FOIL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Meet Our Team
Dr. Gina Tovine, FOIL President
Dr. Gina Tovine, Executive Director of Analysis, Assessment and Accountability at Florida Virtual School.
Dr. Tovine earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and her masters and doctorate in educational leadership from the University of South Florida. Throughout her 29-year career in public education, Dr. Gina Tovine has honed her ability to craft and shepherd innovative solutions to the challenges faced by all of her colleagues, from classroom teachers to district leadership, and in every setting, from small rural communities to complex urban systems.
She joined FOIL in 2005 and has served as an advisory board member since 2011, helping to monitor state-wide challenges and formulate visionary solutions to the issues faced by educators across Florida.
Mrs. Marsha Hill, FOIL Board Member
Mrs. Marsha Hill, Director of Instructional Services for North East Florida Education Consortium. In this role, Mrs. Hill supervises federal, state, and regional instructional grants, including the US DOE’s Teacher Incentive Fund Grant, Institute for Small and Rural Districts (ISRD), FDLRS NEFEC, and several others. She and her team implement a variety of programs for rural school districts and tailor services to meet their changing needs.
Mrs. Hill has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters’ Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. She has been with NEFEC for eighteen years and has gained extensive experience in the design and development of school programs.
Marsha is a very valuable team player and a dedicated member of our FOIL advisory board.
Dr. Patrick Wnek, FOIL Board Member
Dr. Patrick Wnek is the Executive Director of the North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC). NEFEC serves thirteen rural school districts, as well as PK Yonge Developmental Research School and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. He works closely with consortium leaders to cooperatively meet their educational goals and objectives. He also works closely with the FLDOE and other state and local partners to provide programs and services to promote educational success for all students. Dr. Wnek serves on the executive committee of the North Florida Economic Development Partnership, the Advisory Board for the Florida Organization of Instructional Leaders, and the Advisory Board for the Region 7 Comprehensive Center. He graduated from the University of Florida with an Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership. He also enjoys teaching graduate courses in Saint Leo University’s Educational Leadership program.
Dr. Helen Wild, FOIL Board Member
Dr. Helen Wild is currently the Chief Academic Officer for St. Lucie Public Schools. In her twenty-six years in education, Helen has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent. In addition, she has taught adjunct for Florida Atlantic University to help prepare future leaders. Through these roles, she has worked at all levels, preschool through graduate school.
Helen earned her Bachelor’s degree from State University of New York in Albany, NY before moving to Florida in 1988. She earned her Masters in Counselor Education and later earned her Educational Specialist and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.
One of her career highlights was having the opportunity to open a new high school designed in 2006 and serve as Principal for six years. Treasure Coast High School became a model for other schools and districts.
During those years, she became very interested in high school reform. She became a Florida trainer in Breaking Ranks Secondary School Reform and enjoyed the opportunity to provide professional development for the Florida Association of School Administrators and other Florida Districts. She is passionate about leadership development and supporting schools so that they can ensure student achievement and success.
Now as Chief Academic Officer, she is focused on increasing graduation rates, supporting Principals and Teachers, and ensuring that all children succeed and thrive.
Helen is very happily married and the proud mother of two daughters, Morgan and Allison, and a stepson, Morgan.
Dr. Scott Hebert, FOIL Board Member
Scott Hebert has been part of Citrus County Schools for the past 27 years. He has worked as a teacher, guidance counselor, technology specialist, assistant principal, principal, director of Area Schools and Elementary Education, and is now serving as the Chief Academic Officer.
Scott earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in elementary education from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. He furthered his education with a Master’s Degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University and a Specialist Degree in guidance and counseling from Argosy University. He is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Florida Southern College and is in the process of completing his dissertation.
Scott was the 1999 Florida Teacher of the Year and also received the Milken National Educator Award that same year. Scott was also inducted into the Florida Educators Hall of Fame in 1998. He believes that in every grade level and in every class the focus of the classroom should be on what needs to happen to make children successful. Technology, problem-solving skills, reading, writing, and mathematics should be woven into daily lessons to prepare students for the future. Scott firmly believes we must open doors so that parents are welcome in our schools.
Scott believes his greatest contribution to his community, within and outside the school's walls, is his deep commitment to serving children and their families. Scott works as part of the team in Citrus County Florida which has been recognized as one of three continuously high-performing districts in Florida from 2007-2015.
Dr. Jane K Respess, FOIL Board Member
Dr. Jane Respess is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for the School District of Osceola County. She has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, Title I coordinator, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Director of Professional Learning and Development prior to her present role.
Jane earned her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana; Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Institute of Technology; a Specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership from Argosy University and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Argosy University.
Dr. Respess brings 29 years of educational experience to our board.
