Wholey and I visited Washington, D.C. On July 24, 2019, God gave me the opportunity to visit the U.S. Department of Education!
The day I met Secretary Betsy DeVos was an amazing day that I will never forget. It was an honor for me to accompany Joy Hawkins, Executive Director of the Governor's Office for Student Achievement, GA State Superintendent Richard Woods, and their staff members to meet with the U.S. Department of Education Secretary.
I was asked to share about innovative programs we have in Dade County. I shared about our recent partnership with NASA and the 3D printer that will be used for our students to make parts for the Space Station. I talked about the Great Promise Partnership (partnerships with local industry) and REACH Scholarships.
I had an opportunity to talk about the needs of rural communities - specifically, the need for wifi and how much E-rate helps. I told Secretary DeVos we are increasing the rigor in our classes and we are creating caring cultures through our district-wide character ed plan and PBIS.
It was an honor for me to meet Secretary DeVos, a gracious and focused leader. The number one topic during our meeting: the need to meet each individual student's needs. Throughout the conversation, it was clear to me that Secretary DeVos expects everyone to raise the bar for our deserving students.
Left to right: Donovan Head, GOSA Deputy; Joy Hawkins, Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) Executive Director; Ryan Pelfrey, GOSA; U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos; GA Superintendent Richard Woods, Dr. Jan Irons Harris, Dade County Schools Superintendent; and Matt Jones, GA Department of Ed. Chief of Staff.
Jan Irons Harris, Ed.D.
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Jan earned her bachelor's degree in math/education from the University of North Alabama and her master's degree in math/education from the University of South Carolina. She earned her doctorate in school administration from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She is married to her college sweetheart, Wholey Harris. She and Wholey live in Florence, Alabama.