He also served on the Board of Directors for NAIOP and Enterprise Florida. In 2018, In Bob was inducted into the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber’s Business Hall of Fame and was recognized as an Ultimate CEO by the South Florida Business Journal. He was also honored by Broward County Public Schools by being inducted into the Broward Schools Alumni Hall of Fame.

  • Alumni Showcase

    Raanah Amjadi

    Graduate of Pine Crest School Product Manager at Microsoft Teams

    Raanah Amjadi moved to Seattle more than four years ago to start her career at Microsoft and during that time has tried her hand at various jobs within the company. As a product manager with Microsoft Teams, the software giant’s year-old challenger to Slack and other collaboration tools, Amjadi focuses on engaging millennials and small business customers through her passion for using technology to create a sense of community. And community is what attracted her to Microsoft in the first place. “I’ve been able to work with some incredibly smart people and explore a wide variety of roles ranging from PR and Business Operations to Brand and Product Marketing,” she said. She even got to demo Hololens and Teams integration alongside Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Ignite last year. Read more: https://www.geekwire.com/2018/raanah-amjadi/

  • Student Showcase

    AudreyAnna Stone

    Attucks Middle School

    Attucks Middle School eighth grade student AudreyAnna Stone saw something and said something and, thanks to her quick heroic efforts, she helped protect many students states away – in Ohio. From Florida, she chatted online with another high school student located in Ohio. He shared a hit list with her, and AudreyAnna quickly contacted our local Hollywood Police Department, which connected her with Ohio law enforcement. The Ohio student was arrested after a police investigation. She was recently honored for her heroic efforts at Attucks Middle School by two Ohio police officials, Springfield’s Superintendent and the Hollywood Police Department.

  • Student Showcase

    Cadet Colonel Gabriella Lopez

    West Broward High School

    Congratulations to Cadet Colonel Gabriella Lopez, from West Broward High School, for being named the Broward County Cadet of the Year for 2018/19. The remaining top six finishers were Cadets Albert Gonzalez, Boyd Anderson High School; Sarah Seng, Cooper City High School; Michael Levanthal, Western High School; Laylonny Sanchez, McArthur High School; Maxence Sutton, Cypress Bay High School; and Royce Bolano, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In all, the top seven finishers received scholarships valuing almost $10,000. Watch a video about Cadet Colonel Lopez. The Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps (JROTC) partnership between the United States Department of Defense and the Broward County School Board is completing its 46th year and has included more than 100,000 JROTC cadets. This school year, cadet enrollment in exceeded 7,000 students in JROTC programs sponsored by all four branches of the military. The District’s JROTC program is the largest in the nation, with JROTC in every traditional high school. Read more: https://www.browardschools.com/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=14019&ModuleInstanceID=60855&ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=125985&PageID=39081