2017 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Barbara Jenkins
Dr. Barbara M. Jenkins, Ed.D.
Orange County Public Schools
Dr. Barbara Jenkins has been dedicated to serving the needs of students for more than 25 years. She was named superintendent for Orange County Public Schools in 2012.
Under Dr. Jenkins' leadership, the district won the prestigious 2014 Broad Prize for Urban Education. The prize earned half-a-million dollars for student scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The district received the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2014 and again in 2015 for its exemplary performance using research-based best practices in its business. In 2015, OCPS received District Accreditation from AdvancED for its best practices in the education field. Also, for three of the last five years, OCPS was named to the AP District Honor Roll by the College Board, for increasing access to Advanced Placement course work, while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning exam scores for college credit.
Dr. Jenkins is a recognized education leader. In January 2017, she was appointed a director on the board of the National Board of Education Sciences. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Council of Great City Schools, is a member of Chiefs for Change, a national education policy and advocacy transformation group, is a member of the Florida Council of 100, and is past president of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. She was named the 2017 Florida Superintendent of the Year and is one of four finalists for U.S. Superintendent of the Year. The Orlando Business Journal honored her as a CEO of the Year in 2015. In 2014, she was named the Visionary Award recipient by the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council, and the Central Florida Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council.
Recognized for her commitment and influence, both the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Magazine have named her as one of the 10 most powerful people in Central Florida; Orlando Magazine ranked her number five overall in 2015, and number two in the Education category in 2016.
Deeply engaged in the community, Dr. Jenkins serves on the boards of Florida Hospital, Orlando Economic Partnership, United Arts of Central Florida, Winter Park Health Foundation, Central Florida Regional Commission on Homelessness and Orange County Youth Mental Health Commission.