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PAEC Board of Directors


Front: Superintendent Ralph Yoder, Calhoun County Schools; Superintendent Gloria Uzzell, Liberty County Schools;
Superintendent Carlene Anderson, Walton County Schools; Superintendent Joe Taylor, Chairman of the Board,
Washington County Schools; Superintendent Nina Marks, Franklin County Schools; Superintendent Paul Dyal, Taylor County Schools

Back: Patrick McDaniel, Executive Director, PAEC; Superintendent Eddie Dixon, Holmes County Schools;
Superintendent Steve Benton, Jackson County Schools; Superintendent Doug Brown, Madison County Schools;
Superintendent Al Cooksey, Jefferson County Schools; Superintendent Robert Pearce, Wakulla County Schools

Not pictured: Superintendent Reginald James, Gadsden County Schools; Superintendent Jim Norton, Gulf County Schools

  • Calhoun Superintendent Ralph Yoder   (Photo )

    Ralph Yoder is the 17th and one of youngest Superintendent of Schools elected in Calhoun County.

    Prior to his election, Ralph was employed for nearly 5 years by the Florida Department of Transportation. In his role as Intergovernmental Liaison, Ralph had the opportunity to work with many residents and elected officials across the 16 counties that make up Northwest Florida.His opportunity to serve his fellow Floridians has given him an insight into how rural communities across Northwest Florida are both alike and unique. His interactions with elected officials and community leaders have given him a built-in network of thought leaders across Northwest Florida.

    Ralph has worked for JLA USA, a global food safety firm. He has also served as staff researcher for Speaker of the House Johnny Byrd. Ralph is also the former executive director of the Georgia Peanut Producers Association (GPPA), a nonprofit organization of peanut producers that provided legislative and regulatory representation for Georgia peanut growers.

    Early in his career, Ralph managed the family farming operation in Altha after the death of his father in a farm accident.

    Ralph graduated from Altha Public School and attended Chipola College. He received a BS in Ag Business from the University of Florida. During his time at the University of Florida he received several academic scholarships and numerous awards.

    Ralph’s leadership experience began with active involvement in FFA on a chapter level, then as a State FFA officer. As a life-changing and life-challenging experience, this opportunity cemented Ralph’s ambition to become actively involved in leadership and political endeavors.

    Ralph currently lives in the Ocheesee community in northern Calhoun County with his wife Michelle and three daughters - Madison, Laney, and Morgan.

  • Franklin Superintendent Nina Marks   (Photo )

    Superintendent Marks began her teaching career in 1976 at Chapman Elementary, Apalachicola, Florida. She has been actively practicing her teaching profession in the Franklin County School District since that time except for a short break in 1987 to be a stay-at-home Mom. She progressed in her profession from teacher to Assistant to the Principal and then Dean of West Campus PreK -8 School in the consolidation process until her election in 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Radford University and a master’s degree from Florida A&M University.

  • Gadsden Superintendent Reginald James   (Photo )

    Superintendent James is a distinguished community servant with a diverse educational leadership background. He served as an Occupational Specialist in Gadsden County for 10 years, then district Director of Vocational Education, Adult Education and Student Services for nine years. He honed his leadership skills as an Associate Dean of General Studies at Florida A & M University and as a Program Administrator for Florida State University before assuming the Superintendent's role. He holds both bachelors and master's degrees from Florida A&M University.

  • Gulf Superintendent Jim Norton   (Photo )

    Jim Norton was born and raised in Gulf County and is a graduate of Port St. Joe High School. Mr. Norton completed his undergraduate degree at Troy University, after which he attained a Master’s Degree in Education. He later received his Doctorate of Law from the J. D. Jones School of Law at Faulkner University. Mr. Norton was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in August 2011 to fill the unexpired term of former superintendent Tim Wilder; in 2012 Mr. Norton was elected Superintendent of Gulf County. Mr. Norton served seven years as a Congressional Staffer, and spent over a decade employed in area banking and trust management, during which time he gained the notable fiduciary status of Senior Trust Officer from the State of Florida Department of Banking. His civic duties include his service as chairman of the Gulf County Planning Development and Review Board; past president of the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce; president of the Port St. Joe Lions Club; former member of the Central Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross, where he was a recipient of the Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership; and, former member of the Board of Trustees for Gulf Coast State College.

