Press Release from Dade county school board chairperson Carolyn Bradford
Dr. Jan Irons Harris began her tenure in the Dade County School System in April of 2016 after completing a successful career in Alabama, where she served 29 years as a math teacher, high school assistant principal, middle and high school principal, and superintendent. Since that date, Dr. Harris has exhibited exemplary and visionary leadership toward improving student success. When the Board began the process of looking for a new superintendent, they wanted one with character, strong moral and ethical values, a heart for students, a successful record of working with principals, and one that was willing to make decisions and stand behind those decisions.
The Board, staff, and community wanted someone who we could trust to take care of our most precious gifts, our children.
The Board of Education couldn’t be more pleased as Dr. Harris has exemplified all the qualities the Board was looking for when trying to fill the vacancy for superintendent. Without any hesitation, we certainly can say that Jan Irons Harris loves our children!
Through the leadership of Dr. Harris, the Dade County School System has made many accomplishments. As a published author, she took her time, knowledge, and experience to form the Young Authors for Dade County Schools where she helped cultivate a love of writing in our students. Under her guidance, Dade County Schools improved climate scores from two out of five stars to five stars in every school in the district. Academic achievement increased across the district in all subjects, rebranding of schools and the district was accomplished, recognition programs were established for Teacher of the Year, Character Awards and Administrator of the Year, and communication between the board, staff, and community improved tremendously.
Through tireless work, Dr. Harris ensured that Dade County received funding for a state-of-the-art 3-D printer so our middle school students could manufacture parts for the International Space Station and a USDA grant for a 3D carbon fiber printer for DCHS to partner with NASA and build replacement parts for Army helicopters. During her tenure with our district, the Board of Education was a finalist for the Governance Team of the Year award in 2019 and has been nominated again in 2020. Other wonderful accolades for Dr. Harris include: an increase in safety resources, solar panels installed at Dade County High School, fiscal management yielded a clean audit each year, cleaner facilities, Board policy manual updated, and improved professional development opportunities for faculty and staff.
“Dr. Jan Irons Harris has done an excellent job leading Dade County Schools,” Board President Carolyn Bradford said.
Through her book, Leadership According to Solomon, Dade County Schools adopted the leadership qualities of Vision, Knowledge, Ethics, Humility, Self-Control, Counsel, and Understanding and developed the district-wide Character Education Plan. Board Chair Carolyn Bradford said, “The Dade County Board of Education believes that the value of Character Education is a life-long benefit to our students, and we plan to continue watching our students grow in Character by utilizing the plan set before us by Dr. Jan Irons Harris.” The Dade County Board of Education announced that a plaque in honor of Dr. Jan Irons Harris for her Vision and Implementation of the Dade County School System’s Character Education Plan would be designed and placed in all four schools media center.
On September 21, 2020, the Dade County Board of Education officially accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Jan Irons Harris. Dr. Harris will conclude her tenure as Superintendent of Dade County Schools in December 2020. Dr. Harris said, “I want to thank the Dade County Board of Education for the honor to serve as your superintendent. Guarding the children entrusted to my care has been my number one priority. I will continue to work diligently until my last day of service. I pray that God will richly bless and protect the students, staff, parents and Board of Education always. I know, in my heart, that God sent me here ‘for such a time as this’ and I thank Him for this special time. It has been a blessing for me to work with outstanding educators and staff, and a wonderful Board of Education while watching over our boys and girls. I will always treasure my memories of the great people of Dade.”