Author: Jeff Barlis

Teen rises above spina bifida, earns academic scholarship to Florida Tech

Tears tumbled down Tiffanie Kowalik’s cheeks as she tried to hold her camera phone steady and focus on documenting her firstborn son, Skieler, reading aloud his acceptance letter to the Florida Institute of Technology. When he got to the total value of his scholarship – $83,440 over four years –[Read More…]

Jacksonville private school, scholarship fueled student’s emotional turnaround

Editor’s note: This month, redefinED is revisiting stories that shine a light on extraordinary students. Today’s spotlight, first published in March 2017, tells the story of a Jacksonville youth who overcame great obstacles to get his life on track. Lost. That’s where Pamela Howard feared her son, Malik Ferrell, would[Read More…]

Customized education reaps benefits for Jacksonville teen

When Kayla Fudge was a newborn, her mother struggled to take care of her. In swooped Kayla’s great aunt Glendora like a guardian angel. She loved. She nurtured. And she taught. A public school teacher for 14 years, Glendora Jackson-Fudge raised three children of her own before adopting Kayla when[Read More…]

Mother-son team collaborate to offer education choice

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – When Julia Musella enrolled her son Luciano in preschool in Italy, her understanding of education underwent a sea change. “People were talking to children as if they were adults,” she said. “They were respecting their intelligence. They were really fostering community, working collaboratively, cooperatively, giving them[Read More…]

school choice

From held back to no holding back

LAKE CITY, Fla. – Sitting in the principal’s office of her twin sons’ school, Kim Glover pushed aside a couple of strands of wavy, auburn hair and took a breath to compose herself as she recounted the boys’ stunning transformation. “I’ll try not to cry,” she said with her mellifluous[Read More…]

school choice

Patience, understanding bring scholarship student back from brink

OCOEE, Fla. – The young teacher called, tears choking her words. She wanted to quit. On the other end of the line was Rose Theagene, horrified but not surprised. She knew her youngest son, Darryl Dutervil, was on the verge of expulsion due to escalating behavior problems in first grade[Read More…]