ORLANDO, Florida — Virtual learning pioneer Julie Young today announced the official launch of Global Personalized Academics (GPA) where she has been named chief executive officer. The new company provides virtual and classroom learning to help students across the globe transform the way they learn.
"Our global learning ecosystem provides virtual and classroom-based quality education so no student will be left behind, regardless of where they are in the world." - Julie Young
Students improve their college admission chances by earning both a U.S. High School diploma and a diploma from their native country.
Both students and teachers improve their cultural understanding through first hand experience in this unique exchange program.
Julie Young is a visionary CEO, educator, and entrepreneur.
She is the founding CEO and president of Florida Virtual School (FLVS ®), the world's first virtual statewide school district, the nation's largest and most influential K-12 online education provider, and the worldwide innovator of online K-12 educational services. Under her leadership the organization grew from 77 students in Florida to more than 2 million students worldwide. Young and her team grew FLVS into a diversified, worldwide organization serving students in 50 states and 68 countries worldwide.
Former Florida Governor and education reform advocate Jeb Bush praised Julie for taking a small start-up venture and building it into "a national model for unleashing the power of 21st century digital technology in public education."
Julie's interest in combining technology and learning began when she served as a teacher trainer for a partnership between the Lee County school district and IBM. That experience inspired her to apply proven business principles to education as she designed an onine learning system built around the student. One illustration of her success is that test scores of FLVS students on AP exams, end of course exams, and state reading and math assessments are the benchmark for virtual learning and sets the standard for all other online providers.
2013 Advanced Placement (AP) Exam results show FLVS students outperformed the overall average in Florida by 13 percent. They also exceeded the national and overall averages by 3 percent in comparing the 16 AP courses offered by FLVS.
As the world's leading authority on virtual and online K-12 education, Young is a sought after speaker and presenter at the events and programs that define and establish the direction and architecture for how education will be conducted. Julie brings a unique leadership ability of leveraging and implementing industry and education best practices in the areas of strategic planning, performance management, operational excellence and continuous innovation that achieved year over year double-digit growth. This included a model for developing and sustaining global strategic partnerships in the areas of business development, technology, and curriculum development.
Florida Trend, one of the nation's leading business publications, profiled Julie in a 2011 cover story, citing Florida Virtual School as the state's most successful online business. Speaking to her leadership and longevity as CEO, the article said: "ike a dot-com founder whose company never went bust, Julie Young has steered an internet-based growth rocket for 15 years."
She has been recognized for her work and contributions by nearly every organization that contributes to virtual education. Some of these recognitions include:
Julie continues to pursue her passion for technology and education, and has recently been named the Chief Executive Officer of a newly formed educational organization, Global Personalized Academics (GPA). In this role, she will transform, innovate and lead, nationally and internationally, paving the way to richer opportunities for student success.
She is a sought after keynote speaker for leadership, education, and technology at meetings and conferences around the world. Young serves on a number of boards for organizations investing in and building virtual learning opportunities for students worldwide. In addition, she is an active and vibrant leader in her local community.
Julie graduated with a MEd from the University of South Florida following her undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky. She and her husband Bruce have been married for 33 years and have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and one grandson. Her passion and desire to see students succeed is the motivating factor behind all she does.
Dave Saba has worked tirelessly over the last fifteen years to improve educational outcomes for students through improved programs, processes and technology. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Sibling Group Holdings (OTC: SIBE). He also works as an advisor for a number of K-12 organizations which have a positive impact on student achievement but have struggled to bring their programs to scale.
Dave previously served as Chief Operating Officer for the National Math + Science Initiative focused on transforming teaching in America's schools. He ensured the rapid growth of NMSI's Teacher Training into eighteen states reaching over 10,000 teachers in 2013. Dave also served as the CEO of Laying the Foundation (LTF) which merged with National Math and Science in January 2012. At LTF he worked to rapidly to expand the organization's teacher training offerings and doubled the number of teachers attending their summer institutes. He launched the first LTF online courses and created the LTF online learning community that currently has over 20,000 members.
Prior to joining LTF, Dave served as Chief Executive Officer of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) which was created to help more career changers move into education. Dave was directly responsible for dramatically increasing the teacher recruitment efforts at ABCTE, having grown enrollments by over 300%. The ABCTE program is now accepted in nine states due to the outreach efforts of Dave and his team, and their work with legislators and state education administrators throughout the country.
Before joining ABCTE, Dave served as the Mid Atlantic Regional Director for Kaplan Test Prep. He was able to improve the performance of his region through aggressive teacher recruitment and training, site expansion, strategic planning and marketing. Under his leadership, the region created partnerships with multiple school systems to deliver SAT Preparation and SES services.
Dave is a Naval Academy graduate who served as a helicopter pilot in the Navy for 8 years and was awarded both the Battle E and Navy Achievement Medals. He completed his master's degree in Engineering Management from the University of South Florida. He lives in Texas with his wife and serves on the nPower regional board to assist Veterans in their transition into civilian IT careers. Their two daughters work in education and non-profits as well.
