Jacksonville native Dr. Ronetta Wards named Vice President of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Ronetta Wards as its new Vice President, effective April 24th. Dr. Wards will lead the program team to execute the organization’s strategic initiatives while drawing on her 20 years of experience in educational leadership to ensure operational efficiency across all teams.
As a Jacksonville native, Dr. Wards has a deep understanding of the educational landscape in the region. She has an impressive professional footprint, having served as a mentor teacher, school-based leader, district administrator, educational non-profit executive, and consultant. She has also made a significant impact as a national conference presenter, curriculum reviewer, school improvement coach, and research consultant, using asset-based approaches to data analysis to enhance student learning outcomes.
Dr. Wards has been instrumental in strategic partnerships that have championed diversity, equity, inclusion, and belongingness, creating safe spaces for internal work cultures to thrive and accelerate performance. Her work has helped educational leaders, inclusion coaches, and executives spark creativity and innovation to lead their respective teams.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Wards back home to Jacksonville and to have her join our talented JPEF team," said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. "She joins us just as we are about to embark upon a new three-year strategic plan, and I know her experience and leadership will help us continue the important work we are currently doing as we launch into the critical next phase of our work."
Dr. Wards attended elementary and middle school in Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) and is a proud graduate of William M. Raines Sr. High. Her commitment to supporting educational efforts in northwest Jacksonville is admirable, starting her career as a high school science teacher at Jean Ribault Sr High School and later promoted to the Office of Instructional Technology within DCPS. She took an opportunity to expand her leadership and served in various educational leadership roles in Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan.
Dr. Wards stated, "My entire career has been centered around impact and improving outcomes for students, from being in the classroom to leading schools to consulting with educational leaders. I am excited to serve alongside this amazing team at JPEF by engaging in this important work in my hometown to ensure all students have access to high-quality education."
Dr. Wards holds a doctorate in educational administration from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Ashland University, a master’s degree in secondary science education from the University of North Florida, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida A&M University.
Dr. Wards shared, “I am honored to work with JPEF’s team of committed and passionate education advocates. Together, we will continue to make significant strides in supporting and improving education for all students in Jacksonville.”