Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are responsible for the overall policy and direction of the FLCHE, and delegates responsibility of day-to-day operations to its officers and committees.
Dr. Tammara Purdin, Executive Director
Dr. Bernadette D. Bennett, Board Member
Bernadette Bennett, Ed.D., is a member of the Curriculum and Instruction Department of Sarasota County Schools, FL. She holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, a Master of Art in Curriculum and Instruction as well as a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on disciplinary literacy and staff development. She has taught social studies at the middle grades and then elevated her craft by becoming the District Social Studies Specialist. As the social studies specialist, Bernadette’s major responsibilities include coordinating K-12 social studies curriculum initiatives, identifying staff development needs and fulfilling them, supporting staff and schools as they implement standards based instruction with a focus on individualized instruction, and developing curriculum resources for all grade levels. She also serves as the Education Coordinator for Embracing Our Differences (EOD) educational initiatives serving as liaison between EOD and the Sarasota County School Board bridging educational and community partnerships. Bernadette has an established track record creating partnerships with educational facilities, for –profit, non-profit and community agencies.
Mrs. Carol LaVallee, Membership amd Event Registration
Carol LaVallee is a Social Science educator for Sarasota County Schools in Florida. She earned her B.S. in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida and a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from National-Louis University. LaVallee was 2008 Teacher of the Year for North Port High School in Sarasota County, Florida. She was also a Steering Committee Member of Sarasota County’s Teaching American History Cohort, an Alfred Learner Fellow on Holocaust Education (Columbia University), and a resident for the George Washington Teacher Institute (Mount Vernon). She is a Library of Congress Ambassador and is an Executive Board Member of the Florida College and University Faculty Assembly (FL-CUFA) and the Florida Council for History Education. Finally, LaVallee is a published author of Using SOURCES to Examine the Nadir of Race Relations in The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas.
Ms. Kaley de Leon, Board Member
Kaley de Leon is a junior at Florida State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Science, with minor coursework in Education and Psychology. Over the past 9 years she has competed, mentored, and judged for NHD. She spent the summer of 2018 at National History Day Headquarters in College Park, Maryland where she worked as a 2018 national contest intern. Kaley hopes to pursue a career in social science education.
Dr. Roger Smith, Board Member
Dr. Roger Smith received his Ph.D. in Early American History and Atlantic World Studies from the University of Florida. His work on the American Revolution in the South has received the Aschoff Fellowship Dissertation Award and the Jack and Celia Proctor Award in Southern History. Dr. Smith is now an independent research historian with Colonial Research Associates. He has provided consultation involving the AMC television series Turn and is featured in an up-coming documentary on the 450 year history of St. Augustine, Florida. Dr. Smith recently published a series of texts on little-known military, African-American, and women’s Revolutionary War history.
Dr. Arren Swift , Co-editor of In Context
Dr. Arren Swift is a faculty member in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Sam Houston State University in Texas. He taught high school social studies for 11 years in Pinellas County Public Schools. Arren earned his undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida in social studies education, a master's degree in Humanities from Adams State University, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a focus in social studies from the University of South Florida. His research includes project-based learning and social studies methods.
Mrs. Angela Harvey, Treasurer
Angela Harvey is a fifth grade teacher at East Elementary in Punta Gorda, Florida. She holds a Bachelors Degree of Science Cum Lauda in Elementary Education. She has a strong passion for educating her students in the rich history of our nation, with particular emphasis in her family's history in the area. She is a five generation native Floridian and has strong ties in the Cayo Costa Island and Boca Grande.
Mrs. Stephanie Boynton, Communications Chair
Stephanie Boynton teaches Explorations, a Title I K-5 special to the almost 900 students at Lamarque Elementary in North Port, FL. She uses arts integration and other creative methods to be able to provide extraordinary learning experiences to students, while supporting classroom teachers in the areas of ELA and Social Studies. Stephanie is a married mother of three sons who in addition to Arts Integration has a passion for American History, Civics and Geography. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education (K-6) at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee where she was named their Fall 2014 Outstanding Graduate. Stephanie additionally is certified for ESE education K-12 and holds her ESOL endorsement. She is one of twenty Arts Integration Strategy Movers for the Sarasota County School District. As a Strategy Mover Stephanie is committed to be a leader in arts integration where she uses research-based strategies to meet the differentiated needs of all students, as well as modeling lessons for other teachers.
Mr. David Oness, Board Member
David Oness has been teaching and/or coaching since 1985. The past 15 years he has taught in the History Department at Sarasota High where he currently teaches in the Cambridge AICE program. For the past four years he has taught U.S. History and Global Perspectives to juniors. He obtained his Bachelor of Physical Education with a minor in History from the University of Calgary in Canada in 1984. In 1992, he was awarded a Master of Arts in Education from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, KY. Over the past ten years, Oness has been an active participant in several week-long educational seminars offered through the National Endowment for the Humanities, Gilder-Lehrman, and the George Washington Teacher’s Institute. In 2017-2018 he served as a USF Stavros Center for Economic Education Fellow. In the summer of 2019, he was selected to be the first teacher from the Sarasota County School District to attend Classrooms Without Borders study seminar in Poland.
The advisory board provides advice/counsel on issues raised by executive board of directors; provide unbiased insights and ideas from a third point-of- view (not involved in the operation of the non-profit business); encourage and support the exploration of new business ideas; act as a resource for executive board.