Dr. Barbara Hodges began her tenure as Executive Director of FCIS on July 1, 2010. Before assuming her FCIS duties, Barbara served as Head of School at Holy Comforter Episcopal School for 17 years in Tallahassee and President of the FCIS Board of Directors. Her prior experience includes serving as a Curriculum Development Specialist and teacher in North Carolina, and teaching at schools in both Virginia and Florida. Currently, Dr. Hodges serves as the Immediate Past President of the Florida Association of Academic Non-public Schools (FAANS), a member of the Board of the Independent School Association Network (ISAnet), and the Chair of the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA). Other related professional experiences include serving on the Board of Regents of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) Board of Directors and the North Carolina Association of Educators’ Board. Dr. Hodges has presented on a state and national level on the topic of governance, including being a keynote speaker of the Independent School Chairs Association (ISCA) Conference, held at the Harvard Club. In addition, she has been a presenter at the NAIS Annual Conference. Dr. Hodges has identified her vision for FCIS “to be a premier independent school association with a strategic board, proactive legislative advocates, and a streamlined quality accreditation process that provides outstanding member services, while utilizing strong communication, up-to-date technology, and marketing to operate with efficiency and professional excellence.”
Director of Accreditation
Melissa Alton joined FCIS as Director of Accreditation in 2014. Melissa began her teaching career as a Teaching Assistant at UNC-Charlotte, where she also worked in the Writing Resource Center and later served as an instructor and the President of the Adjunct Faculty Association. While living in Charlotte, she was also employed as an Educational Consultant with Manus Academy and as a summer instructor at Charlotte Country Day School. Melissa moved to Brevard County, Florida in 1999. In that year, she began working at Florida Air Academy as a teacher and as Tutoring Director. During her tenure at Florida Air, Melissa served as English Department Chair, Senior Class Advisor and Assistant Principal. She became the academy¹s Principal in February 2012. An English instructor by trade, Melissa has taught literature and language arts to students in grades 6-12 and at the college level. She holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA from UNC-Charlotte, and an M.Ed. from the University of Florida. Melissa’s experience with accreditation includes intensive coursework on school improvement through the University of Nebraska, service on multiple school visiting teams, and leadership in her previous school’s accreditation efforts. She currently serves as chair of the ICAISA Directors of Accreditation group. As Director of Accreditation, Melissa serves as a resource for member schools as they engage in the challenging work of self-examination and school improvement.
Director of Professional Development
Nicole Robison joined FCIS as the Director of Professional Development in 2022. Nicole most recently served as the Head of Middle School and Curriculum Coordinator at St. Mark’s Episcopal School in Palm Beach Gardens. Throughout her 12 years at St. Mark’s, Nicole vertically aligned the school’s curriculum, coordinated professional development, and established a new teacher mentoring program. Prior to her work in leadership, Nicole was an English teacher both in Florida and Pennsylvania with a specific concentration in writing. Nicole’s love of writing came from her time working in the Writer’s Center at LaRoche University where she earned a B.A. in Secondary English Education and English Language and Literature. Dedicated to on-going professional development of others as well as herself, Nicole also holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching from Penn State.
Director of Business and Operations
Keara Danger joined the FCIS staff in February 2003. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Keara started her career with Olsten Services, a staffing company specializing in placement of highly qualified employees in temporary and permanent positions. At Olsten, she served as an employment placement and payroll specialist. In 1996, seeking more of a challenge, Keara began working for The DRB Group, a hospital medical equipment repair company. As the Vice-President of Administration, she was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and accounting. After working in the business world for 10 years and being a stay-at-home mom for 3, she embarked on her career in education which was always one of her passions. As the Director of Business and Operations, she is now responsible for handling in-service, certification, accounting and many other administrative duties.
Educational Technology Coordinator
Cindy Addison joined FCIS as Educational Technology Coordinator in 2021. Born and raised in Tampa, Cindy graduated from Tampa Catholic High School before earning her BS from the University of Florida and her MA in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University. Cindy began teaching technology at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in 2000, and stayed for 20 years. In 2010 she became the Technology Integration Specialist, then the Associate Director of Technology and later the Director of Technology. She has been active in many areas of independent school life particularly Global Education, school security, and an abundance of special programs, and was instrumental in endeavors including the launch of an iPad program, the transition to Google for Education, and the facilitation and support of the move to virtual teaching and learning necessitated by coronavirus in 2020. Cindy enjoyed serving on several accreditation teams and co-chaired the Self-Study and accreditation visit for SSES. She has spoken at the Global Education Benchmarking Group annual conference and at the Florida Education Technology (now Future of Education Technology) Conference. Cindy remains fascinated by the magic of technology and loves to discover new applications of this magic for herself and others.