Osceola County superintendent named to Biden’s stimulus committee

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — As school leaders prepare for the return to the classroom, one Central Florida superintendent has more on her plate than most.

Osceola County Schools Superintendent Dr. Debra Pace was named to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan committee that focuses on education, making her one of a few dozen educators across the nation to have a voice in how federal dollars from the massive stimulus bill are spent.

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“[We] get to talk as colleagues across the country about our different experiences, and different opportunities and challenges that we all face and making sure that we invest these dollars wisely,” Pace said.

Pace said she was chosen because of her leadership experience in administrative organizations. She said there had been three meetings so far, with discussions happening in between. Much of the focus, she said, was on incorporating technology in the classrooms as traditional learning models return.

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“If perhaps [kids] didn’t understand the lesson during the day, they can go back to their team’s classroom in the evening when mom or dad or their grandma is there to help support them,” she said.

She added that Florida’s experience with traditional classroom instruction last year has given her notes to share with educators from northern states that mostly remained virtual.

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She said social distancing will never fully leave the school environment, though. The lack of colds, flu and other sniffle-causing viruses running rampant through the winter showed educators that those disruptions can be minimized through vigilance and frequent hand washing.