LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Wendy Ivory

Position: Principal
School: Academic Center for Excellence
School District: Orange County Public Schools
City, State: Orlando, FL

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Wendy Ivory was nominated by her colleague, Leonard Davis.

"I have known Ms. Ivory for the past several years and believe that she embodies the leadership characteristics of a model principal," said Davis. "Ms. Ivory’s contributions and positive impact on the students of Orange County Public Schools are what makes her a LifeChanger!"

Ms. Ivory has demonstrated a proven track record of increasing student achievement in Title I Schools by creating a positive culture and climate conducive to learning for all students. She previously served as principal of Ivey Lane Elementary School, where she improved their school grade from a “D” to a “B” during the 2016-2017 school year. After one year of success, Ms. Ivory was asked to become the principal of OCPS ACE K-8 School. This new assignment attests to the district’s confidence in her abilities to ensure that all students achieve at high levels in a nurturing environment.

Ms. Ivory works effectively with community partners to maximize resources for her students. While serving as principal at Ivey Lane Elementary, she ensured that each classroom had two adults for the purpose of providing students differentiated instruction to meet their unique needs. Additionally, she partnered with Universal Studios while serving as the principal of Eccleston to provide incentives for her students. Currently, she serves on the OCPS ACE Cabinet, where she collaborates with community stakeholders such as Valencia College, Boys and Girls Club, Orange Blossom Pediatrics, and the Rosen Foundation to equip students with the necessary skills and services to become productive citizens. Ms. Ivory’s interactions with the community have shown that she demonstrates the ability to work with multiple stakeholders to provide a variety of opportunities and supports for students and families.

In two years, she has turned around a failing school in one of the most impoverished areas from an F to a C. She always put students first and has made a lasting impact on their lives!

"Ms. Ivory is an outstanding principal and a dedicated professional. She has proven to be an exceptional leader, and she is most deserving of this award," said Davis.

Comments (25)

Yahaira Santos Posted over a year ago

Ms.Ivory is such an awesome/amazing person. As a parent of 3 boys that attend ACE, I can say Ms.Ivory goes above and beyond for all her students, staff, parents and community partners. She listens to everyone's concerns and helps them in every way possible. She never judges or makes anyone feel little. She's very supportive and open to new ideas and suggestions. Ms.Ivory is always reminding her students that she loves them all. One of my favorite things she does for the students is everyday during her dismissal announcement she say to her students "If no one has told you they love, Ms.Ivory loves you!". Ms.Ivory puts her all into her school. She's a fighter and she fights for what she believes in and she believes in her students. It's amazing how much Ms.Ivory has done at ACE in less than 2 years. My boys love Ms.Ivory and look up to her, they wear pink shirts with pride for Ms.Ivory and my youngest asked me to make his birthday shirt in pink with Team Ivory on the back because he wanted to share his birthday with her. We are proud to have Ms.Ivory in our lives. CONGRATULATIONS MS.IVORY!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Heather McClellan Posted over a year ago

When Principal Ivory arrived at OCPS ACE, the change in the school culture was immediately apparent. The day to day is calm, organized, and the students are blossoming. Principal Ivory’s care for her students can be seen across multiple facets, from her daily affirmations to the students, to the refinement and empowerment in the leaders she brings aboard to help get the job done. While student success is always at the forefront, Principal Ivory understands the importance in bringing in community partners to assist in achieving the mission. She welcomes out-of-the-box opportunities that will help her students learn, grow, and achieve their goals. She is certainly a force to be reckoned with in all the right ways. OCPS ACE and the surrounding community is very lucky to have her leading our future generation to greatness.

Patti Jo Church-Houle Posted over a year ago

Our Rosen Parramore Preschool is located on the OCPS ACE campus. Ms. Ivory is very supportive and a great help to giving suggestions when assisting the preschool in need. She shows passion towards the parents, staff, students and community with her enthusiasm. Her leadership, trust, and professionalism made a great difference to the school. I am happy to say she is someone I know I can contact when in need of input to help the preschool and community grow.

Tyrone Walker Posted over a year ago

Wendy Ivory has done an outstanding job with the children and administration at A.C.E. I have witnessed the changes in the staff’s attitude as well as, the kids’ behavior and willingness to participate in the City’s mentoring program. Ms. Ivory has allowed my team to mentor youth at her school since her days Ivey Lane Elementary. In addition, her support of our mentoring program was instrumental in the few organizations in the country to receive a grant from the Obama Foundation. I am sure your organization can identify the academic growth under her leadership at the schools she has been assigned to. Wendy Ivory is not afraid to try new resources and expose her kids to new ideas and programs to illustrate that there are more opportunities outside of the geographical area in which they live. It is my honor to nominate her for this award and I look forward to continuing our Recreation Outreach and Mentoring (R.O.a.M) program as a representative of the City of Orlando.

Debra Terry Posted over a year ago

It has truly been an honor to work with Wendy Ivory. She is someone who is very caring and compassionate about the students, parents and the community. I'm proud to be one of the partners at OCPS ACE for this very reason. Continue to be blessed and a blessing to others. You're definitely a life changer!

Carmen McQueen Posted over a year ago

Wendy Ivory is truly a trailblazer. She has the ability to enter a school as the principal and see systemic strengths and weaknesses. She takes what she learns about schools and builds relationships with students, parents, teachers, community partners and district colleagues. She develops leaders and builds trust and professional competency by leading by example and thinking outside of the box. Ivory has left indelible marks on every school in which she has ever lead, and everyone who has been impacted is better for having known her. I’m so happy to be able to say that I’ve worked with her for many years and am the product of her leadership. Her skills are unparalleled and her talent and accomplishments unsung. Kudos to you, Wendy Ivory!!! You are a life changer!!!

