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Movers & Shakers

New executive editor at News Service

Jim Saunders has been named the new executive editor of the News Service of Florida. Saunders replaces founding executive editor David Royse, who will become the News Service’s associate editor of special projects.

Along with his role as associate editor, Saunders, 47, has also reported on health care and other issues for the News Service. He was previously capital bureau chief of The Florida Times-Union in 1998 and held similar positions for The Daytona Beach News-Journal and Health News Florida. He is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Royse, 43, left the Associated Press to help start the News Service in 2008. He’s moving to Chicago where his wife, Jessi Bishop-Royse, is taking a post at the Social Science Research Center at DePaul University. Royse, who will work on special projects for the News Service either remotely or in Florida, will remain involved with the growth of the News Service of Florida and its parent company, Affiliated News Services, which also runs Statehouse News Service in Boston.

New public information officer for FDLE

Linda McDonald is now the main spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as part of her new role as the communications coordinator in the FDLE’s Office of External Affairs.

McDonald was most recently a state purchasing operations communications analyst with MyFloridaMarketPlace. She has also served as the communications deputy director and communications director for the Florida Department of Management Services and she was the communications director for First Professionals Insurance Company in Jacksonville.

A North Dakota native, McDonald has a B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. and earned her associate in Risk Management designation in 1997.

Campaign manager for Gwen Graham

Julia Gill has been chosen as the campaign manager for Gwen Graham, daughter of former U.S. Senator and Gov. Bob Graham, in the race for the Second Congressional District.

A graduate of Florida State University, Gill served as deputy campaign manager and finance director for Keith Fitzgerald's congressional campaign in the 16th district of Florida. She was previously statewide political director for Loranne Ausley's CFO campaign, and deputy finance director for Senate Victory.

"Julia has great campaign experience. She out-fundraised the NRCC Finance Chairman 10 months in a row on her last race," Graham said in a press statement. "And just as important, she calls the Second Congressional District home and knows the voters well."

Teachers who Shine

Gov. Rick Scott has presented the Governor’s Shine Award to ten 2013-2014 District Teachers of the Year.

Each of Florida’s 67 school districts selects a Teacher of the Year who is then considered for statewide recognition as Florida Teacher of the Year. The recipient is chosen from more than 180,000 public school teachers throughout the state by a committee of teachers, principals, parents and the business community.

Scott said in a press statement that the award “is a way that we can recognize Florida teachers for the hard work that they do every day to ensure that our students are prepared to move on to a college or career.”

The 10 Shine award recipients are:

Jason Schack, Brevard County, Melbourne High School

Jody Houston, Indian River County, Fellsmere Elementary

Noris Aguayo,  Lake County, Groveland Elementary School

Timothy Jones, Marion County, Howard Middle School

Dorina Sackman, Orange County, Westridge Middle School

Stephanie Middleton, Osceola County, Professional and Technical High School

Virginia Watkins, Polk County, Purcell Elementary School

Adam Sherman, Seminole County, Lake Brantley High School

Melynda Shea, Sumter County, Bushnell Elementary

Emily Edwards, Volusia County, Starke Elementary School

Integrity Florida names Board of Directors

Integrity Florida, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute and government watchdog organization, has announced its 2013-2014 Board of Directors:

Bonnie Greenball Silvestri: A senior Fellow for Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, she was the first executive director of the Judicial Campaign Ethics Center of the New York State Unified Court System, which provides ethics advice to judicial candidates and develops the Judicial Voters Guide.

Carla Miller: The city of Jacksonville's director of Ethics Compliance and Oversight, she’s the founder of the nonprofit group City Ethics and a former federal prosecutor.

Irene Guy: A retired Verizon executive, the Tampa resident also serves as a U.S. Senate appointee to the Military Academies Board.

Marilynn Wills: A former high school teacher, she was past president of the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Martin H. Rogol: He was the founding executive director of USA for Africa and mobilized over 7 million people for its "Hands Across America" project. He’s a principal and co-founder of the public relations firm Next Horizon Communications.

Michael J. Dema: Assistant city attorney for the City of St. Petersburg, he is one of the founders of Integrity Florida.

New appointments by Gov. Scott

Scott has announced three appointments to the Commission for Independent Education: Gene Youngblood and the reappointments of Nancy Bradley and Lynn Mulherin.

Youngblood, 69, of Jacksonville, is the founder and president of the Conservative Theological University. He succeeds Marvin Royce, and his term ends June 30, 2015.

Bradley, 61, of Orlando, is the owner and administrator of Daytona College. She is reappointed for a term that began May 10 and ends June 30, 2015.

Mulherin, 49, of Celebration, is a regional vice president with the University of Phoenix. She is reappointed for a term that ends June 30, 2015.
The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Scott also appointed  Ellyn I. Drotzer to the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. Drotzer, 46, of Fort Lauderdale, is the interim vice president of career and technical education with Broward College and the associate vice president for resource development and strategic planning with Broward College Foundation. She fills a vacant seat; the expiration of her term is up to the governor.

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