Great Schools make Great Communities

Vote Jen Mitchell – Collier County School Board -August 23rd, 2022


I am passionate about education

Jen Mitchell

My name is Jen Mitchell and I have had the honor and privilege to serve on the Collier County School Board since 2018.  I am a local realtor, and mother of four. Three of my children have graduated from Collier County Public Schools (CCPS), while my youngest is currently a junior in high school.  I was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, and earned my BA from Purdue University in Elementary Education. After graduation, my husband and I moved to Naples, his hometown, where I taught for a year at Naples Park Elementary. After our first child was born, I put my career on hold to raise our family. 

I have always been passionate about education, and as a mostly stay-at-home mom, I spent the past 18 years volunteering in my childrens classrooms and serving on their schools’ PTO boards and SAC committees.  In  2011, I was invited, along with other parent volunteers throughout CCPS, to join the Superintendents District Advisory Council, created to increase parental involvement and improve communication with the District. 

As a result of these activities, I was asked to participate in the Champions for Learning Connect Now Project, a series of workshops that led to what became the CCPS Strategic Plan.  I was proud to be among the parents, educators, and community members who developed the Connect Now vision for our school district. 

In 2014, I began my second career, as a Realtor, and am currently with Domain Realty Group of Southwest Florida. The quality of our schools is often the first thing clients new to the area ask about, as it directly affects property values. My role as a local businesswoman, combined with my years as a CCPS parent, volunteer, and school board member has heightened my understanding of the importance of great public schools. 

We have accomplished a lot since 2018, but there is still work to be done.  I am committed to continue helping strengthen our A-rated school district.  We need a school board that will continue to set politics and personal agendas aside, collaborate, and focus on the nearly 48,000 students who are counting on us to get it right. 

I ask for your vote on August 23rd, 2022. It would be an honor to continue to represent you on the Collier County SchoolBoard. 

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Since I joined the board in 2018, we have

  • Ushered in a new strategic plan with a focus on ensuring our graduates are College, Career, & Life Ready!  

  • Expanded Career and Technical Education with the addition of the center for manufacturing excellence in Golden Gate and the new iTech Glades campus. The goal is to ensure that there is abundant opportunity to forge a career path for those students who choose not to attend college. 

  • Continued to increase student achievement by reaching a record high 92.2% graduation rate, maintaining our A” district status for the last 4 years, and outperforming the state in ALL 21 tested areas. Additionally, with the very strategic placement of leadership and a targeted approach to learning gains by our teachers we have seen the 2 schools in Immokalee that had been on the statewatch list” come off of that list and improve drastically. 

  • Maintained our commitment to sound financial management.  To date, we have successfully completed audits in the areas of payroll/timekeeping, self-insurance fund, and contracts as was recommended by outside auditing firm RSM in March of 2018.  We recently voted to have RSM re-examine the list they gave us back then to ensure we are prioritizing the most critical areas. Additionally, we remain on track to be debt free by 2026, including the construction of our newest high school GGG.  By paying cash in lieu of taking out a bond to build GGG” we anticipate a savings to the taxpayers of nearly $45 million in interest payments.

  • We have increased teacher pay and ushered in the new B.E.S.T. standards.  Thanks to the commitment of our Governor to increase teacher pay to a minimum level of $47,500 and to get rid of the Common Core standards, we have been able to do both.  The increase in teacher pay helps us to recruit and retain great teachers.  CCPS also had the honor of having our content area experts invited to work on the creation of the new B.E.S.T. standards.

  • Continued to weather a pandemic for the past nearly 2 years.  It began in the Spring of 2020 with an immediate pivot to online learning which required our teachers to learn the Canvas platform in just 2 weeks time.  It also required that we get computers and wi-fi hotspots into the homes of our students. Over 14,000 computers were distributed in that same 2 weeks.  We also had to find a way to distribute meals to the families who needed them so we created drive through lines at strategic school sites for meal pick-up and even mobilized into some of our neediest communities to deliver food directly.  Over 1 million meals were served during that time to meet the needs of the community.  It continued into the Fall of 2020 with a return to in person learning and offering of 3 additional instructional models, including the creation of ECollier Academy for wholly online learning with an ECollier Academy teacher.  Not only did our students return to school but they had access to clubs, sports, band, orchestra, and theater.  While districts around the country were throwing in the towel, we were innovating to create opportunities and to ensure the best possible learning outcomes for our students, which continues today. 

Looking ahead, I am committed to 

  • Continuing to improve student achievement, particularly in math and reading proficiency, as well as  increasing graduation rates 

  • Working to continue to attract and retain talented teachers 

  • Maintaining sound financial management practices that will allow us to continue to offer our students a world class education all while keeping up with the projected growth in our county 

  • Developing the next Strategic Plan for the district alongside parents, educators, and other community stakeholders 

  • Expanding Career and Technical education opportunities for our students 

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