    Jim is married to Erika Rineer Norton, who owns and operates a small business in Port St. Joe (Persnickety), and is the middle son of Charles and Caroline Norton of Port St. Joe. He is from a pioneer Gulf County family where his father was born and raised in Wewahitchka, and his mother was a Gulf County teacher and school board member for over 40 years. Jim and Erika are the proud parents of James Patrick Norton, Jr.


  • Holmes Superintendent Eddie Dixon   (Photo )

    Superintendent Eddie Dixon started his education at Poplar Springs School in 1971 and is a 1984 graduate of Holmes County High School. He received his associates in arts degree from Chipola College in 1986. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988 and his master’s degree in 1989 from Florida State University. He taught at Bonifay Elementary School and coached at Holmes County High School from 1989 to 1993. Eddie spent 15 years in educational technology and publishing working for various companies in consulting, sales, and territory management. He came back to the school system as principal of Holmes County High School in 2008. He was elected Superintendent in 2012.

  • Jackson Superintendent Steve Benton   (Photo )

    Steve Benton was elected superintendent of Jackson County Schools in 2012. A native of Jackson County, he began his teaching career in 1975 as a Social Studies Teacher at Malone High School in Malone, Florida. In 1991, he transferred to Grand Ridge School as a Math Teacher and became Assistant Principal at Grand Ridge in 1992. Benton served as Assistant Principal during 1992 at Grand Ridge School and 1993 at Marianna High School. From 1994 through 2001, he served as Principal of Marianna High School and as Principal at Cottondale High from 2001 until his retirement on June 20, 2005. Mr. Benton continued his education career as a school administrator in the State of Alabama until he was elected Superintendent of Jackson County Schools in November 2012. Benton received his BS Degree from the Florida State University in Tallahassee and a Master’s Degree from Troy State University in Dothan.

  • Jefferson Superintendent Al Cooksey   (Photo )

    Al Cooksey was born and raised in Jefferson County, Florida one of six children. He graduated High School from Jefferson High School in 1966. He attended North Florida Junior College in Madison, FL for two years and then was drafted into the United States Army. Stationed in Ft. Benning, GA, Al served his country for three years; at home, and in Vietnam. After an honorable discharge, he enrolled at Florida State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education. He taught Florida State History, World History, PE and a semester of Agriculture. He left the field of education for 18 years and was a business man selling insurance. Upon returning to education he re-entered the classroom and also served as Head Football Coach, Baseball Coach and Basketball Coach. He served students at MacClay in Tallahassee, FL; Aucilla Christian School in Monticello, FL; St. Joseph’s Academy in St. Augustine, FL; Levy High School, FL and in Hilliard, FL.

    Al has three grown children and eight grandchildren. His family means the world to him, and he gets together with his children and grandchildren any chance he can. He is a runner, works his farm and loves to fish. Al considers himself a very blessed man and looks forward to what the next few years as a Superintendent will bring, both professionally and personally.

  • Madison Superintendent Doug Brown   (Photo )

    Doug Brown has been a professional educator since 1980. He is a 1974 graduate of Norman High School in Oklahoma and obtained his undergraduate degree in sociology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1978. He received his Master’s degree in Education in 1982 from SWOSU, and has been a professional educator since that time. In 1986, he moved from Oklahoma to Madison to become the Director of Academic Advising at North Florida Community College. From that time until November of 2012, he worked in a variety of administrative and instructional roles at NFCC. In 1996, Brown was a semifinalist for the Florida Community College Instructor of the Year. He has served as chair or team member on a number of accreditation teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In 2012, he was elected by the citizens of Madison County to become the Superintendent of Schools.