Ms. Pam Birtolo is a visionary leader in education. For the past 16 years Pam has served the K-12 online learning community. She was a part of the ground floor crew at Florida Virtual School and served as Chief Officer of Education Transformation until July, 2014. She was also the founding principal of Sagemont Virtual School, Florida's first private online high school, which later became University of Miami Online and was sold to Kaplan.
Ms. Pam Birtolo is a visionary leader in online secondary education. She was meant to lead, from travel agency ownership, to non-profit service management, to classroom teaching and administration, to dive instruction and underwater operations management, and to her own education consulting firm...twice. She has taught in high schools and colleges, lectured in universities, and delivered teacher technology training.
For the past 16 years Pam has served the K-12 online learning community. She was the founding principal of Sagemont Virtual School, Florida's first private online high school, which later became University of Miami Online and was sold to Kaplan. She was a part of the ground floor crew at Florida Virtual School and served as Chief Officer of Education Transformation until July, 2014, when she launched her own consulting firm, PB.Squared, LLC.
Pam was on the founding board of iNACOL and currently serves on the USDLA board, the advisory board for Source Code B46, the CompetencyWorks Advisory Group and the Blackboard K-12 Industry Focus Group. Her awards include the iNACOL Innovator Award 2003-07, the 2005 DLA Wagner Award, the USDLA Hall of Fame, the 2013 Orlando Business Journal C-Level Award: COO, and the 2013 Technology Innovation in Education 40 Innovators Yearbook Award.
Before Pam's passion to change the world of education kicked in, she and her husband were scuba instructors working and living on a 12-acre island 70 miles off the coast of Belize. She bought and sold her first successful business before she was 23. She built a quality, profitable foundation that enabled Sagemont to sell for millions. While continuously leading innovation at FLVS, her tireless determination to keep students at the center of all decisions was the backbone that empowered much of the school's success.
Pam has presented the concepts of distance learning to national audiences and has been published in several educational journals. Her credits include Enquiring Minds Want to Know: the Evolution of an Online High School and Transforming Education through Online Learning.
Her biography would not be complete without ending where it all begins: her family. Pam's favorite accomplishment continues to be the gluing together of a wondrous extended family full of sons and granddaughters, nieces and nephews, and the world's most supportive husband.
Because of his passion for providing all students rich, engaging learning opportunities, Jed traded his career of coaching debate for helping the University of Nebraska create the nation's first fully accredited online high school in 1995. Since then, Jed's initiatives provided training for teachers across the United States about using Internet content in classrooms, online communication and collaboration, fostering learning networks and aligning local curriculum and instruction to academic standards, and teaching in online and blended learning environments.
In 2002, Jed was a founding partner for an online consortium that became blendedschools.net. It grew to become the nation's largest K-12 online and blended learning not-for-profit corporation, providing technology and digital curriculum for more than 300,000 enrollments a year. Jed has served as an advisor to the open educational resources site Thinkfinity, advisor to NBC Learn, and advisory board member for Oracle Academy. Jed is a board member of the Professional Leadership Development Center. In 2009, Jed became a member of the Synchronous Learning Hall of Fame for Collaboration, and in 2008 became the first and only recipient of the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Lifetime Achievement in K-12 Excellence in Virtual Learning. The Central States Speech Communication Association, National Forensics League and National Debate coaches association has honored Jed for his instructional leadership, and the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units has honored him for curriculum program innovation.
Ms. Judice has served as the Chief Financial Officer for Sibling Group Holdings, Inc. since July 2014. Prior to joining the Company, she was the Corporate Controller for Education Management, Inc., at Blue Cliff College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Prior to Blue Cliff, Ms. Judice was a Tax Manager at Provost, Salter, Harper & Alford, LLC, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana audit and tax firm. She has held senior finance and management positions in the media industry, including two years with the Louisiana Radio Network, and ten years with WAFB-TV, a CBS affiliate and part of the RAYCOM Media Network. Ms. Judice's educational background includes a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Louisiana State University, being a CPA for over 24 years, as well as being a member of the AICPA and LCPA.
Cecilia’s mom and dad left Cuba in 1967 to build a better life for their family in the US. Education has always been at the forefront while being raised, in addition to raising her own three children. She is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Spanish. She began her career in banking as an analyst with The Irving Trust Co. and then as an international private banker for Chase Manhattan Bank. She later became vice president with First Fidelity Bank as a commercial lender. Her love for education brought her to Glencoe McGraw-Hill as an education representative in Florida. She was promoted and became RVP for the Atlantic Southeast and Florida regions. Cecilia was recently the Chief Business Development Officer for Florida Virtual School, until she decided to form her own consulting firm in 2014 and bring educational solutions to customers. She earned the highest sales awards with McGraw-Hill and in 2013 received the Most Powerful and Influential Woman award from the National Diversity Council. She has a passion for building customer relationships, providing solutions for their challenges and building successful teams. She is a collaborative leader that encourages her team to persevere, challenge each other and to think outside the proverbial box. Cecilia is excited to be part of the GPA leadership team and looks forward to building new relationships and providing virtual solutions worldwide. She has been married for 31 years and loves to travel with her husband and family.
