Sylvia M. Thomasson Educational Leadership Enhancement Program
palm tree image Sylvia M. Thomasson
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Class of 2008

Pasco-Hernando Community College assumed primary responsibility for coordination of the 2008 program. Michael Malizia, associate dean of instructional services at PHCC, began providing overall program leadership, then in February, Dr. Michelle Balon, assistant dean of instructional services at PHCC took over.

Chuckie Delano, manager of professional development at College of Central Florida and Jane Miller, vice president of student services at Lake-Sumter State College provided program support at their respective institutions.

2007-2008 agenda

Opening session
Our opening session, hosted by Pasco-Hernando Community College, began with orientation followed by a leadership workshop. After introductory comments and a welcome from PHCC President Katherine Johnson, Dr. Timothy Beard, vice president of student development at PHCC gave a presentation on strategic planning. After the lunch break, Vincent Daviero, career and technical programs instructor, presented a session on leaders and leadership.

Presidents’ Forum
College of Central Florida hosted the Presidents’ Forum on February 21, 2008. Chuckie Delano, manager of professional development at CF welcomed everyone and introduced the presidents in attendance.

Dr. Katherine M. Johnson of Pasco-Hernando Community College, Dr. Chuck Mojock of Lake-Sumter State College and Dr. Charles Dassance of College of Central Florida participated in an open forum discussion on topics covering leadership styles, leadership experiences, and helpful techniques and tips they had acquired over their careers. Special emphasis was placed on the concept of servant leadership and the challenge of ethics in the educational environment. A question and answer session followed, in which the leadership program participants were able to gain information on becoming a successful leader and how to maintain effectiveness.

Beth Cordova, principal of Ward-Highlands Elementary School in Ocala offered her personal experiences of challenges of leadership in education. Ms. Cordova gave a workshop titled “Leadership and Change: With you in the middle!” The presentation focused on first-order and second-order change, highlighting the advantages and challenges of each. Following the presentation the participants engaged in a dialogue with Ms. Cordova on the topics covered and examples she had encountered of each.

Legislative days in Tallahassee
Legislative days in Tallahassee: (clockwise from left) Lana Lutz, Carol Jones, Cynde Mercer, Debbie Sutton, Michelle Balon (program leader), Keith Bracey and Maria Fiene

Participants were treated to a tour of the newly renovated Teaching Learning Institute/Professional Development Center at CF. This area offers professional development opportunities for all employees at the college and contains a computer lab for workshops, conference room for meetings, and break-out rooms for individuals working on projects such as faculty portfolios.

Following the tour, the group was provided time to discuss the class project which will be presented at the final graduation session.

Leadership strategies
Lake-Sumter State College hosted a Leadership Strategies session on April 2, 2008. Dr. Wes Estey, vice president for academic affairs, opened the session with a welcome to the participants and Dr. Charles Mojock, LSSC president, an additional welcome to the participants at lunch.

Dr. Gary Sligh, dean of teaching and learning at LSSC, led off with a presentation entitled, “Do what? - The cultures of our daily lives and how they affect our work at the community college.” After the presentation Dr. Sligh engaged the group in a lively discussion, challenging us to think beyond race, ethnicity, language, and religion as categories for different cultures. Dr. Sligh offered several examples of how values and practices differ in various cultures and motivated the group to become more sensitive to the affect that these practices and values have on the decisions made by persons from various cultures.

Dr. Sligh included a discussion about differences in communication styles used by women and men. A skit with program participants served to illustrate the point that understanding differences will help eliminate erroneous interpretations of behavior in communication.

Russ Sloan, LSSC business resources director, followed with his presentation entitled, “Who will follow me?” Using his extensive experience in playing and coaching sports, Mr. Sloan had an extremely insightful way of sharing an ordinary sports story and allowing the participants to understand the significance of the leadership lesson he was able to learn. Below are couple of his pearls of wisdom:

  • We are going to constantly pursue perfection, knowing that we can never obtain perfection, but in pursing perfection, we reach excellence.
  • One person with conviction is worth 99 without
  • As educators, we should be saying, “Follow me!”
  • You can do all the right things and some one will see it differently.

Mr. Sloan ended his presentation by providing the group with his Twelve Key Points of Leadership which are listed on the Inspiration page of this web site.

Legislative days
On April 23 and 24, the class traveled to Tallahassee to learn more about state government. PHCC Attorney Steve Schroeder provided background information on FACC and his role in lobbying the legislature. We visited both the senate and house galleries.

Class project
Our class project consists of two items, a survey of past participants and this web site. Our project web site was constructed with a great deal of help from the class of 2007’s informational brochure, and the class of 2005’s web site project which was never put into production.

Graduation took place at PHCC in early June. Dr. Michelle Balon prepared a splendid ceremony and celebration feast. Our graduation speaker, Monica Merryman Simpson, spoke about her experience with leadership in the commercial sector.

2008 graduating class
Graduation: (back row from left) Lana Lutz, Michelle Balon (PHCC coordinator), Sybil Brown, Keith Bracey, Jane Miller (LSSC coordinator), Cynde Mercer and PHCC President Katherine Johnson; (front row from left) Jayme Rothberg, Maria Fiene, Carol Jones, and Debbie Sutton
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