Ronald Cruz was elected the John E. Lawrence Administrator of the Year during the 2019 ACE Conference Awards Luncheon. In nominating him on behalf of Hillsborough County Public Schools Workforce Division it was noted that there could not have been anyone more deserving of this award, considering all of his work and contribution to his division and to the adult education community throughout the state of Florida. Ron’s greatest accomplishment is the exemplary performance of the program he oversees, the CARIBE Refugee Program. In fiscal year 2018, CARIBE achieved a 64% completion rate and 52% Literacy Completion Point (LCP) rate from over 2,200 enrollments. This level of performance is typical with a professional, respectful, efficient, safe and nurturing environment that he fosters for his team of educators, support staff and students. “Servant leadership” is what best describes his work and leadership style. He was instrumental to the expansion of the CARIBE Program despite shrinking budgets over the years. The most notable driver of his program’s performance are his teachers. They are well-supported through professional development, classroom observation and feedback, planning sessions and instructional resources. They especially enjoy the benefits of his skills as a trainer/facilitator. After observing his teachers, he provides thoughtful and meaningful feedback to help them improve their craft. He promotes healthy competition among teachers in maintaining high enrollment and completion rates. That is why his program has always delivered quality adult education services and surpassed its goals and deliverables, becoming a model for other institutions, counties and states. In FY 2018, his program surpassed its target deliverables by an average of over 42% in enrollments, intakes, assessments and instructional hours. He initiated several programs to increase refugees’ access to adult education and improve the quality of classroom instruction such as partnering with employers to open work-based schools for Cuban asylees, creating a Fast Track ESOL program to immediately get refugees licensed/certified or employed and spearheading the creation of a true Vocational ESOL curriculum. Through his efforts, Hillsborough County Public Schools was awarded with the USCIS Citizenship Grant, which he then used to supplement and expand his program. His dedication to refugees is beyond compare. He has bent over backwards to start a special school to serve the unique needs of the struggling Congolese refugees. He used his position and his network of partners to funnel essential social services and community support to help address issues such as bullying, unemployment, lack of available housing, discrimination, poor nutrition and hygiene. To spread awareness and advocate for refugees, he worked closely with the University of South Florida’s Anthropology Department to publish an oral history book entitled, “American Stories,” highlighting the success and journey of local refugees in Tampa. His work with refugees has earned his program and his partner organizations awards and recognitions such as the Exceptional Community Partner Award from USF College of Public Health for his program’s contribution to the Tampa Bay Gardens, a self-sustaining community garden for Burmese refugees. He has worked with the local school board to designate the month of September as Welcoming Month. He pushed for the City of Tampa to be the first Welcoming City in the state of Florida, with the overwhelming support and proclamation from the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners in 2017. During Ron’s spare time, he devotes his skills and expertise to developing and facilitating regional professional development workshops throughout the state. He has created several resources for the benefit of adult education teachers across the state such as the ABE Mathematics Matrix, resource activities, Grab and Go Videos, online training modules, lesson plans and webinars. His contributions to the adult education community even extends across the United States as he continues to serve as national facilitator, consultant and content developer for GED Testing Service and COABE. He has worked closely with the Florida Department of Education to advocate for the professional needs of adult educators and adult ESOL students.