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Floretta Dukes McKenzie

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Information about Floretta Dukes McKenzie

Profile image of Floretta Dukes McKenzie

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
School Superintendent
Education Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Solomons Island, Maryland
Favorite Quote:
I'm Doing The Best I Can.

Birthplace

Born:
8/19/1935
Birth Location:
Lakeland, Florida

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
School Superintendent
Education Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Solomons Island, Maryland
Favorite Quote:
I'm Doing The Best I Can.

Birthplace

Born:
8/19/1935
Birth Location:
Lakeland
See how Floretta Dukes McKenzie is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Floretta McKenzie has a distinguished record of more than forty years of service to education as both a school administrator and educational consultant. Born in Lakeland, Florida, on August 19, 1935, she went on to earn her B.A. degree from D.C. Teachers College in 1956 and her M.Ed. degree from Howard University in 1957 before beginning her career as a teacher in Maryland. McKenzie later rose through the Washington, D.C., school system and became deputy superintendent in 1973. In 1974, she returned to Maryland and was hired as area assistant superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools. McKenzie worked for the U.S. Department of Education as a deputy assistant secretary in the Office of School Improvement, managing fifteen federal education discretionary programs and initiatives. She also served as the U.S. delegate to the UNESCO General Conference in Yugoslavia.

In 1981, McKenzie returned to D.C. Public Schools as the superintendent of schools and chief state school officer. In this capacity, she oversaw the country's twenty-first-largest school system, managing 89,000 students, 13,000 employees and a $400 million budget. Under her leadership, the district established several public and private partnerships to improve instructional programs and district management. McKenzie also oversaw the implementation of the Five-Year Computer Literacy Plan, one of the country's first long-range programs for integrating technology into the public school curriculum.

McKenzie left her position in 1988 to form her own company, The McKenzie Group, an educational consulting firm. She served as its first president until 1997, when she became the company's chairperson. The McKenzie Group specializes in educational management and planning.

McKenzie served on several boards of directors, including the National Geographic Society, Marriott International, the White House Historical Association, Howard University and the Johns Hopkins Leadership Development Program. She also lectured in the American University's Graduate School of Education.

Floretta McKenzie passed away on March 23, 2015 at the age of 79.

See how Floretta Dukes McKenzie is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Floretta Dukes McKenzie's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie names her parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her mother's family background and how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her maternal grandfather's value for education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about her family's relationship with Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in Lakeland, Florida
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about her paternal grandparents' medical practice
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her experience at Washington Park Elementary School
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about her childhood interests in geography and social science
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about playing trombone in the Washington Park High School marching band
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about her childhood involvement in the church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her father's relationship with Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes moving from Lakeland, Florida to Washington D.C. in her senior year of high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes the sociopolitical climate of America in 1952 Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her decision to attend the District of Columbia Teachers College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes earning a graduate fellowship at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her graduate school experience at Howard University, in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie lists notable professors at Howard University in 1956
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about visiting the Howard Theatre in the 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about Howard University's role in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about teaching in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes the issues she observed as a teacher and administrator in the Washington, D.C. public school system
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about civil rights activity in 1963 Washington D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about Washington, D.C.'s role in civil rights organizing during the 1960s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her career in public school administration, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes her career in public school administration, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about leaving the public school system to start an education consulting firm
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie considers what changes could help improve urban school districts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie remembers lessons as an administrator in an urban school district
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie talks about her hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Floretta Dukes McKenzie describes how she would like to be remembered