Cecilia's relationship-building strengths and her keen commitment to serving customers brought Cecilia to her latest venture as the CEO of CFLopez Strategic Solutions, LLC. She has been a speaker at many conferences, including iNacol and USDLA. Additionally, she has received the top sales awards while at McGraw-Hill, as well as receiving the Most Powerful and Influential Woman award in 2013 from the National Diversity Council. Her commitment is continuing to contribute to the future of education, and she looks forward to serving GPA and all of its entities!
Since 2000 Todd has been committed to improving education for kids worldwide. His initial focus was in the 9 to 12 space, but has transitioned to including K through 8. Todd's commercial efforts have led to higher personalization, improved content management and ultimately better student outcomes. Todd will focus on Corporate Development for GPA in order to drive greater results for all stakeholders - teachers, students, parents and shareholders.
Todd also takes a keen interest in giving back to his community and was recently named co-volunteer of the year by the Forsyth County, Georgia Board of Education. He is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Law and the University of Florida School of Business. Todd is admitted to practice law in Florida.
Blended Schools Network is a key piece of the GPA foundation. The learning portfolio will consist of integrated media, assessment and instruction for more than 200 courses for the K-12 marketplace, including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese, Latin, Russian, German and Hindi.
July 20, 2015 - Business Wire
ORLANDO Florida — Virtual learning pioneer Julie Young today announced the official launch of Global Personalized Academics (GPA) where she has been named chief executive officer. The new company provides virtual and classroom learning to help students across the globe transform the way they learn. Global Personalized Academics has been formed from Sibling Group Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: SIBE) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Blended Schools Network (BSN). The company is in the process of completing the steps required for the name change to GPA.
GPA offers international students the opportunity to earn a dual diploma from their native country in addition to one from a U.S. accredited high school through virtual learning. Initially, this program will be available in Asia and will expand to Latin America. The company is developing plans for a unique exchange program where students and teachers can spend time learning and teaching in the U.S. and the international countries where its students live. The design of the program emphasizes a personalized student-centered education curriculum in language arts, college prep and Advanced Placement courses along with leadership and entrepreneurial learning experiences. In addition to helping students gain the latest skills and knowledge, GPA will provide college counseling, career exploration and English as a Second Language (ESL studies).
"Today's students are tomorrow's citizens," said Young. "They deserve education that prepares them for our ever-changing world. Our global learning ecosystem provides virtual and classroom-based quality education so no student will be left behind, regardless of where they are in the world. GPA brings together a leadership team of the best and brightest in the online education industry. With the latest technology and teaching practices, we will deliver learning experiences designed to keep students at the center, where they can thrive and reach their full potential."
With over 30 years of experience in education, most recently in digital online learning, Young joins GPA from the Florida Virtual School where she was the founding president and chief executive officer.
"BSN was a pioneer in its own right, providing blended learning models before the rest of us were even talking about it. I am now honored to have the good fortune of working hand in hand with the BSN family," Young said.
The GPA leadership team also includes Chief Learning Officer Jed Friedrichsen. "I'm excited to take the concept of what I imagined when I founded Blended Schools Network and create a new level of enriched learning opportunities to open career and life pathways for students around the world," said Friedrichsen. "Students in new marketplaces will have access to highly engaging resources to be competitive on a global level as global citizens."
GPA's robust learning portfolio will consist of integrated media, blended and online curriculum, instruction and assessments for nearly 200 courses for the K-12 marketplace. In addition, the company offers courses and teachers for Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese, Latin, Russian, German and Hindi. The company provides blended learning where students 'talk' to live teachers and participate in group chats to personalize the learning experience. Custom course curriculum design ranges from credit recovery to Advanced Placement and is tailored to specific client needs. GPA is currently hiring teachers in various markets to meet the needs of its programs.
Virtual education offers courses to students through technology rather than a physical classroom. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia currently support online learning that ranges from supplemental classroom instruction on an occasional basis to full-time.
Global Personalized Academics (http://www.gpacademics.com/) (Sibling Group Holdings, Inc.) is a virtual and classroom learning company that is helping students across the globe transform the way they learn. Headquartered in Orlando, we have 18 employees that provide live online teaching with asynchronous learning via a robust curriculum of nearly 200 courses through the latest technology.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning the plans and expectations of Sibling Group Holdings, Inc., doing business as Global Personalized Academics. These statements are only predictions and actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties, some of which are out of the company’s control. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, that the company’s expectations of future growth may not be realized. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof. Sibling Group Holdings, Inc., undertakes any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the "Risk Factors" and other cautionary statements included in Sibling Group Holdings, Inc.’s annual, quarterly and current reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including, but not limited to, the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the transition period from January 1, 2014 ended June 30, 2014, as updated in the company’s additional filings with the SEC.
Apr 28, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX)
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