Buffy Harp-Poole Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ivory is an individual that you can't help but love and admire. She has the ability to inspire, guide, and bring out the best in anyone that she is in contact with. Ms. Ivory never stops caring! She has a passion for making the world a better place, and teaching people how to be a better person today than they were yesterday. When I lost my mom, she shared my pain and never left my side. Ms. Ivory put her heart and soul into others' happiness instead of her own. Her saying "If nobody told you they LOVE YOU, Ms. Ivory LOVES YOU!" speaks for all the love she carries in her heart. I am and will forever be grateful to have her as a part of my life.

Ms. Houston Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ivory is the She is an amazing principal. She goes above and beyond for her staff and students. Ms. Ivory has made strides to foster relationships with the community and parents at ACE. She is a transformation principal. Transforming our school into an important part of the Parramore community. Ms. Ivory has an open-door policy and is always upfront with her communications with the staff. Ms. Ivory is an important part of this school's success and achievements. Ms. Ivory brings a caring, confident and positive attitude to work every day.

jenesis walker Posted over a year ago

hey it is me one of your fellow students and i support you and pray because you will always be ocps ace's life changer and mine god bless

Ms. Pender Posted over a year ago

She is the best because she helps to build and develop future leaders. I have had the opportunity to work with her side-by-side each day as she encourages students to realize their greatness. She also encourages parents and families to become involved in the school and seek out opportunities to make the community a better place. She is simply the BOMB.COM

Janice Bowling Posted over a year ago

I have known Wendy since she started teaching at Windy Ridge she was and awesome teacher and I have watch her continue to do amazing things at her schools for years!! She puts her heart and soul into to everything she touches!! There could not be a better nominee in Orange County!! Oh and did I say what a fighter she is for herself and all who suffer with cancer!! ????

Ms. Duroseau Posted over a year ago

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work under Ms. Ivory’s leadership. Thank you for creating an environment where I have always felt welcome! This honor would be very well deserved, and we are rooting for you!!

Jea Eaton Posted over a year ago

The best principal this side of heaven. She makes you feel like everything is possible. Loves her work, staff and students. Above all she loves God.

Bishop Thompson Posted over a year ago

I love to see her in her element. Her mothering heart hovers over her with people she will give the clothes off of her back at anytime. She is most definitely a Life Changer!

Saeed Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ivory is very kind and a great leader. I will never forget her kindness towards me when I was in tough spot at one time when she was my Assistant principal ??

Ruth Speake Posted over a year ago

Wendy is a compassionate person who has surely found her passion in educating young people. Her performance in working with and elevating struggling schools is evidence of her commitment to the students and community.

Rebecca Reitzel Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ivory is has devoted much of her heart, time and energy to the staff, families and students at OCPS Academic Center For Excellence. Education is not a 8:00am-3:30pm job. Educating children takes place before, during and after school. She is here early every day and participates in all the after school events such as sports games, community functions, family nights, etc. Students KNOW she cares and is interested in how they are doing. That's a big part of educating children.

Martha Wright Posted over a year ago

As a veteran educator , I must admit, that: "Principals like Ms. ivory, are hard to find." For example, every morning and every evening, she repeats with warmth, and via school wide intercom following the announcements, the repeats life-changing words that our students in grades K-8 students now expect and wait with a smile to hear: "And if nobody told you today, Miss Ivory Loves You". Truly, she is the epitome of a Life Changer, for she is rare and treasured by all who have been keen enough to realize the rarity of such a human being and leader in the times in which we educate public school students, What a difference she makes in the lives of a future generation of children who may not have believed in such an open level of caring, had she not said so.

Marcus Brown Posted over a year ago

Thank you for all of your hardwork and dedication towards the changing of countless of our youths lives. You’re greatly appreciated!

Ruth A Speake Posted over a year ago

Wendy is a compassionate person who has faced challenges throughout her life with amazing strength. She has surely found her life's passion in education, and it's wonderful to see the recognition for her efforts.

Sherrl Stewart Posted over a year ago

Your strength and leadership has been a breath of fresh air. I have enjoyed working under your leadership her at OCPS ACE. You are an inspiration to us all. I look forward to celebrating you this year for the great places you are taking this school. Congratulation

Ms. Reyes Posted over a year ago

The field of education requires individuals to have a passion, drive, dedication, and perseverance. Ms. Ivory certainly has those characteristics both professionally and personally. She is the leader of our school and sets a great example of what it takes to be successful in this field, mentoring students and faculty, putting the students and their families above all, and keeping the academic achievement attainable for our students. She is a pleasure to work for and she truly understands education. Thank you Ms. Ivory for all that you do for the children, parents, and staff.

Ms. Perdomo Posted over a year ago

Your leadership has provided an atmosphere in our school where everyone (students, staff and parents) feel welcomed and loved. You have touched the lives of every person in this building in one way or another. Thank you for your support, thank you for your caring and most of all thank you for your leadership. It has been what has set our school apart from others and has made my position all the more enjoyable and all the more rewarding. You have made a difference in all our lives.

Ms. Francis Posted over a year ago

Ms. Ivory is such an amazing principal and person. She has a very warm and inviting personality and puts the needs of others at the forefront. You rock Ms. ivory!

Shannon Currie Posted over a year ago

It is a great joy to work for and with someone who is dedicated to leading by example and closing the gap for students to achieve academic success despite life challenges. Wendy is a treasure to work with and i am truly grateful to have the opportunity to glean from her leadership.