Welcome to our digital 2019 Impact Report & 10-Year Review. Download a PDF of the report here or browse by section below.


Letter from LeadershipTimeline - School Leadership - Teacher Leadership - Parent Leadership - Our Theory of Change - Investor Recognition

Dear Friends of Public Education, 

In 2009, community leaders founded the Jacksonville Public Education Fund as a high-capacity independent organization that supports great public schools in Duval County.

At the time, our graduation rate was 56 percent — and too many children were struggling to master grade-level math and reading skills. We needed our community to rally around the cause of public education and make our schools the foundation of a thriving city.

Ten years later, we’ve made tremendous progress. Our district is closer than it has ever been to an A grade, and our graduation rate is now soaring over 85 percent. 

JPEF is proud to have played a part in this success story by putting the public back in public education. Our work on the ONE in THREE photography exhibit at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens raised awareness about our dropout crisis. Awareness turned into action through the groundbreaking ONE by ONE campaign, which identified community priorities for public schools and informed a new district-wide strategic plan. The Quality Education for All Fund, based at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and administered by JPEF, helped move the needle in our lowest-performing schools and guided JPEF’s focus on human capital in our next chapter. 

On our 10th anniversary, we want to express our sincere gratitude for all you’ve done to support this progress. None of this would have been possible without you.

In the midst of great progress, we now have to double down on our efforts to close the opportunity gap for students who are still struggling. We are thrilled to launch a new School Leadership Initiative to help improve school quality in our low-income neighborhoods. We hope you will join us in this work.

Sincerely, undefined

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Timeline: 10 Years of Powering Potential 

2009: Jacksonville Public Education Fund established 

Community leaders invested in improving public education identified the need for a high-capacity local education fund. One of the first initiatives was a year-long study by Education Resource Strategies that led to more efficient use of resources, co-funded with DCPS.

2011: ONE by ONE became flagship initiative 

In September 2011, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund launched its first major community mobilization initiative. The ONE in THREE art exhibit was seen by more than 75,000 viewers, and nearly 1,700 people participated in ONE by ONE community conversations. 


2012: Community played a leading role in selecting DCPS leadership 

>>> The Jacksonville Public Education Fund served as a strong advocate in informing and engaging the community around the 2012 school board elections, and around the school board’s search for and selection of a new DCPS superintendent, Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti. 

>>> School Facts Jax launched, making school performance data easily accessible to the community. 

2013: Quality Education for All Fund launched 


Responding to the priorities identified in the ONE by ONE campaign, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida launched this $38 million investment in human capital to improve teaching and leadership in historically low-performing schools. JPEF administered the fund. 

Schools benefiting from these investments showed significant gains in student achievement and school culture, with higher graduation rates and higher school grades. 

2017: New framework focused on human capital  


JPEF adopted a new focused strategic framework to deepen our impact on school quality by investing in human capital to strengthen public schools.

JPEF expanded the EDDY Awards into a yearlong program for Teachers of the Year to build their capacity as practitioners and leaders in their schools. 

2018: New system leaders arrive to build on progress  

>>> With the departure of Dr. Vitti as superintendent, JPEF hosted our first-ever School Board Candidate Academy and engaged the community as the school board launched a search and selection of a new DCPS superintendent, Dr. Diana Greene.  

>>> Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone, inspired Jacksonville leaders to support students from low-income backgrounds, as part of JPEF’s first EDTalks event.


2019: New programs, new decade  

Duval County Public Schools proposed a 15-year half-penny sales tax to pay for $2 billion in improvements to public school buildings. JPEF called on City Council to put the matter to a vote and shared results from our annual community poll showing strong support for a small tax increase for schools.


JPEF launched a School Leadership Initiative to provide professional learning and grants to school leaders in Title I elementary schools. 


Building on a decade of impact through community engagement, JPEF graduated the first class of Parents Who Lead, an evidence-based parent leadership program, in partnership with Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Public Library and Kids Hope Alliance. Parent advocates led projects on bullying, implicit bias in schools and traffic safety in school zones.



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Powering Potential through School Leadership

Research has shown school leaders have a critical impact on student learning. Newly launched in 2019, the School Leadership Initiative is designed to improve student learning in Title I elementary schools by developing phenomenal school leaders.

