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Broward Education Foundation Announces Inaugural Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Inductees

(Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) – The Broward Education Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports public schools in Broward County, has announced the selection of seven Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni inductees for the program’s inaugural year. These successful graduates of Broward County Public Schools will be honored at a breakfast on Wednesday, October 23, from 7:30 until 9:30 a.m. at the Global Dish at 301 E Broward Boulevard, 2nd floor, Fort Lauderdale. For more information on sponsorships and tickets to the event, please call 754-321-2033 or visit

Dr. Dorothy Jackson Orr, who retired after 30 years with the Broward County Public Schools, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. A former school board member and interim superintendent is a member of the.

Outstanding Achievement Awards will be presented to City of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Bobby B. DuBose, who graduated from Plantation High School in 1989; Alan Levy, who graduated from Fort Lauderdale High School in 1958 and is the president and CEO of Great American Farms, Inc., and Chairman and CEO of Stiles Terry Stiles, a member of Northeast High School Class of ’65.

Recipients in the Education Achievement Award category include Tropical Elementary School Principal Erik Anderson, a graduate of South Plantation High School Class of ’85; Susan Franklin Adams Colton, the principal of Parkside Elementary, who has 35 years of experience as a Broward County Public Schools educator and graduated in 1968 from Pompano Beach High School; and art teacher and theatre director, Lori Sessions, a member of the JP Taravella High School Class of ’89.

“We are pleased that such an impressive group of alumni was nominated for the Hall of Fame,” said BEF President and CEO Jorene Jameson. “Our judges had a tough time choosing from the overwhelming number of candidates we received. The response clearly showed us that a Hall of Fame program is needed to showcase the many successful graduates of Broward County Public Schools.”

Nominations for the 2014 Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Awards will be accepted starting in late October at Nominees from 2013 are encouraged to reapply.

Twan Russell, former Miami Dolphins player and the team’s current director of youth and community programs, is the Broward Education Foundation’s 30 th Anniversary celebrity spokesperson and will serve as master of ceremonies for the award’s event.

Hall of Fame sponsors include BrightStar Credit Union as the title sponsor, McKinley Financial as the supporter of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Bank of America as the sponsor of the Outstanding Achievement Awards. For sponsorship information, contact Shea Ciriago at 754-321-2033 or


Background on Candidates:

Dr. Orr’s distinguished career began when she served as assistant principal of Coconut Creek Elementary School in the early 1970s. Throughout the years, she served in such roles as elementary school principal, associate superintendent, deputy superintendent and interim superintendent, winning numerous professional and community awards along the way, including the JM Family African American Achievement Award in 2012. Looking back on her long career, Dr. Orr says her greatest contribution has been to people facing challenges. “I have attempted to remain a positive role model for persons who came from single-parent homes and who have had to overcome adversity,” she said.

Commissioner DuBose believes one specific teacher made a difference in his life. “Mrs. Foster guided me into believing in my own potential and greatness,” he wrote on his application. “Her guidance, strong hand and well placed words continue to inspire me to believe I can achieve anything.” The owner of DuBose Ventures, LLC, he has been a commissioner since 2009, holds leadership positions with the Broward and Florida Leagues of Cities and supports such organizations as United Way and the Scleroderma Foundation. He was named in 2011 one of Legacy Magazine’s South Florida’s 50 Most Powerful Black Professionals.

Levy remembers when his alma mater was located on the site of today’s One Financial Tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale and attributes his experience there to his success today. “My success today is due to my teachers and principals, through their examples and love of education, they brought out the best in me wanting to achieve the best I could,” he wrote. He remains actively involved in local education issues as the former chair of the Broward Workshop and current co-chair of the Workshop’s Education and Youth Advocacy Council.

The recipient of the 2012 Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Southeast Region Volunteer of the Year Award, Stiles leads a major real estate development firm founded in 1951. He supports more than 30 charities throughout Florida, including the Boys & Girls Club, Humane Society and Jack and Jill Children’s Center. While at Northeast High School, he served as president of the student council for four years and was instrumental in developing the school’s logo and mascot. “My experience at Northeast High School taught me more about people than any other time period in my life,” he wrote. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Anderson is principal at the same school where he attended elementary school, but started his career as an after school teacher in 1990. Two of the fifth grade teachers who influenced him the most remain on his staff at Tropical. “These masterful teachers (Mrs. Shelly Stempler and Mrs. Barbara Homer) were dedicated to challenging their students while also ensuring their success,” he noted on his application. Interested in youth sports, Anderson often participates with his family in charity runs and donates his time to numerous causes, including Kiwanis, American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.

A 2000 National Distinguished Principal, Colton began her career in Broward County as a substitute teacher in 1977. Today, as an elementary school principal, she still remembers a high school experience that changed her life. In her senior year, the majorette with the Golden Tornado Marching Band overcame her shyness to run for class secretary. “Being a part of a committed team of friends and family with passion and purpose made a particularly positive impact on my life,” she explained in her application.

Sessions , who serves as the theatre director for Broward County Public Schools, formed the South Florida Cappies in 2002 as a unique collaborative learning experience to teach students about theatre, writing, performance and technical production. She started with five schools participating in the “Tony Awards” – like program and now has 39 public and private schools involved. “I found my passion through my exposure to the arts and education in Broward County Schools,” she wrote. “I am proud to be an alumnus giving back to the students of Broward County.”

About the Broward Education Foundation:

Established in 1983, the non-profit Broward Education Foundation (BEF) seeks private contributions to supplement the public funding schools receive. The Foundation raises support from the private sector and charitable foundations to provide post-secondary scholarships to college or trade-bound high school graduates who have exhausted all other sources of support, grants to support innovative curriculum in the classroom and free school supplies to teachers in Title I low-income schools through the Tools for Schools Broward center in Pompano Beach.

BEF was ranked as the 10th best education foundation in the nation for its effectiveness in generating and sustaining financial resources and distributing funds to students in the district, according to a 2012 study conducted by the Dewey & Associates consulting firm. During the 2012-13 fiscal year, the Foundation contributed more than $2 million in scholarships, school supplies, teacher grants and other school support.

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