    He has been deeply involved in the community life of Madison and has a passion for rural communities. His primary mission in life is to assist people and organizations in the drive to reach their full potential. Doug is married to Madison native Lynne Andrews, a counselor at Madison County Central School. They have three sons: Zack, Drew, and Aaron.

  • Taylor Superintendent Paul Dyal   (Photo )

    Paul Dyal is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Health and Physical Education, class of 1972. He received his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 1990. Paul is a 41 year veteran educator serving as a teacher, a coach, athletic director, dean of students, and a middle school principal for 14 years.

    While principal of Taylor County Middle School, it was an Honor Roll School 2003-2008, as well as an “A” school in ’04 and ’07. As an administrator, Paul became a certified teacher interviewer, a certified Principal Perceiver Interview Specialist, and served on numerous school evaluations teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He worked with the Council for Educational Change as a mentor of their Principal Leadership Academies, as well as their Assistant Principal Forums. Paul served as an elected member of the Florida High School Athletic Association as the middle school member of the representative assembly. He received an academic leadership achievement award in 2003 from the Florida Department of Education and the Taylor County School District. He was recognized by the Panhandle Area Education Consortium as “Most Valuable Principal in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001.

    Paul was elected as the Superintendent of Schools for Taylor County in November of 2008 and re-elected unopposed in 2012.

  • Wakulla Superintendent Robert Pearce   (Photo )

    Bobby Pearce was raised in Wakulla County, Florida. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. He brings a wealth of education experience with over 24 years of dedicated public school service. He has been described by many as being a “teacher’s teacher” having moved up through the ranks from teacher to elected Superintendent.

    Superintendent Pearce worked as a teacher, a coach and was later selected as school principal at Medart Elementary School. While principal at Medart Elementary School his school earned eleven consecutive Florida DOE “A” ratings. In 2012 he was appointed as the Assistant Superintendent of Administration for Wakulla County and was elected in November 2012 as The Superintendent of Wakulla County School District.

    Superintendent Pearce believes leadership defines the culture of organizations. He knows that working together to combine proven tradition with innovation; we can adapt and thrive as the nation and state undergo education reform. His passion for the profession coupled with strong business acumen provides a foundation where teams working together build high achieving successful schools and school systems. His Fundamental Leadership Beliefs include:

    -Applying lessons learned from successful business administration and efficiently allocating resources are essential components for being a good steward for taxpayers. Leading by example, and encouraging all stakeholders to be a part of the decision making process will insure equitable capital distribution.

    -Recruiting and retaining faculty and staff of the highest caliber and character are what our children deserve as they face the challenges of tomorrow’s workforce and rigor of higher education.

    -Maintaining a safe, secure and clean environment for all students, faculty and staff is foundational to achievement.

    -Preserving a school culture that is built on family, trust and mutual respect will create a school and school system where people enjoy working and learning together.


    He and his wife, Jan have two children, Becca, a TCC student and Tucker, a WHS student.

  • Waltonn Superintendent Carlene Anderson   (Photo )

    Superintendent Anderson's superior leadership skills were recognized before Walton County citizens elected her to the district's top education position. In 2003, the Florida Commissioner of Education presented her the Principal Achievement Award for Region 1. She began teaching in 1976 and was promoted to assistant principal in 1992. She became principal in 1998, a position she held until her election. She holds bachelors and master's degrees from the University of West Florida, Pensacola.

  • Washington Superintendent Joe Taylor   (Photo )

    Superintendent Joe Taylor is a lifelong resident of Washington County and a graduate of Vernon High School. He served fours year in the United States Army. Mr. Taylor is a graduate of the University of West Florida with a degree in Accounting. Positions he has held in his career include, Public Accounting, Hospital Comptroller, Office Manager for a Construction firm, Finance Director for Calhoun County, Finance Director for Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Finance Coordinator for PAEC, Director of Facilities and Operations at Washington County School District and owned an Accounting firm. Mr. Taylor is married to Olinda, and their daughter, Hope, attends Vernon High School.