Community pledges commitment to public education at Public Ed Ambassador initiative launch


Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) initiated the first cohort of ONE by ONE: Public Ed Ambassadors – its new elite volunteer corps  on Saturday, Oct. 21. By coming together to strengthen the systems that support child development, we are living up to our shared responsibility to make our city a place where all children can learn, grow and become responsible citizens themselves.

"This year, we are thrilled to activate diverse community leaders to play an active role in our collective effort to advance public education. The new Public Ed Ambassador initiative will allow public education advocates – including students, parents, educators and business leaders – the opportunity to provide valuable contributions to improve public perception of the teaching profession, elevate the contributions high-quality educators make each and every day to our city’s future and explore how best to strengthen the school leadership pipeline,” Rachael Tutwiler Fortune, Executive Vice President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, said.

The 31 new Ambassadors were inducted at Jessie Ball duPont Center at a kick-off event where they met JPEF staff and their Ambassador cohort. Ambassadors were given an opportunity to become more familiar with ways to utilize their community engagement, research and writing skills to make a difference throughout the year as well as provided with a sneak peek of some of the high-level findings from JPEF’s upcoming Talent Study -- a research series examining the opportunities to improve high-quality teacher recruitment and retention in Duval.

"The Ambassador initiative is designed to power the potential of these local stakeholders to affect change from the ground up and to equip them with new knowledge and skills as advocates committed to ensuring all students receive an excellent education,” Trey Csar, President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, said.

This year's cohort of Public Ed Ambassadors includes:

  • Ana Solis, Parent
  • Andrea Dempsey Schletter, Principal, Gregory Drive Elementary
  • Anna McDaniel, Cohort Community Coach, Teach for America National
  • Arlene Cameron-Lloyd, Teacher, Duval County Public Schools
  • Austrai Bradley, Assistant Principal, SOS Academy
  • Chidinmma, Egemonu, Student, Paxon School for Advanced Studies
  • Clayton, Levins, Community Relations Coordinator, Jacksonville University
  • Courtney Barclay, Assistant Professor, Jacksonville University
  • Courtney Forshee, Evaluation Analyst, City Year Jacksonville
  • Cristina Valentino, Parent
  • Danela Oliveros, Student, Paxon School for Advanced Studies
  • Genesis Piña-Pulido, Student, Englewood High School
  • Gregory Hill, Student, Ribault High School
  • Helane Freeman, Teacher, Duval County Public Schools
  • Janet Myers, Retired Teacher/Administrator, Duval County Public Schools
  • John Barnes, Governmental Affairs Manager, Intuition LLC
  • John Murnin, Vice President of Project Management and Testing, US Bank
  • Kacie Wiggins, Teacher, Duval County Public Schools
  • Kiersten Washell, Teacher, Florida Virtual School
  • Marq Mervin, Professor of Digital Media, Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Meagan Hendrix, Teacher, Duval County Public Schools
  • Nicholas Slunaker Jr., Student, Stanton College Preparatory School
  • Physhaunti Harold, Student, Ribault High School
  • Rob Curran, Math Coach, Duval County Public Schools
  • Roel Escamilla, Teacher, Kelly Educational Staffing
  • Samantha Mims, Student, University of North Florida
  • Sarah Niss, Outreach Assistant, River City Science Academy
  • Startice Galmore, Teacher, KIPP Jacksonville Elementary
  • Tabitha Cobb, Student, University of Central Florida
  • Temika Jones, Parent/ Community Outreach Specialist, Magellan Complete Care
  • Tim Sloan, Parent

Contact Charmaine Campo, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications, at (904) 790-1178 or for photos and more information.


About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is an independent nonprofit organization that works to spark innovation, relationships and resources to power the potential within and around our public schools to achieve excellent outcomes for all students. For more information, visit or call (904) 356-7757.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.