Published on February 18th, 2022 | by University Communications


Education, social work faculty, student team to present on inclusivity at Hernando County school

Giving back to the community is at the heart of Saint Leo University. As part of her service to her community, Dr. Renee Sedlack, assistant professor of educational leadership and graduate studies in education, serves as the chair for the School Advisory Council at Endeavor and Discovery Academy in Hernando County, FL, for the last five years. This is Hernando County’s alternative school.

The purpose of this council is to support the school goals and oversee the expenditures of Florida lottery funds allocated to the school. As the chair, Sedlack facilitates the monthly meetings and recently initiated fundraising for an endowed scholarship at Pasco-Hernando State College for any student who attended the school. “One of my graduate students [Alan Napier] in educational leadership is co-chairing this committee with me,” Sedlack said. “We will raise $15,000 to endow this scholarship.”

In addition, Napier is in his practicum course and asked for Sedlack’s help in in designing a diversity presentation to help his colleagues better understand their own perspectives on diversity and help create a more inclusive environment for all students at the school. Sedlack enlisted the help of Dr. Ebony Perez, associate professor of social work, chair of the Undergraduate Social Work Department, and chair of Saint Leo’s Social Justice Committee.

“Dr. Perez made an immediate impact with the staff and enabled them to reflect on their own perspectives through her sincere approach to the topic, her sense of humor, and her ability to make connections with those in her audience,” Sedlack said.

“This school is the last stop for students who have been unsuccessful in the traditional school setting and the results have been outstanding in terms of student outcomes. The staff is invested in the students and the message that Dr. Perez delivered was quite well received.”

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