Meet the team behind the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.
Rachael Tutwiler Fortune is the President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, where she leads the organization to help ensure every student in Duval County attends a high-quality school. Having served in government, non-profit, district and school-based roles, Rachael draws upon significant professional experience at all levels of the education system. She is a proud Jacksonville native and product of Duval County Public Schools.
Rachael began her career as a Duval County Public Schools teacher at S. P. Livingston Elementary School through Teach for America - Jacksonville. Afterward, she led JPEF's community mobilization efforts, launching the ONE by ONE campaign to mobilize stakeholders to develop a shared vision for local schools.
Rachael left Jacksonville to pursue a master’s degree in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from Stanford University. Upon graduation, she served as an Education Pioneers Fellow at the Oakland Unified School District to improve community school strategic planning across the district.
Rachael was selected a Presidential Management Fellow and served as a Program Officer at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC, where she managed a portfolio of multi-million-dollar Race to the Top grants during the Obama Administration. Following her fellowship, she joined the senior leadership team at America's Promise Alliance as a Senior Director responsible for leading the GradNation Campaign. She returned to Jacksonville and JPEF in 2017 as Executive Vice President before stepping into the President role in November 2018.
In addition to her master’s, Rachael holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Florida, where she served as the second African American female Student Government President and joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She serves on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family and Community Services and is a member of the Women’s Giving Alliance. She was recognized as a member of Leadership Florida Education Class of 2018 and served on the City of Jacksonville's 2018 Task Force on Open Government. She is happily married to her husband, Emmanuel, and is the proud mother of their two children, Nicholas and Elle.
email@example.com | cell: (904) 352-6897
As JPEF’s Vice President, Coretta Hill works to drive effective implementation of JPEF's strategy to make a deep and measurable impact on school quality through management and support of the organization's talented program team. She partners with JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune to guide the organization's overall operational effectiveness.
Prior to joining JPEF, Coretta served as Vice President of Volunteer and Community Engagement at the United Way of Northeast Florida for 10 years. She has also served as Executive Director of the March of Dimes in Buffalo, New York, Marketing Director and Adjunct Professor at Central Texas College in Japan, and in roles that allowed her to direct campaigns and communications for the Albany, Georgia, city government and United Way in Jacksonville and in Albany.
Her skillset and professional expertise span strong strategic planning, management, fundraising and communication competencies. She earned an MPA in Non-Profit Management from Albany State University, and a BA in Mass Communications with a focus on Public Relations from Fort Valley State University.
She is a member of the 2019 Leadership Jacksonville Class, a Community Coach with the Nonprofit Center for Northeast Florida and serves on the Board of Directors for Changing Homelessness, Inc.
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Laura Alrutz is Director of Policy and Advocacy for JPEF, tracking policy developments at the local and state level and informing JPEF’s advocacy strategy.
Laura is a Jacksonville native and a proud product of Duval County Public Schools. Laura attended the University of Florida, where she received her bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Art History. After college, Laura returned to Jacksonville and taught 6th grade World History at Ribault Middle School as a Teach For America corps member. During her time in the classroom, Laura developed a passion for providing excellent educational opportunities for students. Shortly after, Laura attended Vanderbilt University Law School and received her Juris Doctorate in 2015. She then practiced education law for a firm in Nashville, representing multiple school districts across Tennessee and developing policy for the state.
Laura and her husband, Zach, are proud parents of their daughter, Sloane.
email@example.com | cell: (904) 894-6228
Warren Buck serves the teachers of Duval County as the Director of Teacher Leadership for the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. As the Director, Warren oversees the EDDYs program, a yearlong celebration and leadership program for the Teacher of the Year award winners in Duval.
Warren came to the JPEF team after serving in public education for 15 years, the last ten of which were in Jacksonville. While in Jacksonville, Warren worked as a teacher at Jefferson Davis Middle School and KIPP Impact Middle School. Additionally, Warren worked for four years as the principal of KIPP Impact before joining K12 Inc. as their Head of Schools in Florida. As an educator Warren has won multiple awards, including Teacher of the Year twice while with KIPP STRIVE in Atlanta and the Georgia Middle School Debate Coach of the Year award. Currently, Warren serves as the vice chair of the board of directors for Yoga 4 Change and he volunteers his time with several other community organizations.
Warren is an avid hiker, urban gardener and chef who enjoys all Jacksonville has to offer with his fiancé Leslie and his two dogs.
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Stephanie Garry Garfunkel joined the Jacksonville Public Education Fund as Director of Marketing and Communications in July 2018.
Stephanie attended public schools in Citrus County, Fla., and graduated from the University of Florida (UF) with degrees in Journalism and English and a minor in Spanish. At UF, she worked as a copy editor, reporter and news editor at the Independent Florida Alligator, ultimately serving as editor-in-chief, and interned as a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald, where she wrote front-page stories about local news, the Florida Legislature and social issues. After graduation, Stephanie worked as a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times before joining the U.S. Peace Corps as an education volunteer, supporting teachers and students in public schools in El Limón, a rural town in the Dominican Republic. She holds an MA in Communication from Johns Hopkins University, and has worked in communications for Boston-based nonprofits including Partners In Health and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where she was most recently Senior Managing Editor. She has continued her volunteer work by tutoring immigrant high school students in Cambridge, Mass., and building alumni support for the Independent Florida Alligator. Stephanie lives in Murray Hill with her husband, David, and daughter, Lucia.
email@example.com | (352) 359-2393
Dr. Maira Martelo leads JPEF's strategic engagement and partnerships, including Parents Who Lead, an initiative in partnership with Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Public Library and the Kids Hope Alliance.