Dr. Jennifer Sasser, FOIL Board Member
Dr. Jennifer Sasser presently serves as the Associate Superintendent of Research, Accountability, and Grants. Since joining OCPS in 2012, she has held various executive leadership roles with oversight of areas such as accountability, improvement, strategic planning, research, evaluation, and data strategy.
Dr. Sasser began her career in education in 2001. Before working at OCPS, she served as an educator in Citrus County Schools where she taught middle school mathematics, worked at the district office in the area of K-12 mathematics, and served as a middle school assistant principal.
Most notably, Dr. Sasser completed the Strategic Data Project (SDP) Fellowship with the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University while at OCPS. As part of this competitive, two-year professional development program she focused on understanding the ninth- to tenth-grade transition, high school graduation rate, and college-going (i.e., enrolment undermatch and persistence) within OCPS.
Dr. Sasser earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics from St John’s University, an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Saint Leo University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
Dr. David Christiansen, FOIL Board Member
Dr. David Christiansen was named Chief of Schools at Charter Schools USA.
Serving CSUSA K-12 national network of 90+ schools, 75,000 students, 9,000 team members as Chief of Schools committed to vision to have a "dramatic impact on the world's next-generation - changing lives and leaving a legacy" and leading with the core values of purpose, passion, integrity, and grit
As an educator for the past 26 years, Dr. Christiansen has served as
a classroom teacher, coach, advisor, director, school principal, associate superintendent, and chief academic officer, and he has experience at each level of education including early learning/Pre-K, elementary school, middle school, high school, and higher education.
Prior to joining the School District of Palm Beach County, Christiansen served as the Chief Academic Officer for Lake County Schools in Lake County, Florida. In this role his major accomplishments included:
Earning national recognition from the College Board for closing the achievement gap in Advanced Placement (AP) courses (one of only five districts in Florida recognized with AP Honor Roll Designation).
Earning state recognition from Florida Educational Commissioner Pam Stewart as one of the 13 districts in Florida to improve student performance in all state End of Course (EOC) tests.
Increasing instructional time 8-12 additional days at each level (high school, middle school and elementary school) while standardizing bell schedules to ensure appropriate collaborative planning time for teachers.
Implementing a strategic Finance Plan through Engage Lake County Schools (LCS) initiative resulting in the reallocation of $11.3 million toward instructional priorities.
From 2015 through 2018, Christiansen served as Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Schools for the School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) in July of 2015. SDPBC is the 11th largest district in the country with a student enrollment of more than 183,000 students and an annual budget of approximately $2.3 billion. SDPBC is the largest employer in Palm Beach County, with more than 21,000 employees, including approximately 13,000 teachers.
From 2012 through 2014, Christiansen served as Associate Superintendent for Fresno Unified School District in Fresno, California. In this role his major accomplishments included:
Ranking in top 3 districts in the on for improvement in the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) in Reading and Math for 4TH and 8TH grade in Fresno in 2013 NAEP report.
Creating a stem to organize elementary, middle,and high schools into Pre-K-12 “Regions” with common vision, mission and goals of graduating all students college- enrolled, military-enlisted or industry-certified.
From 2007 through 2012, Christiansen served as Principal for Evans High School in Orange County Public Schools. In this role his major accomplishments included:
Increasing in school grade from “F” rating in 2007 to “B” rating in 2012.
Increasing graduation rate from 49% in 2007 to 80% in 2012.
Creating and implemented “Community School” model to provide holistic services to all students; a 25-year partnership between Orange County Public Schools, the University of Central Florida, Children’s Home Society and JP Morgan Chase.
From 2003 through 2007, Christiansen served as Principal for University High School in Orange County Public Schools. In this role his major accomplishments included:
Increasing graduation rate from 75% in 2003 to 92% in 2007.
Implementing nationally certified AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program.
Implementing an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program.
Launching a Global Technologies STEM Magnet program.
Christiansen’s involvement in community and organizational leadership includes:
Advisor to Florida Department of Education from 2013 to present.
Governance Council, Health Science Partnership (unique STEM partnership between the University of Central Florida, Lake-Sumter College, Lake County Schools, South Lake Hospital and Montverde Academy) from 2014 to present.
Christiansen has received professional recognition which includes:
Central Floridian of the Year, Top 5 Finalist, Orlando Sentinel
Orange County Public Schools ESOL Principal of the Year
Orange County PTSA Principal of the Year
Orange County Public Schools Fine Arts Principal of the Year
Christiansen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Masters of Art’s in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
He enjoys spending time with his wife Kim, who is also an educator, and his three boys: Owen, Dane and Dawson.
Dr. David Christiansen was named Chief of Schools at Charter Schools USA.