Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent of Schools

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Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent of Schools

Kamela Patton is in her eighth year as Superintendent of Collier County Public Schools (CCPS). She joined the district in June of 2011.

During the last seven years, Dr. Patton has enhanced existing programs, instituted new technological tools, improved internal and external communications, and initiated new programs that resulted in a direct increase in student achievement. Under Dr. Patton’s direction, CCPS has improved its district ranking to tied for 3rd in the State from 33rd  just seven years ago. This success is clearly seen in the number of students that have increased their performance on state tests.  The percentage of students exceeding the state average has skyrocketed 61 percent in just 7 years to 90% in 2018 from 30% in 2011. The district graduation rate has also increased 15.7 percent jumping to 88.2% in 2017 from 72.5% in 2011.

While academic success is the key focus of the school district, under Dr. Patton’s leadership, the district plans to be debt free within 8 years, a time period which includes building a new high school.

As part of the second three-year strategic plan created under Dr. Patton’s direction, the school district is focused on early childhood education, providing a college or career pathway for all students, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), a high-quality staff with a strong succession management plan, fiscal responsibility, and communication.

Over the past seven years, Dr. Patton has received a number of accolades and awards. Most recently, Dr. Patton has received the 2018 Lavan Dukes District Data Leader of the Year Award, the 2018 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Distinguished Leader Award, the 2018 Florida Music Association (FMEA) Superintendent of the Year Award, and was named one of Naples Illustrated 20 Leading Ladies of Naples. Her other prestigious honors include the 2017 Star Superintendent Award from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundation, being named a 2017 Gulfshore Life Magazine Men and Women of the Year honoree, as well as being recognized as a Woman of Distinction in History for Diversity and an eSchool Learning National Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award Winner. She is the recipient of the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association (SUNSPRA) Outstanding Superintendent Communicator Award. Dr. Patton was named by Gulfshore Business as one of the 41 People with the Most Clout in Southwest Florida and a Power Woman by Florida Weekly magazine. She is a member of numerous local boards. Dr. Patton was also recognized by Gulfshore Life as Woman of the Year and by Naples Illustrated as one of the 20 Leading Ladies in Naples. She is a graduate of both Leadership Florida and Leadership Collier.

It is under Dr. Patton’s leadership that CCPS received both local and national recognition for its excellence and achievements. The district’s Communications Department received 18 national awards including a Gold Medallion from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA), the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce honored the district with its Excellence in Industry Chairman’s Award, and the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) and the School Media Technology Division (SMT) of AECT awarded the district its Richard B. Lewis Memorial Award for its outstanding utilization of technology.

Dr. Patton was a keynote speaker in Washington, DC, at Discovery Education’s Future@Now – Transition to Digital Classrooms Conference to discuss the state of digital learning and its impact on college and workforce readiness. While there, she also met with the Federal Communications Commission chairman to discuss the transition to digital learning. She was also invited to speak at the National Summit for Principal Supervisors presenting “Three Tools For Enhancing Principal Instructional Leadership.” This past year she testified at the Florida Senate Education Appropriations Committee on both hurricanes and Mental Health.

In addition to presenting at the local, regional, and national level, Dr. Patton also focuses on community and school events. Every week during the school year, Dr. Patton attends a number of sporting, programming, and academic events. During the past few years, she joined Palmetto Ridge High School at the Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. and Gulf Coast High School’s marching band as they marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. She played the flute in the Philharmonic ProAm event, and she won the Broken Paddle Award after competing in the community Great Dock Canoe Races. Each year she enjoys walking in community parades and serving the community at events such as the Everglades Seafood Festival, the Farm City Barbeque, and Empty Bowls.

For the last few years, Dr. Patton has kicked-off the school year by joining one of the many teams that support our schools on opening day. She has served breakfast in a school cafeteria, worked in a front office, rode a school bus, opened car doors welcoming students, and served as a crossing guard.  

Dr. Patton truly values the school system, our community, and the opportunity she has to impact the lives of our young people.