Dr. Wendy Katz has been an educator for 45 years. She was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She moved to Sarasota, Florida, in the summer of 1977. Her expansive career began as a special education teacher, a curriculum coordinator of Brentwood and Gocio Elementary Schools, and the admissions and curriculum coordinator for Pine View School. She then served as an assistant principal of Sarasota Middle School and subsequently became the principal of Laurel Nokomis School for eight years, currently the only K–8 school in Sarasota County.
In 2003, Dr. Katz was promoted to Director of Leadership Development for the Sarasota County Public Schools. During the next eight years, she created a distinct career pathway for aspiring administrators. She was responsible for all leadership training for aspiring administrators and for school-based and district administrators. She developed an induction program for new administrators, created a retired administrator mentoring program for new administrators, and developed a Leadership Academy for aspiring administrators. Dr. Katz also facilitated the state principal certification program. She actively coached new principals and established Transition Support Teams to set them up for success in their leadership roles. In addition, she has developed programs that focus on customer satisfaction and gifted special needs populations.
In 2010, after a principal retired mid-year, Dr. Katz returned to a principal position where she was once again involved in the heart of education. “The school level is where there is daily contact with teachers, staff, children, and parents. The principalship was my favorite job as every day I had the opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of a child!”
In November 2012, she officially retired from the Sarasota County School system, but since then has become more involved with her consulting firm: WJK Education Consulting. Initially, she consulted at private schools out of state, but for the past seven years has facilitated four leadership programs for Sarasota County Schools and continues to serve as the Initiative Co-Manager of EdExploreSRQ for The Patterson Foundation. In June 2014, she served as the Interim Director at Hershorin-Schiff Community Day School, formerly Goldie Feldman Academy.
Additionally, Dr. Katz teaches as an Adjunct Professor in Education Leadership at the University of South Florida at the Sarasota-Manatee campus. She volunteers on the Community/Schools Partnership for the Arts Steering Committee (C/SPA), and she serves on the Board of Trustees at Hershorin-Schiff Community Day School. This year, Dr. Katz has replicated the successful volunteer Starfish Literacy Model for Fruitville Elementary School, recruiting over 80 volunteers who read weekly to kindergarten students.
Dr. Katz is a graduate of Leadership Florida Education Class III. She graduated from the National Staff Development Council Academy program and served for three years as a member of the National Association for Secondary School Principals’ Principal Preparation Task Force. She has presented at national educational conferences, most recently in 2017 at the Learning Forward national conference – A Decade of Excellence: Growing Our Own Leaders. In 2018, Dr. Katz served on the Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative – (SELECT) Florida School Educational Leadership Enhancement Committee. She serves as a facilitator at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the summer and has been published in Education Week (2012) relative to the successful results of a leadership development program she developed.
Dr. Katz received her bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Indiana University, a master’s degree in Reading, certification in Gifted Education, her Specialist’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University.
In addition to her professional career accomplishments, Dr. Katz is the proud mother of four highly successful children and grandmother to seven inquisitive grandchildren.
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