Twelve Public School Principals Selected for Founders Fellowships

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is supporting principals in Title I elementary schools with professional learning communities, coaching and funding.


JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — October 21, 2020 — The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is proud to announce twelve public school principals have been selected for four Founders Fellowships in the School Leadership Initiative, a strategic effort to enhance school quality by investing in Title I elementary school principals.

Through the fellowships, the principals will receive professional learning opportunities, coaching and $10,000 per school in grant funding to support their work to improve key drivers of school quality at their schools over three years. This summer, JPEF kicked off the professional learning for the fellows with the School Leadership Residency Experience, which brought 27 Title I elementary school principals together to learn from each other as well as national experts in school leadership.

“Our Title I elementary school principals have one of the toughest and most important jobs in our community,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “That was true even before the pandemic. We are so proud to offer them such significant support as they work on strategic projects to drive school quality.”

“Great student outcomes come from a positive interaction of outstanding instruction and outstanding leadership,” said Dr. Diana Greene, Duval County Public Schools Superintendent. “My gratitude goes to JPEF and to all of those investing in this initiative. I am also very proud of our leaders selected for this program. By investing in leaders, this is the kind of partnership that can be transformative for schools now and in the future.”

Over the next three years, the twelve fellows will build on the foundation of the summer residency with additional support from JPEF through four fellowships named for JPEF founding leaders: 

Cindy Edelman Fellowship for Teacher Recruitment & Retention

Marianne Lee - Mamie Agnes Jones Elementary

Tiffany Green - Woodland Acres Elementary

Michelle Walsh - Lake Lucina Elementary

Brian J. Davis Fellowship for School Climate & Culture

Jessica Sales - Normandy Village Elementary

Shawn Platts - Stonewall Jackson Elementary

Andrea Williams-Scott - Jacksonville Heights Elementary

John Delaney Fellowship for Family & Community Engagement

Wayman Franklin Graham II - Long Branch Elementary

Angela Jordan - Whitehouse Elementary

Sabrina Session-Jones - Biltmore Elementary 

Nina Waters Fellowship for Leadership & Management

Sanaa McBride - Biscayne Elementary

Ta'Vianna Sanders - Highlands Elementary

Tiffany Emanuel-Wright - Love Grove Elementary


Last year, JPEF launched the School Leadership Initiative in partnership with Duval County Public Schools and local charter schools as part of a strategic focus on the key role of principals in Title I schools, which serve a large number of students living in poverty. Research shows that effective principals are more likely to retain high quality teachers and have a dramatic impact on student learning gains. Through the 2019-2020 pilot year, four inaugural fellows received grant funding and coaching support, with promising results, despite the emergency closure of brick and mortar schools due to COVID-19.

For example, Principal Marva McKinney, the Brian J. Davis Fellow for School Climate & Culture, developed student clubs that helped reduce discipline referrals by 25 percent. Principal Jennifer Gray, the John Delaney Fellow for Family & Community Engagement, wanted to improve engagement with teachers and families at Don Brewer Elementary School, and at the end of their project, the school recorded a 65 percent increase in families’ event attendance, and a whopping 460 percent increase in response rate to their 5Essentials Survey.


About the Jacksonville Public Education Fund

The Jacksonville Public Education Fund is a research-driven independent nonprofit organization that is working to close the opportunity gap for low-income students and students of color in Duval County. We believe public schools have made tremendous progress over the last ten years, but we cannot stop working until every student is prepared for success in college, career and life. We pilot and scale equity-focused best practices in schools by building the capacity of school leaders, teacher leaders and parent leaders. For more information:




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