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Alachua County Education Compact Update

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The Alachua County Education Compact (ACEC) Strategy Development committee met with ACEC signers last Friday at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce to unveil Compact strategies, developed over a span of 15 weeks.

The purpose of the Compact strategies is to build a bridge to connect the business community, faith-based groups and community service groups with the education community to help enhance collaborative efforts to improve our schools, our community and to develop the whole Child.

“Now the work begins. We have our strategies in place, and it is time for our community to mobilize to action for the implementation of these strategies for the benefit of the whole child,” says Gainesville Chamber VP of Education and Talent Alignment Ian Fletcher.

Strategy Development Committee Chair Karen Clarke, who also serves as assistant superintendent for Alachua County Public Schools chaired the committee, emphasizing the mobilization of existing efforts as opposed to the creation of new ones.

“How much more powerful could we be if we get all those efforts together and moving in the same direction”? Clark posed to the group.

The strategy development group formed by 12 educators (see below) walked the ACEC signers through all six strategies and supporting points. Compact strategies, include:

  1. Support and enhance collaborative partnerships with arts, business, civic, cultural, education, faith-based, health, and social service communities to support the development of the whole child.
  1. Support and enhance high quality teaching and learning in classrooms and other learning environments.
  1. Support and enhance innovative practices and/or programs that are working to enhance learning, inclusion of the arts, healthy lifestyles and social responsibilities.
  1. Coordinate advocacy on Pre-K through 20 funding and educational policy issues at every level of government.
  1. Provide students multiple pathways for workforce and career preparation.
  1. Ensure opportunities and support services for Students and Families.

The aim of the Compact is to facilitate the achievement of six goals that would result in all students graduating from high school; having access to and being prepared for college and/or career success; having access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers; developing healthy lifestyle habits, an appreciation for the arts and a sense of social responsibility.

The Alachua County Education Compact was created to mobilize the community around education and better prepare students for higher education and sustainable careers. The ACEC will facilitate a systemic and holistic approach to improving education outcomes by focusing on areas including K-12, early childhood education, parent education, higher education, workforce development and career preparedness. For more information about the Compact, visit

The ACEC Strategy Development Committee includes:

  • Karen Clarke, Assistant Superintendent Curriculum and Instructional Services, Alachua County Public School
  • Linda Fuchs, First Lady, University of Florida
  • Robert Woody, Board Member, Santa Fe College Board of Trustees
  • Karen Cole-Smith, Executive Director, East Gainesville Instruction, Santa Fe College
  • Elio Chiarelli, Financial Adviser, Kidder Advisers, LLC
  • Melissa Gentry, School Nurse Program Supervisor, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County
  • Eric Segal, Director of Education and Curator of Academic Programs, Harn Museum of Art
  • Gordon Tremaine, Chief Executive Officer, Alachua County Early Learning Coalition
  • Russell Robinson, Professor of Music and Area Head, Music Education
  • School of Music, University of Florida College of Arts
  • Nancy Waldron, Associate Dean, Education, University of Florida College of Education
  • Stefanie Waschull, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Santa Fe College
  • John McNeely, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs-CTE, Santa Fe College
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