Public schools in Duval County have made great strides, but we have more work to do to close the opportunity gap for low-income students. For this reason, JPEF is launching the School Leadership Initiative.

Great schools can only exist with great leaders. Effective principals are more likely to retain high-quality teachers, and they are also more likely to dismiss poorly performing teachers. According to a national study conducted by Stanford University, students in schools with high-performing principals will have between two to seven months of additional learning gains. There are virtually no cases of a school turning around without a powerful leader. 

The School Leadership Initiative provides professional learning and grant funding to school leaders in Title I elementary schools in Duval County. It also provides national research to improve practices throughout the school system.

Why Title I?

Schools serving low-income students face more barriers to achievement, as shown by differences in school grades between Title I and non-Title I elementary schools in Duval County.


Four Founders Fellowships in the Pilot Year 2019-2020 

The Cindy Edelman Fellowship for Teacher Recruitment & Retention 

At Ruth Upson Elementary, Principal Yvonne Spinner is creating opportunities to retain teachers to ensure every child has a great teacher.

The Brian J. Davis Fellowship for School Climate & Culture

At Cedar Hills Elementary, Principal Marva Mckinney is improving discipline practices to ensure every child feels safe, welcome and ready to learn.

The John Delaney Fellowship for Family & Community Engagement

At Don Brewer Elementary, Principal Jennifer Gray is developing trust between teachers and parents so that parents are active participants in their child’s education. 

The Nina Waters Fellowship for Leadership & Management

At Brentwood Elementary, Principal Jacqueline Jones is developing a succession plan to ensure improvements continue when staff transition.


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Powering Potential through Teacher Leadership 

In Duval County, being teacher of the year means much more than a parking space.

JPEF has built the EDDY Awards — an elegant celebration that helps retain teachers in the classroom by showing the community’s appreciation — into a yearlong professional learning experience.

The goal of the EDDYs Experience is to empower every teacher of the year as a teacher leader who mentors other teachers, fosters a positive culture in the school and spreads best practices in instruction.

Through the program, teachers learn from each other and from top local and national partners, and build advocacy skills to make their voices heard on issues like the Florida Standards and the sales tax referendum. They also receive grant funding to spend on strategic projects in the classroom and get connected to opportunities like the new Cindy Edelman Excellence in Teaching Fellowship.

The crowning experience is the e-cubed summer fellowship, in which the top five finalists travel to a national conference, meet with the Duval County School Board and develop their skills as teacher leaders. 


Last year, I was a classroom teacher wondering if I’m really making a difference. A year later, I know I made a difference to my students, my community and education in Florida.”
— Stephanie Bellino, 2019 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year


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Powering Potential through Parent Leadership

A cornerstone of JPEF’s community engagement work is Parents Who Lead, an intensive program on civic leadership that teaches parents how to be effective advocates for children. Participants attend weekly three-hour classes for 20 weeks and complete a community project of their choosing with the strategic support of JPEF and partners, including Duval County Public Schools, the Jacksonville Public Library and Kids Hope Alliance. Earlier this year, eight parents graduated from the inaugural class, leading community projects such as: teaching parents how to advocate for children with special needs, hosting a workshop for teachers on implicit bias, developing an online portal for parents of gifted children and successfully advocating for traffic safety improvements outside First Coast High School. Parents Who Lead alumni have also played a major role in the community conversation around a tax referendum for Duval County Public Schools, appearing in the media and before City Council to advocate for letting the voters decide. This fall, 34 parents began the program in the second cohort.


This program took me from advocating for my children to learning how to advocate for all children in Jacksonville. I learned how I can use my voice to act and speak on behalf of our children and families.”
— Tiffany Clark, 2019 Parents Who Lead Graduate
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Powering Potential through Human Capital

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund aims to ensure every student has access to high-quality public schools. We’ve seen a lot of progress over the last 10 years, but inequities by race and income persist in our schools. We are focused on closing the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color by investing in human capital in our public schools: effective principals, teacher leaders and parent advocates. Through our research and policy work, we also drive change in partnership with system leaders, amplifying our impact across the entirety of Duval County.


