Education Career Night

The college held its annual Education Career Night February 23 at UF’s Reitz Union for UF and Santa Fe College students.  The event featured several prominent education alumni who discussed their career paths since graduating from UF’s College of Education.  The purpose of the event is to showcase alternative career paths for education graduates…teaching is just one several options!

This year’s panelists included Brian Dassler (MEd ’02, English ed), Margaret Fields (PhD ’02, higher ed administration), Sandy Hollinger (MS ’82, reading ed), Robert McClure (PhD ’10, ed leadership), and Bob Muni (Med ’77, secondary ed).

Dassler is the founding principal at KIPP Renaissance School in New Orleans, a progressive charter school in the city’s impoverished Upper Ninth Ward. He was named 2001 Florida College Student of the year by Florida Leader magazine and Broward County’s Teacher of the Year award in 2007 and is emerging as a national thought leader on education trends.


Fields has been an assistant dean at UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2004.  She previously was coordinator of administrative services for the zoology department and vice president of operations for a research institute.



Hollinger is the deputy superintendent of schools at the Alachua County School Board.  She oversees curriculum, the exceptional education program and student support services for the school district. She has served as principal at Gainesville Eastside High and J.J. Finley Elementary School.



McClure is president and CEO at the James Madison Institute, a nonpartisan, public-policy research organization in Tallahassee.  He serves on numerous policy-centered committees and has published at the state and national level.  McClure is a member of Florida Gov. Scott’s economic advisory council and served on the Florida Elections Commission.



Muni is a Gainesville banker but he’s also a longtime innovator in non-traditional education. In the 1980s, he helped lead the grassroots movement that now allows home-schooled children in Florida to participate in local school extracurricular activities.  He also is the founding board chairman for the Florida Virtual School and helped start a private Christian school in Gainesville.



Introducing the UF Class of 2028

Lauren May (MED ’09, Early Childhood Ed.) is a kindergarten teacher at St. Pius Catholic school (Jacksonville).  For the past few years, May has found creative ways to promote college to her young class.  “College is the goal for graduates from St. Pius,” states May. “We start early with high expectations.”

May, who is VP of Athletics for the Gator Club of Jacksonville and has been awarded Young Alumni Coordinator of the Year by the UF Alumni Association, remains involved with her Alma mater and finds joy in promoting the university with her class each year. “It is fun to introduce them to the University of Florida in Kindergarten. I am able to share my love of the Gators with my students and their families.”

This year May’s class made t-shirts that read, “Future Gator, Class of 2028”.