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. A Jacksonville native, she returned to her hometown as JPEF’s Executive Vice President in 2017 before being appointed President in November 2018.
Rachael previously served on the senior leadership team at America’s Promise Alliance as Senior Director of the GradNation Campaign. She was selected a 2013 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.
Prior to this, she served as an Education Pioneers Fellow at the Oakland Unified School District to improve community school strategic planning across the district. Earlier, 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 began her career as a Duval County Public Schools teacher at S. P. Livingston Elementary School through Teach for America – Jacksonville’s charter corps.
Rachael holds a master’s degree in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Florida. At UNF, she served as the second African American female Student Government President, Director of the African American Student Union, and joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Rachael currently serves on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family and Community Services, on the Steering Committee of the Women’s Giving Alliance, and as a mentor through UNF’s Community Alliance for Student Success. She was recognized by Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the First Coast’s 40 under 40 in 2020 and is a member of Leadership Florida in Education Class of 2018. She is happily married to her husband, Emmanuel, and is the proud mother of their two children, Nicholas and Elle.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 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.
email@example.com | 904-403-5839
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 404-660-7394
Stephanie Garry Garfunkel joined the Jacksonville Public Education Fund as Director of Marketing and Communications in July 2018. In her role, she has helped launch a new website for JPEF, developed new organizational messaging, led public-facing advocacy efforts and helped disseminate JPEF's research. In 2020, she led JPEF's communications and mobilization campaign in support of the half-penny for public schools, which Duval County voters approved by 67 percent on Nov. 3, 2020.
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., building alumni support for the Independent Florida Alligator, and serving on the board of The Cathedral School in downtown Jacksonville. Stephanie lives in Murray Hill with her husband, David, and daughters, Lucia and Eliza.
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
Dryden Mills serves as the Senior Associate of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships with JPEF. Dryden was born and raised in Jacksonville and Tallahassee, where she graduated from Leon High School, one of the oldest continually accredited public schools in the state of Florida. From there she moved across the country to attend the University of Colorado Boulder where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in Anthropology.
During her time in Boulder, Dryden worked with a youth voter nonprofit, New Era Colorado, to politically engage her peers on campus by registering them to vote, turning them out to vote, and engaging them on the issues they care about. Through this work she helped drive record youth turnout, and helped to pass crucial legislation to protect the environment and ease the student debt burden on college graduates. She has also worked on a congressional campaign and interned in Washington D.C.
Dryden has recently returned to Jacksonville after completing her degree, and is looking forward to getting involved in the community here, in addition to her work at JPEF. On any given weekend, you can likely find her volunteering to register community members to vote and informing her friends about upcoming elections. She also enjoys spending time at home binge watching the latest Netflix series and hanging out with her cat, Zora.
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
Veronica Session-Fennell is JPEF’s Manager of Operations and Development and Executive Assistant to JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. Veronica is a Jacksonville native and a graduate from Andrew Jackson High School, the oldest high school in Duval County. From there she continued her education at Jacksonville University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. As a student, Veronica founded the Distinguished Black Women of JU and served as the Program Director for Dolphin Radio. Following graduation, Veronica found her passion for making change in her hometown working in the nonprofit sector. In 2020, Veronica graduated with her Master of Science in Human Service Administration and was inducted into Pi Gamma Mu, the International Honor Society of Social Sciences.
Veronica is a member of several community organizations, including the Atlantic Circle, Junior League and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has served on the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the Digital Communications Coordinator. She also serves as the Philanthropy Coordinator for the Black Alumni Network of Jacksonville University, with a goal to raise funds for a scholarship specifically for African American students. Veronica and her husband Jerial love to travel and take photos in their spare time.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (904) 554-3035
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.
email@example.com cell: (904) 575-0447
Read about the impact you made by investing in the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.
DID YOU KNOW?
of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2018-2019.