Maira grew up in Cartagena, Colombia, and has more than a decade of teaching experience as a college professor in Colombia, Mexico and the United States. She also has worked as a research consultant in Colombia and Mexico, evaluating several programs that involved community engagement.
She has lived in Jacksonville for more than 12 years, getting to know the Hispanic community through her work as a contributing writer for Hola Noticias, the local Hispanic newspaper, as well as her engagement in several Hispanic organizations. During her time in Jacksonville, Maira completed a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of North Florida, writing her dissertation on early literacy practices at home and beliefs about education among the Hispanic community in Jacksonville. Based on the results of her dissertation, Duval County Public School created the first bilingual Voluntary Prekindergarten Program at West Riverside Elementary School. Maira also worked as an assessment assistant at the College of Education and Human Services at the University of North Florida. She has served as a board member of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and has chaired the Achieving The Dream Scholarship for Hispanic students for the last three years. In addition to her doctorate, Maira holds bachelor's and master's degrees in communication. Maira mentors high school students who are pursuing their college education and also mentors through Generation Wow. She also volunteers with the Refugee Program at Catholic Charities. Maira recently received the 2017 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award for her contributions to the Hispanic community in Jacksonville.
firstname.lastname@example.org | cell: (904) 351-6671
Carly Norgord is JPEF’s Senior Manager of Finances and Operations.
Carly grew up in southeastern Wisconsin and is the product of a public school education. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and International Studies. In 2006, Carly joined the Teach for America corps in the San Francisco Bay Area teaching 4th grade at DJ Meyer Elementary School in San Jose and then 6th grade English Language Arts at KIPP Bayview Academy in San Francisco. During that time, she earned her California Preliminary Teaching Credential through Alliant International University.
In 2008, Carly moved to Jacksonville where she worked as an Assistant Director at Huntington Learning Center, where she managed operations and tutored students. Carly joined the JPEF team for the first time in March of 2010 as Operations Associate and later became Finance Manager. In 2014, Carly moved back to the midwest and made the decision to stay home with her children before returning to JPEF as Finance Manager in 2017.
While in Jacksonville, Carly served on the Teach for America Jacksonville Alumni Board and volunteered as a mentor with Achievers for Life at Matthew Gilbert Middle School and Take Stock in Children at First Coast High School.
email@example.com | cell: (415) 971-5130
Jen Silva leads JPEF’s Department of Fund Development through fundraising and grant related initiatives with local, state and federal partners. Through the cultivation of individual, foundation and corporate business development, she develops philanthropic support for strategic programs that align with the needs of public education and business sectors. She works to steward relationships to build JPEF’s visibility, direct impact and resources through external investments on behalf of students and teachers.
She has 20 years of experience in education policy, including higher education. Prior to joining JPEF, she served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Government Relations at Edward Waters College under the leadership of Former Jacksonville Sheriff and President, Dr. Nathaniel Glover and served as Director of Community Engagement and Government Relations for Florida State College at Jacksonville and Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Development for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University.
Jen served in Congress for 11 years as Senior Policy Advisor and Finance Director in the Office of Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano in the United States House of Representatives where her policy portfolio included education, mental health, natural resources and minority issues.
She has also served on the Mayor's Hispanic American Advisory Board since 2015 and as Chair for 2019 recently being honored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as the 2019 Business Advocate for her work across the Hispanic community in Jacksonville. She is bilingual in Spanish with a proud Colombian heritage and credits her career to the education opportunities provided to her by her parents who came to the United States in the 1960s to reach the American dream and succeeded.
Jen is the 2006 Co-Founder of Ladies America and Ladies International (Washington, D.C.), a non-profit created with the motto, “Women Helping Women” to empower professional women and men working to advance one another through mentorship and leadership training programs.
She has an M.A. in Education Administration and Policy from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a B.A. in Psychology from James Madison University, Harrisonburg, V.A. On her spare time, she trains at CrossFit Jacksonville Beach, loves to travel and spend time with her family.
firstname.lastname@example.org cell: (904) 575-0447
Ashanta Williamson is JPEF’s Fund Development Associate and Executive Assistant, supporting JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune.
Previously, Ashanta served as the Public Affairs Specialist and Operations Manager for the Division of Institutional Advancement for her alma mater, Bethune-Cookman University, in Daytona Beach, FL. Her biggest accomplishment there was securing the signing of Senate Bill 472, which allowed a statue of civil-rights leader and educator Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune to replace the statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith to represent Florida in National Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. Florida is now the first state in the union to honor an African-American woman in the national hall. She also helped secure over $9 million in state funding and raised over $8.7 million through Bethune-Cookman University’s annual Legacy Awards Gala. She has also served as a junior lobbyist and legislative intern at Becker and Poliakoff, P.A. in Tallahassee, FL.
Ashanta has served with the United Fellowship of Churches, 100 Black Women of South Florida, Urban League of Palm Beach County and Central Florida, Florence DeGeorge Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach, Central Florida Chapter of SISTUHS, Incorporated and The Straight and Narrow Project, Inc.
Most recently, Ashanta relocated to Jacksonville to follow her passion as a volunteer and Director of Marketing and Community Engagement and Executive Assistant to the Executive Director of the Straight and Narrow Project, a local youth development organization tailored to 5th through 12th grade students in Jacksonville, Florida. She has taken the lead to help the Straight and Narrow project secure funding from Florida Blue and other local sponsors.
Ashanta is a 2014 graduate of Bethune Cookman University, and holds a bachelor's degree in political science.
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In JPEF's 2019 Public Perceptions Poll, the Jacksonville community said once again they would support a small tax for schools.
85.1 % of students district-wide graduated high school in 2018, a record high.