Meet Your Hometown Educator TONIGHT!

Meet & Greet with Karen Clarke,
Superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools
Tuesday, January 23 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Clarke, an educator with more than 25 years of experience, will join the Business Community for a conversation on Tuesday, January 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Clarke, raised in Alachua County, will talk about her goals and the challenges facing the school system from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse, located at 201 SE 2nd Ave #102, Gainesville, FL 32601.
Clarke, educated by Alachua County Public Schools, Santa Fe College, and the University of Florida, is a lifelong resident of Alachua County and understands the challenges facing the students of Alachua County.
Karen is passionate about education and has worked with the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact.
Karen was the chair of the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact Strategy Development Committee, leading the group of volunteer educators and business professionals in the development of the six strategies for the Compact. The Chamber invites the business community to come out and meet and greet our superintendent, Karen Clarke.

Mentors Needed at Howard Bishop Middle School

The Community Partnership School at Howard Bishop Middle School is currently seeking volunteers to serve as mentors for our middle school students.

Mentors will meet with students once a week for one hour during the student’s lunch. Mentors will provide guidance, knowledge, and give the student someone to look up to. The time commitment it takes to be a mentor is very minimal, but the impact can be huge and long lasting. Becoming a mentor for a student during this vital time of their life would be an excellent way to start off the new year.

If you, or any one you know, are interested in becoming a mentor or learning more about the program, email Grace Hinrichs, HBMS Volunteer Coordinator, at or 352-209- 9188.

Saint Leo University to Host Commencement in Gainesville, May 13

May 9, 2017

Saint Leo University’s Gainesville Education Center will confer about 125 degrees during its commencement ceremony at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 13, at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The arts center is on the campus of the University of Florida, 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Degrees to be awarded include master’s in accounting, business administration, education, criminal justice, and social work, as well as bachelors and associate degrees.

Gainesville Police Department Chief Tony Jones will give the commencement address. Bo Cherie D. Derequito, who is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education, will give the Class of 2017 farewell. An Li,  a member of the Class of 2016, will lead the students in the traditional turning of the tassels on their mortarboards and welcome them as new Saint Leo University alumni.

Guest speaker Jones is committed to the Gainesville community. Not only has he served the Gainesville Police Department since 1975, but he also is active in many local organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Black on Black Crime Task Force, Corporate Volunteer Council, the Partnership for Strong Families, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and the Boy Scouts of America North Florida Council. Jones became chief of the Gainesville Police Department in 2009.

About Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever our students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. We welcome people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation and encourage learners of all generations. We are committed to providing educational opportunities to our nation’s armed forces, our veterans, and their families. We are regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and we guide all our students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

We remain the faithful stewards of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where our founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving nearly 15,000 students, we have expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintain a physical presence in seven states. We provide highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 82,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Attention High School Seniors and Parents: Attend Final Financial Aid Night of the Florida FAFSA Challenge

March 21, 2017

High School seniors and their parents are encouraged to attend the final FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Night of the 2017 FAFSA Challenge. The event will be held on March 28th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Buchholz High SchoolMedia Center, located at 5510 NW 27th Avenue. School counselors and financial aid representatives from Santa Fe College and the University of Florida will be on hand to help families complete FAFSA forms.

Families should bring:

  • Social security number(s)
  • Drivers’ license (if any)
  • Alien registration or permanent resident card(if not a U.S. Citizen)
  • W-2 tax form and other records of money earned
  • Federal income tax return for 2015 (if not completed yet, bring 2014 return) Foreign tax return (if any)
  • Untaxed income records
  • Bank Statements
  • Other investment records

This event will mark the end of an extremely successful effort executed by guidance counselors at seven Alachua County Public high schools. The schools have held multiple FASFA night events since the Florida College AccessNetwork—represented in Alachua County by the Gainesville Area Chamber ofCommerce—issued a September 2016 challenge to schools to increase FAFSA completions by five percent. Nearly a month prior to the final event, Alachua County’s seven participating schools had exceeded that goal, increasing the number of completed applications by six-percent.

Students are encouraged to wear their college colors!

District 1 Business Council Presents: Learn About Business Opportunities With The University of Florida

March 14, 2017

The District 1 Business Council invites you to attend a session tomorrow, March 15, from 9 to 11 a.m. to learn about business opportunities with the University of Florida from Keynote Speaker Kathey Porter, Director of The Small

Business & Vendor Diversity Relations Division of the University of Florida. This event will be held at the UF Eastside Campus at 20146 Waldo Rd.

The Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations Division (SBVDR) is responsible for overseeing the University’s Supplier Diversity Program which focuses on ensuring equal access for Small/HUB Zone/Minority/Small Disadvantaged/Veteran/Service- Disabled Veteran/& Women-Owned businesses, by providing them equal opportunity to compete for procurement and contracting opportunities at the University. The division works with the various colleges and departments at the University to increase awareness and to help identify opportunities for small businesses. The office endeavors to seek out, identify and utilize a diverse supply of qualified vendors interested in providing the many services and products required by the University. Click here to register.

A Day in the Life: Gator Shadow Day Spring 2017

March 14, 2017

The UF Career Resource Center (CRC) is inviting local employers to host a job shadow student at their workplace. Take this unique opportunity to showcase your field, organization, and any job/internship openings to UF students!

Gator Shadow Day
April 21st- Gainesville

Job shadowing provides students with a glimpse into the daily activities of a profession or career that interests them and serves as a valuable way to introduce talent to your field and organization.

We invite you to join us by registering to host a student or contacting Jaime Harsell, Assistant Director for Professional Development and Experience, at Deadline to register is March 27th.

Creating Excellence in Education: A Town Hall on Ending Racial Disparities in Our Local Schools

February 28, 2017

The Education Task Force invites you to a town hall on ending racial disparities in our local schools. Students and children are welcome! This discussion will take place on March 6, 2017, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church (2508 NE 8th Avenue, Gainesville, Fl.) For more information email

Eastside High School Seeking Volunteers for Hidden Figures Field Trip

February 14, 2017

Dr. Edwards, the Assistant Principal at Eastside High School, are seeking volunteers to chaperone and/or lead a breakout session for the movie Hidden Figures. They plan to take 100 9th grade girls to see the movie on Friday, February 17th, from 8:30 am – 2:40 pm. The breakout session will be between 1:35 pm to 2:40.

If you are interested and are available to participate, please contact Dr. Edwards at

Field Trip to View Hidden Figures
Private Screening at Regal Cinemas 14
February 17, 2017

8:30 Students go to first-period class
8:50 Call students to the bus loop
9:15 Leave for Movie Theatre
10:00 Movie begins
12:25 Movie ends
12:40 Leave for EHS
1:00 Arrive on campus, go to cafeteria for lunch
1:30 Go to auditorium for post-movie discussion
1:35-1:45 Introduction/directions
1:45-2:15 Breakout Sessions (groups of 8-10)
2:15-2:35 Whole Group Summary/Feedback
2:40 School Dismissal