In every field, there are those who surpass their peers through their vision of the future and their ability to mobilize their teams in shaping that future. The purpose of the ACE of Florida President’s Award is to recognize the contributions of leaders who demonstrate a clear vision of what adult education should be while developing a thoughtful strategy to achieve that vision. This award is presented annually to a person from education, government, or industry, who demonstrates exceptional and innovative leadership in support of adult and continuing education.
This year’s recipient is an innovative leader who sets high expectations of her team through her vision, provides the needed resources for success, and allows the team the freedom and ingenuity to execute that vision to reality. Dr. Debra Pace began her tenure as Superintendent of The School District of Osceola County 3.5 years ago. Through her leadership, she fosters the development of high quality programs that directly impact student performance. She models expectations and provides strong leadership focused on building relationships, raising expectations, and fostering a culture focused on student success, economic development, quality of life, and community pride.
At the state level, Dr. Pace is an advocate for adult education and supports ACE of Florida in its advocacy efforts. She is invested in adult education legislative initiatives, recognizing the value these initiatives bring to our local programs. She truly endorses and is an advocate for statewide adult education success.
At the local level, Dr. Pace’s support of the Adult Learning Center Osceola (ALCO) is equivalent to her focus on the larger, k12 system. Her dedication to ALCO students fulfilling their goals is evident through her support of our school and district administrators, our teachers, our students, and our business and community partners. She is keenly aware of our students’ needs and collaborates with community partners to ensure our students have every opportunity to achieve their goals successfully. She is dedicated to ensuring that our adult education programs have the right people at the helm to shape the program’s values and culture.
Dr. Pace is described by colleagues as a proactive, collaborative leader always seeking win-win situations while upholding the organization’s mission and vision as a top priority. She challenges those around her to pursue excellence.
Dr. Pace truly drives innovation, demonstrates and demands excellence in our adult education programs, and truly embraces our work. Her support of our adult education programs allows my colleagues and me to work swiftly to adjust and grow our programs to meet community needs and state demands. In Osceola County, we truly move at the speed of Pace!
Thank you, Dr. Pace for your support of adult education.