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Investor Recognition


In 2009, a small group of community leaders founded the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. Ten years later, JPEF has played a pivotal role in the progress in our public schools, which now boast a graduation rate more than 85 percent and the distinction of being one of the top urban districts according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as “the nation’s report card.”  None of this would have been possible without the steadfast support of JPEF’s investors. We are honored to recognize our investors for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. 

Sustaining Investors

Poppy and Rob Clements

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

Cynthia G. Edelman Family Foundation

Delores Barr Weaver

$50,000 and above

Deutsche Bank • Rice Family Foundation

$10,000 - $49,999

Baker Family Advised Fund • Cady Studios • Dubow Family Foundation • Florida Blue • The Hicks Charitable Foundation • Publix Super Markets Charities • Rotary Clubs International • State of Florida DMV • David Stein • Anita and James Vining • VyStar Credit Union • Wells Fargo 

$1,000 - $9,999

ABM Services (Formerly GCA) • Ashley and John Adams • Susannah Albright • Bank of America • Marcela and Russell Beard • Sel Buyuksarac • Nancy and Gary Chartrand • Chartwells • Community First Credit Union • Compass Group • Arthur Vining Davis Foundation • Judge Brian J. Davis • John  Dinneen • Dream Finders Homes • Ray Driver • Duval Teachers United • Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund • Holly Finchem • First Coast YMCA • The Florida Times-Union • Rachael Tutwiler Fortune • Stephanie Grant • Rev. Mark Griffin • Stephen Halverson • Joan and Preston Haskell • Janet Healy • Hyatt Regency Jacksonville • Kevin Hyde • Jacksonville University • Nicosia and Coley Jones • Jostens • Alexis and Matt Kane • Joy and Howard Korman • Helen Lane • LenderLive • Thad McNulty • Museum of Science & History • ReGina Newkirk • News4Jax • Joshua Nugent • Donna Orender • Lisa Page • Dr. Davalu and John O. Parrish  • Pam D. Paul • Pam Y. Paul • PRI Productions • Deborah Quazzo • Raymur Rachels • Read USA • Regions Bank • Ryan Schwartz  • Scratchwerk • Brooke and Hap Stein • University of North Florida Foundation  • US Assure  • Terry and Lon Walton  • Eartha M.M. White Legacy Fund • Wicked Barley • Avery Williams  • Susannah and Buck Williams • Jeanne and Jim Winston • Ellen and Jim Wiss

$100 - $999

Agility Press • Andy Allen • Kimberly Allen • Dr. Jordan Baker • Ali Balfour • Ricky Bedoya • Benevity • Liz Bobeck and Josh Nugent • Clanzenetta M. Brown • Diane Brunet • Jason and Suzanne Burhyte • Karen Buskirk • Rita and Carl Cannon • Jeffrey Chamberlain • Corporate Medical Life •Sunny Gettinger and Trey Csar • Frank Denton • Howard and June Entman Charitable Trust • Ronnie Ferguson • Deborah Gervin • Margaret Gulliford • Elizabeth Head • Coretta and Marcus Hill • Lee and Laura Jones • Heather Julin-Pittman • Rosa Maria King • Catherine and Christopher Kirkpatrick • William Long • Sharon Lucie • Medtronic • Melissa Nelson • Network For Good • Karla Newton • Gregory Norgord • Ranga Ocholi • O’Steen Automotive Group • Sharon Pentaleri • Ceil Pillsbury • Kenneth Reddick • Root Realty • Lauren Rueger • Lindsay Runnels • San Marco Bookstore • John Sapora • Ryan Sitnik • Kathleen and Michael Stephens • Sweet Pete’s • Tracy and Clay Tousey • Felita Tutt • Stephanie Verlander • Robin Wahby • Susanne Weisman • Elizabeth and Patrick Williams • Ashley Wotiz • YourCause • Kate Zarczynski

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Upcoming Event

Applications Due for the Wolfburg Fellowship for Social Justice in Education

  • Date: Sunday, Jun 06, 2021
  • Time: 12:00AM to 11:59PM
  • Where: Online Application
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2020 Annual report cover

2020 Annual Report

Read about the impact you made by investing in the Jacksonville Public Education Fund.

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of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2018-2019.