Movers and Shakers: Leaders promoted, make student supports improvements

Jo Ann Matthews now serves the Louisiana DOE; Superintendent Barbara J. Case adds co-teaching to New York district's strategic plan; Principal James Carrick implements PBIS at Arizona middle school; and under Superintendent Raymond Sanchez's leadership, a New York district wins awards

Jo Ann Matthews, former superintendent of Lafourche Parish School District in Louisiana, now serves as southern network leader for the Louisiana Department of Education. Matthews is the main contact for 37 superintendents with whom she works to ensure students meet grade-level standards. Matthews also manages a team of coaches who support districts implementing statewide strategies that she helps create. 

Principal James Carrick implemented Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports at Arizona’s Fountain Hills Middle School, which also required developing a new counseling staff. Carrick added new courses on coding, STEAM, journalism and independent living. In the 2018-19 academic year, student grades rose above the state average after Carrick adopted the statewide Beyond Textbook teaching resource.

Read: Movers and Shakers: Superintendents tapped for new districts, boost graduation rates, win awards

Superintendent Barbara J. Case has added co-teaching to the 2019-22 strategic plan for General Brown Central School District in New York to promote inclusivity and reduce the need to remove students from classrooms for special education supports. She is also adding more special ed paraprofessionals. For her work, Case will receive the 2019 Ed Roberts Barrier Buster Award from the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living.

Under Superintendent Raymond Sanchez‘s leadership, Ossining Union Free School District in New York received the Most Successful School Award at the GENIUS Olympiad and an extracurricular activities award from the Junior State of America for the second consecutive year. Sanchez also recently launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative that connects boys with support networks to build college and career readiness skills. In addition, Ossining has been named one of the best communities for music education by the NAMM Foundation for the ninth consecutive year, and district leaders are introducing two new math instruction programs this year.

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