COQEBS to honor Janssen
Recently fired Pinellas superintendent Julie Janssen will be honored Wednesday with an award named after two education giants in the black community.
The Concerned Organizations for Quality Education for Black Students will present Janssen with the Vyrle Davis-Adelle Jemison award for her "outstanding contribution to education in our community," according to the agenda for Wednesday's COQEBS meeting.
Davis, who retired from the Pinellas school district in 1995, was a district administrator, former principal of St. Petersburg High and founder of the Ebony Scholars program. Adelle Vaughn-Jemison, who died in 2007, was also a former district administrator, as well as a founding member of COQEBS.
COQEBS leaders Watson Haynes and Goliath Davis have been stalwart supporters of Janssen. Haynes has credited her with moving the ball with recent legal agreements in the Bradley desegregation case and overseeing an increase in the graduation rate for black students.
But during Janssen's watch, black students in Pinellas also continued to fall further behind black students elsewhere in Florida in reading and math scores. Haynes also expressed strong concerns late last week about a Janssen-led effort, which crystallized in her last days on the job, to identify which teachers are making the biggest gains with black students and to replicate their approach.