UNF Spinnaker

UNF alumni Diana Greene, named Florida Superintendent of the Year, shares UNF’s impact on her career

Darvin Nelson, News Editor

UNF alumni Diana Greene has been named Florida’s 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS). She inspires future educators at UNF to accept the challenge of leading to help educate the Duval youth during this tough time. Spinnaker reached out to Greene to see how UNF has impacted her career in education.

Photo courtesy of DCPS.

“Not only was [UNF] a great place of learning where I received a solid foundation in educational principles, but it also served as a pipeline to my first teaching position. In fact, the institution has supported my career and professional development every step of the way,” Dr. Greene stated.

The Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) Superintendent excelled at UNF where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She says her experience at UNF had an invaluable impact on her career, and that the small classes, where students received individual attention, ensured she thrived in her studies. 

“As superintendent, I lead a network of talented educational professionals in overseeing the academic success of a highly diverse student population comprised of more than 130,000 students with unlimited academic and life potential,” Dr. Greene explained.

That main objective fuels Dr. Greene’s day-to-day responsibilities of overseeing a $1.1 billion dollar budget and managing 13,000 employees. Additionally, she reports to an elected seven-member board and ensures the policies of the board are implemented in day-to-day operations. 

Like many in educational leadership, the Superintendent began her career in the classroom where she would learn lessons about educating children that she carries to this day. 

“My first school was Mamie Agnes Jones Elementary School right here in Duval County. I taught both in Duval County and Marion County before transitioning into educational leadership roles. In July 2018, my career path came full circle when I was appointed to return to Duval where I began my career as a teacher to now lead as superintendent,” Dr. Greene said.

Dr. Greene’s leadership experience includes curriculum coordinator, assistant principal, principal, and staff development director. She went on to serve as deputy superintendent of instruction in Marion County, then served in the same position in Manatee County before being appointed to serve as the district’s superintendent.

Spinnaker asked Dr. Greene what she has to say for UNF students who are studying to become educators, especially amongst the pandemic.

“One of my favorite sayings is ‘Let your test become your testimony.’ To these emerging educators, I say to really reflect on the challenges you’re experiencing now with this new way of learning,” Dr. Greene responded. “The children who will one day be in your classrooms are going to need educators like you—educators who have experienced and overcome the hardships of this unique time, and therefore know how to support them.”

The superintendent believes our community needs educators who have gone through this crisis and are ready to accept the challenge of leading and educating students through it. 

“I can’t think of a better university than UNF to find these beginning teachers,” Dr. Greene said. “Team Duval is ready and waiting for you!”

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UNF alumni Diana Greene, named Florida Superintendent of the Year, shares UNF’s impact on her career