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].

Teacher Showcase

Here we feature the instructors who give their all, committed to the success of the students who pass through their classrooms year after year. We commend their selfless efforts and the care they devote to our most precious asset.

  • 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

    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.

  • Teacher Showcase

    Everiste Ambris

    Florida Atlantic University

    Professor Everiste Ambris is a Field Faculty-Senior Instructor at the Phyllis & Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, FAU College of Social Work & Criminal Justice best known for his expertise in mental health counseling, dealing with depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol dependency. Professor Ambris has been teaching at the FAU Davie campus for 13 years. Ambris said that the Covid-19 pandemic and the social isolation that has taken place since late March has presented some of his biggest professional challenges. “As an instructor, it was a challenge to transition all face to face classes to an online format in a short time,” Ambris said. “As a social worker, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to think outside of the box: More tele-health opportunities are now available to reach clients. Employers have had to close physical workspaces in order to allow their employees to work remotely.” Learn more about Professor Ambris here.

  • Teacher Showcase

    Cari Rodriguez

    Harbordale Elementary School

    Cari Rodriguez, of Harbordale Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, was recently named Broward County Public Schools' Teacher of the Year. Rodriguez has been an educator for 21 years and spent the past six at Harbordale. She currently works as a literacy coach at the school. Whenever possible, she combines fun with learning. “Student achievement is my inspiration,” says Rodriguez. “Whether building an igloo while studying the Inuit, eating pasta puttanesca while reading, or dancing and singing to multiplication facts, I want my students to enjoy learning.  

  • Teacher Showcase

    Phillip Bullock

    Walker Elementary School

    Philip Bullock has been the Principal of Walker Elementary School since 2015 and was recently named Principal of the Year at Broward County Public Schools’ 2019 Caliber Awards. When he was appointed principal by Superintendent Runcie, Walker Elementary was the lowest achieving elementary school in Broward County and one of the lowest-achieving schools in the State of Florida. Walker Elementary moved up two letter grades over the past two years, a 131% increase in student achievement, which was the highest increase by percentage of all elementary schools in Broward County. A BCPS educator for more than 30 years, an alumnus of NSU, and a father of five children, Bullock has firsthand knowledge of what students need to achieve success. “It has been my experience that for students to learn at their maximum potential, we must truly know what motivates them. We cannot only teach the curriculum, we must also teach the child and meet them where they are, not where we want them to be.”

  • Teacher Showcase

    Dr. Jo Ann Kleier

    Nova Southeastern University

    Jo Ann Kleier, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Research and Compliance, of the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing (ACON) was honored by the Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) for her dedication and assistance to helping NSU’s nursing students succeed. MFRF offers scholarships to nursing students interested in the care of pediatric patients. It also provides speakers who offer their experience with nurses’ caregiving for children with life-threatening genetic disease. Speakers such as Dr. Kleier inform nursing students of their opportunity to select home care once they become a nurse and their impact on the patients, and family’s needs. Each year she works diligently with their foundation to connect, plan, and execute educational presentations twice a year. Additionally, she ensures their scholarship funding is distributed among nursing students with a passion for pediatrics. Dr. Kleier’s continued commitment to the MFRF has made a difference in the ACON student experience.

  • Teacher Showcase

    Dr. Dana Markham

    Pine Crest School

    A native of Fort Lauderdale and career educator, Dr. Dana Markham has been an integral part of the Pine Crest School community for more than two decades - serving as a pre-kindergarten teacher, assistant head of Lower and Middle School, Head of Middle School, Vice President of Academics, and now President since her inauguration in December 2011. In November 2018, Dr. Markham was voted President-Elect of the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) Board of Directors. She is the second Pine Crest School President to be elected to the FCIS President position. Read more: https://www.pinecrest.edu/news-detail?pk=986558.

  • Teacher Showcase

    Kristin Murphy

    Nova Middle School

    Kristin Murphy, a world history and pre-law teacher at Nova Middle School, was recently named Teacher of the Year at Broward County Public Schools’ 2019 Caliber Awards. She's a licensed attorney who left that profession to teach law full time at Nova just three years ago. Murphy believes that a good teacher adjusts his or her teaching style to meet the needs and strengths of each student. She never accepts anything less than a student’s true potential and encourages her students to do the same. “Every student is unique, everyone learns in a different way,” said Murphy. “Discover each child’s potential and work with him or her to achieve that potential, never accepting less.” Principal Rayner Garranchan said, “Parents call to request her class, not only because they know their children will have the best law education possible, but also because they know Ms. Murphy will provide her students with the necessary tools to be successful in the workforce.” When she is not in the classroom, Murphy is a CrossFit competitor and a dragon boat racer, who spends hours preparing for competition.

  • Teacher Showcase

    Anthony Abbate

    Florida Atlantic University

    Anthony Abbate, a native of Fort Lauderdale, is Associate Provost for Florida Atlantic University Broward Campuses, Professor and Director of the School of Architecture.  He is also an NCARB certified, USGBC accredited architect with a Master of Architecture from Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Catholic University of America. As Associate Provost he leads the FAU’s three Broward Campuses: at Davie, downtown Fort Lauderdale, and at Dania Beach.

  • Teacher Showcase

    Lisa Head

    Country Hills Elementary School

    Lisa Head, a teacher at Country Hills Elementary School, recently won a $500 sponsorship check from Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill for being the winner of their third annual Above and ‘Bee’yond Teacher Essay Contest. The contest recognizes top teachers from school districts throughout Florida and presents the winning candidate with a sponsorship check to use for school supplies for the upcoming school year. Teachers are nominated for the contest by their students through an essay written and submitted to their local Applebee’s restaurant. Head was nominated by one of her students, who also helped her teacher celebrate the victory with an end-of-the-year party at Applebee’s. Full article: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/the-forum/fl-cn-applebees-broward-county-teacher-20190621-hrutnnr3t5fthasljdomsitlny-story.html.