BCPS in the News

BCPS Honors Top Leaders at the 2016 Caliber Awards

Monday, April 04, 2016
Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) honored its best at the 2016 Caliber Awards Ceremony on Friday, April 1, 2016, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. The annual Caliber Awards recognizes and honors the exceptional leadership, hard work and dedication of the District’s outstanding teachers, principals, assistant principals and school-related/District employees.

Congratulations to all of the 2016 Caliber Awards winners!

Jeter-45.jpgTeacher of the Year 
Brandon Kyle Jeter, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

For 17 of his 21 years as a science teacher, Brandon Kyle Jeter has taught an honors-level course in astronomy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The course, which served an inaugural class of 22 students, has now grown to include 235 students in the program. Students learn to solve complex engineering problems through the use of technology, and become excited about the possibilities of science. Jeter, a National Board Certified Teacher, recently completed a Master of Arts degree in teaching and learning.

While Jeter inspires students to pursue careers in science, he also helps teachers in Florida and elsewhere to apply technology in their instruction in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other disciplines. “Mr. Jeter’s passion and creative teaching sparks students interest, motivation and excitement,” said Principal Ty Thompson. “Jeter is an outstanding example of a teacher committed to lifelong learning for himself, his students and his community.”

Teacher of the Year Finalists
Racquel House, Hollywood Park Elementary School
Laurie Kraus, Hollywood Hills Elementary School
James Nance, Ramblewood Middle School
Lara Ruddy, McNicol Middle School
Donna Yard, West Broward High School

Johnson-Karlton-45.jpgPrincipal of the Year
Dr. Karlton Johnson, Blanche Ely High School

When Dr. Karlton Johnson arrived at Blanche Ely High School eight years ago, enrollment was declining, the physical facility was in
poor condition and students were not engaged. His goal was to transform the school to create a stronger community, and to help students embrace their educational opportunities. Since 2010, the school has improved its state letter grade to a “B,” enrollment has increased and dual enrollment has grown. The overall graduation rate at Blanche Ely High is now the highest in the school’s history at 90 percent, and the graduation rate for black male students is the second highest in the District. Ninety-six percent of Blanche Ely High magnet students attend four-year colleges and universities, and many earn scholarships.

Through Johnson’s committed leadership, Blanche Ely High has received numerous awards and recognitions for students and staff achievement, and continues to pursue its mission of providing an inclusive learning community for all students.

Principal of the Year Finalists
Dr. Jermaine Fleming, Nova Middle School
Dr. Lewis Jackson, Dania Elementary School
Ernie Lozano, James S. Hunt Elementary School
Jon Marlow, Deerfield Beach High School
Elaine L. Saef, Panther Run Elementary School

Smith-J-45-(1).jpgAssistant Principal of the Year
Jacqueline A. Smith, Hollywood Hills High School

As an assistant principal at Hollywood Hills High School, Jacqueline A. Smith directs all aspects of school operations, including instructional leadership, data analysis and professional development. A skilled and caring leader, Smith developed school wide reading strategies with Spartan Reads, a program designed to infuse reading into elective and other content areas. She was instrumental in establishing the Spartan Academy to provide extended learning opportunities for students in key academic areas. In 2015, her work with the youth advisory board and Hispanic Unity led to a $100,000 grant from State Farm to implement an afterschool program designed to help students prepare for college.

Since joining Hollywood Hills High, student achievement has increased significantly in reading, math, science and Advanced Placement exams. The school has improved it state letter grade from a “D” to a “B.” Smith serves as lead administrator for the School Improvement Plan, Professional Learning Communities and the School Advisory Council. Her community involvement includes active support of the Broward Alliance of Caribbean Educators and the Urban League of Broward County.

Assistant Principal of Year Finalists
Annette Johnson, Sheridan Technical College
Wendolynn F. Mola, West Broward High School
André L. Ponder, Forest Glen Middle School
Monica Schlosser, Davie Elementary School
Nichele Williams, Tradewinds Elementary School

Gray-45.jpgSchool-Related/District Employee of the Year
Nikole Gray, Dillard Elementary School

Nikole Gray’s ability to work with students from diverse backgrounds contributes to her success as a paraprofessional at Dillard Elementary School.  Formerly serving as a community liaison, she enrolled in university courses to increase her knowledge and develop the social skills needed to become an effective paraprofessional. Gray’s primary responsibilities include assisting teachers with classroom instruction, creating a safe and comfortable learning environment, and maintaining open communication with parents. She often serves as an interim substitute teacher and collaborates with teachers to find solutions to help all students.

Gray’s contributions are not limited to the classroom. She shares her knowledge and expertise with her colleagues and others. She is recognized for her work with numerous family and community events,  including Art Walk, College Week, Literacy Night, Peace Week and multi-cultural events.  

School-Related/District Employee of the Year Finalists
Mary Alvarez, Confidential Secretary and Office Manager, Lyons Creek Middle School
Solange Dawson, Supervisor, Before & After School Child Care, Heron Heights Elementary School
Shilpa H. Parikh, Micro Computer Technology Specialist, Winston Park Elementary School
Jacqueline R. Sanchez, Micro Computer Technical Specialist, Griffin Elementary School
Nicole Sanchez, Secretary, Exceptional Student Education, Coral Glades High School

For additional information about the 2016 Caliber Awards, visit browardschools.com/caliber-awards.


Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest public school system in the United States and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has over 265,000 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 238 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 103 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population. Students are from 208 different countries and speak 181 different languages. For more information about BCPS and the Centennial Celebration, visit browardschools.com, follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools, like BCPS on Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.