1993 to 2009
Dr. Sam Horton

Dr. Sam Horton led an exemplar life of leadership.  His passion for education and his community inspired him to establish a local chapter of the National Alliance of Black School Educators.  He joined forces with other funding members to mentor and encourage black educators in hope of broadening the pool of talented educators.  Dr. Horton served as president of the local chapter, Hillsborough Alliance of Black School Educators (HABSE) for 16 year.

In addition, Dr. Horton encouraged many local youths to participate in national academic and arts driven competitions, exposing these youth to top universities, colleges and scholarships opportunities.  He established an annual recognition program to honor high achieving African-American graduating seniors for their outstanding academic successes.  This awards program has been in existence for the pass seventeen years.  Under Dr. Horton’s leadership and guidance, thousands of students have been encouraged to reach their full potential, honored for their academic accomplishments and given financial assistance to pursue their post-academic goals.

2009 to 2012
Rhonda Harris

Rhonda Harris is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in English and her Master’s degree in School Counseling from Southern University.  She worked as a high school English teacher in her home state for 15 years before moving to Tampa, Florida in 1987 where she continued her career in education.  While living here in Florida, Rhonda earned an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from NOVA Southeastern University and continued her career in the field of counselor education. Rhonda spent 9 years as a counselor in several schools and 2 years as “Head” of a high school guidance department before becoming a district supervisor. She retired in February 2016 after serving for 16 years as supervisor for Elementary Guidance Services, Hillsborough County Public Schools. Rhonda also had the pleasure of serving as president of Hillsborough Alliance of Black School Educators (HABSE) for 3 years.  Ms. Harris states that “becoming an educator was her childhood dream and she has had the fortunate pleasure of spending 42 years fulfilling and living that dream”.

2012 to 2017
Mary Dance

Mary Dance graduated from Virginia State University in 1984, with a BS in Business Information Systems. She received her master’s in Ed-Leadership in 2005 from the University of South Florida. She started in education as a 3 rd grade teacher’s aide in North Carolina 17 years ago. After moving to Florida, she worked at Benito Middle School for two years as an 8 th grade math teacher & eight years as the Student Intervention Specialist at that same school site. She has won several awards including the Ida S. Baker Award; the SERVE Volunteer Award for Benito Middle School; and SERVE Coordinator of the Year Award. Dance worked at Wharton High School for six years as an assistant principal and at Turner/Bartels K-8 as the Student Success Specialist. She spearheaded several HABSE teacher workshops lead by the Superintendent, district supervisors, and area leadership directors. Dance also hosted town hall meetings, develop reference guides for teachers, and parents and much more.