Immediate Past ChairTOM KOSKI
Immediate Past Chair
Vice ChairLISL LIANG
Board Of Directors
PresidentJENNIFER VIGNEEver since I was a little girl, I have been a voracious reader and my love of learning continues to this day. I consider myself a “forever” student and am energized by opportunities to stretch myself and grow. I have personally seen how education changed my life and the lives of many respected leaders throughout the world.
At its very core, education opens doors, provides hope, and propels societal advancement. I firmly believe all children should be granted the opportunity to grow, learn and discover to their fullest potential. Education should not be limited by economic, social, racial, or gender restraints and certainly should not be limited by our failure to transform education to meet the needs of the 21st century child. While the development of a child’s potential transcends beyond the realm of the classroom, teachers should be positioned as an influential instructor to develop intellectual curiosity, creative inquiry, artistic and athletic abilities, and character development. Communities should collaborate together as a collective change agent by unifying their shared responsibility to produce educated citizens for our democratic country and economy by nurturing the whole child and investing in our children’s future for generations to come.
Chief Financial OfficerDAN WEISS
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Marketing & CommunicationsTRACY SPALSBURY
Director of Marketing & Communications
SUZANNE BURKE, Ph.D.
Director of College Career & Life ReadinessSUZANNE BURKE, Ph.D.Dr. Suzanne Burke is currently the Director of College, Career and Life Readiness for the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. She began her career in public education as a classroom teacher and has also served in the following roles: Associate Superintendent for Academics, Executive Director of Curriculum, Director of Professional Development and K-12 Language Arts Coach. She is adept at leading curriculum design and innovative professional development with emphasis on 21st century skills and college, career and life readiness. Dr. Burke has extensive experience leading strategic planning, design thinking, and project-based learning initiatives. Her project management skills enabled successful implementation of multiple concurrent academic programs and initiatives, such as social emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching and arts-rich education, from concept to completion with a focus on on-going support, monitoring and evaluation to ensure continuous improvement. She participated in the Public Educators Leadership Project (PELP) at Harvard (2010 & 2014) and the 2014 Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA). Dr. Burke has exceptional interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills. She has an on-going commitment to promoting high levels of achievement for each and every student regardless of ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic status.
Director of College Career & Life Readiness
Scholarships ManagerHEATHER FERRIGNOIt has been said that education is a gift that no one can take away. From a young age this concept was instilled in me from parents who believed that education was the pathway to success and that I should always strive to be a lifelong learner. After becoming a parent a few years ago, I began to experience first-hand the beauty of a child’s mind and all the wonderful possibilities it possesses. Children are thirsty for knowledge. I see in my own son and daughter how enthusiastic they are to learn new things. My hope is that nothing will ever hinder that enthusiasm and love for learning. I believe all children deserve the chance to develop their minds, skills and talents and become successful, compassionate, open minded citizens in our local community and the world. It takes a village to raise a child and the Education Foundation of Sarasota is an integral part of that village for the children of this community. I am proud to invest myself in the Education Foundation because they play an important role in helping to remove barriers for students to thrive intellectually, adopt a love for learning, and accomplish dreams they might not have known they had otherwise.
Director of Student SupportHOLLY GRAYHolly Gray currently serves as Director of Student Support for the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. She is an insightful counseling professional and educator with broad qualifications in advising and mentoring.
Director of Student Support
She received her B.A. in Psychology and Education and her M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Rhode Island College. She worked for over 20-years in the RI public schools as a teacher and school counselor and spent some time overseas at an international school and on the west coast of the US before moving to Florida. She has dedicated much of her career to student-centered programs, having also served in these various roles: secondary school counselor & advisor, director of college counseling, college success coach, adjunct professor, cooperating supervisor of school counselor interns and teen issues teacher. Holly makes it a point to keep up with current methods and trends in education as shown through her specialized training accomplishments, TEFL/TESL/TESOL Certificate and a Health Coach Certificate. She is committed to guiding, mentoring, and motivating students in Sarasota County schools by utilizing her extensive background. She is especially passionate about supporting and advocating for struggling, disabled, financially, culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Associate Director of Education InvestmentsEARL YOUNGEarl Young currently serves as Associate Director of Education Investments for the Education Foundation of Sarasota County. Earl is responsible for the overall administration and growth of EFSC scholarship programs. He also oversees and directs EducateSRQ, EFSC’s classroom and schoolwide grants program.
Associate Director of Education Investments
Young has a bachelor’s in finance from the University of South Florida. In addition to managing and overseeing multimillion-dollar grant programs, he is skilled in budget management and projections, community engagement and partnerships, and donor cultivation and stewardship.
College Career AdvisorREBECCA LEWISStudent Success Center at Riverview High School
College Career Advisor
As a Sarasota native, I’ve always had a great love for our community and its dedication to education. I was fortunate enough to attend Sarasota County public schools when I was growing up and USF Sarasota-Manatee, where I earned my degree in Business Administration.
Throughout my professional career, I’ve had the pleasure to work in different educational settings and with diverse student populations. With the Education Foundation, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to support our local schools, students, teachers, parents, administrators and community. I am so passionate about promoting and inspiring student development and achievement. All people have a different story to tell, and everyone deserves an opportunity. Given the right tools and guidance, every student can discover their potential and find their unique path to success.
College Career AdvisorJENNA THIELStudent Success Center at North Port High School
College Career Advisor