Mayor's Office of Education

Mayor Alvin Brown with Education Commissioner Dr. Annmarie Kent-WilletteAlvin Brown is the City of Jacksonville’s first “Education Mayor.” This unprecedented, active and hands-on approach to improve the quality of education in Jacksonville is one of a series of Mayor Brown’s signature initiatives demonstrating his strong commitment to improve and enhance the educational opportunities and outcomes of our city.  Under Mayor Brown’s innovative leadership, along with a public-private partnership with Jacksonville University, the Office of the Education Commissioner serves the Jacksonville community. Mayor Brown is proud to have an education executive serving as a senior policy advisor.

The city’s current Education Commissioner, Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette, was appointed in September 2013 and is currently serving for a two-year term. Prior to Dr. Kent-Willette’s service, Dr. Donnie Horner served as the first Education Commissioner from 2011-2013. The Education Commissioner serves on-loan for from Jacksonville University for two years based on an agreement forged by Mayor Brown and JU President Tim Cost. Jacksonville University provides the expertise and services of the Education Commissioner to the citizens of Jacksonville at no cost to the taxpayer.

Education and Long Term Success: The Value of Education

The Education Commissioner reports directly to Mayor Brown and serves as his senior policy advisor for all matters pertaining to education. The Education Commissioner is a cabinet-level officer tasked with carrying out the mayor’s educational vision and initiatives, and for partnering with community members and organizations.

Under the Mayor’s guidance, the mission of the Education Commissioner is to:

Mayor Brown reading to a class
ADVOCATE for education at every opportunity and across boundaries. The focus is on K-12 public education in Duval County schools, but home-schooled and students in private schools are included in the Commissioner’s broad mandate to positively impact education “from cradle to grave.” Conceptually, this inclusive approach to and interest in education begins at birth, and proceeds from pre-K / early learning years all the way through professional retirement. The Mayor's vision is to make Jacksonville a lifelong learning community, one which attracts and retains businesses to provide well paying jobs.
ENGAGE every aspect of the community – private, public, non-profit, for-profit, foundations, philanthropies, individuals, organizations – to improve the quality and accessibility of educational programs for Jacksonville residents.
PARTNER with parents, teachers, students, schools, providers, community and private sector organizations to develop, plan, and execute programs and initiatives which add value to the educational lives of residents.
ACT on behalf of citizenry to LEAD, CHAMPION, CONVENE, and COLLABORATE on issues of educational import in concert with community activists.

Mayor's Education Initiatives

Jacksonville Goes to College Week

Dr. Donnie Horner with a local student

Weeklong activities highlight the benefits of a college education

Mayor Alvin Brown and Duval County Public Schools have partnered to bring forth several activities in conjunction with “Jacksonville Goes to College Week.” Students throughout the city participate in various activities highlighting the college entrance process and benefits of a college education each October. Read more

Mayor Brown's Learn2Earn

Learn2Earn is a summer program designed for high school students who are on summer break awaiting their sophomore or junior years. Learn2Earn targets low-to-moderate income students with caregivers that have not attended college. Students entering senior year may be granted an exception to enroll. Learn2Earn is open to all students in public and private schools as well as home-schooled students. There is no cost to students, and the student to mentor ratio is 10 to 1.

Mayor Brown's Learn2Earn Program Immerses Students in College Experience, July 2, 2012

Learn2EarnDr. Donnie Horner and Mayor Alvin Brown with award winners from the first class of Mayor Brown's Learn2EarnMayor Brown speaking to students at Learn2Earn

College Student Aid Workshops

Mayor Brown's College Student Aid Workshops - The City of Jacksonville and the Indo-U.S. Chamber of Commerce of Northeast Florida partnered to help aspiring college students get financial aid. There were four workshops at locations throughout Jacksonville starting May 4, 2013. Trained volunteers from the Indo-U.S. chamber helped students complete and file FAFSA applications, a necessary step in the college entrance process. To measure the success of the program, the city will tracked the number of students by zip code, Federal Pell Grant Program money and expected family contribution.

Jacksonville Wi$eMoney Week

Wi$eMoney Week: Celebrating Financial Education - Wi$eMoney Week was created to offer programs, classes and activities to educate consumers of all ages and income levels about ways they can be more financially stable. These educational events are carried out by financial institutions, non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools libraries and community organizations. The week showcases these organizations’ educational resources, strengthens private-public partnerships, engages media and connects people with those who can help them learned.

In 2012, the program saw 255 Volunteers, 14,026 Hours of Financial literacy education, 4,942 Class Participants, 65 Partners and 204 Classes. Read the full 2012 report

In 2013, the program saw 22,218 hours of education, 5,651 participants and had 92 partners!

Mayor's Mentors

Mayor's Mentors - Mayor Alvin Brown’s Mayor’s Mentors program is a partnership among City Hall and nonprofit agencies which specialize in pairing new, highly qualified mentors with students in Duval County Public Schools. The plan grows from the mayor’s vision to enhance the quality of public education for the good of students as well as workforce development and employer recruitment in Jacksonville. Through the program, the mayor deployed dedicated volunteers – including retired school teachers – into mentorship programs with proven performance metrics to ensure the best quality for Jacksonville’s youths.

Sports Funding for Duval Schools

Sports Program Funding at Duval County Public Schools - Mayor Brown joined Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals Wednesday to welcome $236,000 worth of gifts to preserve middle school football. An additional $200,000 in donations came through, collectively, for the high school cross-country, golf and tennis programs. Read more

Several Duval County Sports Programs Saved for the 2011-12 School Year -, Sept. 5, 2011

Private money helps keep sports programs alive - Florida Times Union, Aug. 31, 2011

Saving JROTC Programs

Mayor Maneuvers Private Funds to Save JROTC - Jacksonville’s business and community leaders have teamed up with Mayor Alvin Brown to raise the money needed to keep Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) programs running in Duval County public high schools. The effort raised more than $200,000, an amount that the mayor said shows the strength of public-private partnerships and the will of area leaders to preserve programs that benefit education and youth development. Read more

Establishing the Education Office & Education Commissioner

Executive Order: Mayor Brown Creates Education Commissioner’s Office - Mayor Alvin Brown issued an executive order naming the first Education Commissioner for the City of Jacksonville. The office is designed to serve as a bridge between City Hall and Duval County Public Schools with a mission to increase graduation rates and better prepare Jacksonville’s youths for the 21st Century job market. The office will have no executive powers over the school system but will serve a crucial supportive function to raise private money and rally community support at a time the schools are facing cutbacks. Read more