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Press Release Detail

DJJ and Broward County Schools Honor Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Finalist


March 10, 2014


Heather DiGiacomo

(850) 717-2711

Pompano Beach, Fla. -Today, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Deputy Secretary Christy Daly and Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie honored Florence “Flo” Cancilla as a state finalist for the 2012-2013 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year, during a ceremony at the Pompano Youth Treatment Center (YTC).

Ms. Cancilla, a twenty-five year veteran with the Broward County School District, is currently a Dropout Prevention Instructor at Whiddon-Rogers Education Center in Ft. Lauderdale for both the high school and DJJ education programs. She works with DJJ students at the Broward Youth Treatment Center (YTC) and the Pompano Youth Treatment Center preparing them for FCAT 2.0, the GED exam and Certified Internet Web Professional Certification.

Since taking a position educating students in the juvenile justice system, Florence has stirred her passion for teaching. “I feel that the best has been saved for last in my teaching career since I have become a DJJ teacher,” Florence said. “The joy and enthusiasm to teach has been rekindled since I have been with these students.”

Students at Broward YTC and Pompano YTC are receiving education, technical career training, mentoring, support services and job placement through Whiddon-Rogers Education Center in partnership with McFatter Technical Center, Florida Memorial University (FMU) and Youth Services International. Ms. Cancilla also works with instructors from McFatter Technical Center and FMU to incorporate reading and writing skills and strategies into their apprenticeship program.  She has dedicated herself to seeing that these youth succeed and providing them the essential skills they will need on the path to successful adulthood.

Deputy Secretary Daly thanked Ms. Cancilla for her dedication and commitment to the education of the boys at these two programs.  “The achievements these boys are realizing with the guidance from Ms. Cancilla are life-changing,” Deputy Secretary Daly said. “These students now have opportunities that may not have been possible otherwise.”

DJJ partnered with the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to select the finalists for the 2012-2013 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award. Ms. Cancilla was chosen as one of three finalists out of the many juvenile justice educators throughout the state of Florida. Each finalist receives a medallion and a $200 award from the Florida Association of Alternative School Education.

The award was presented by DJJ Director of Education Julie Orange at a ceremony which was sponsored by the Pearson and Youth Services International (YSI)