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. 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
Alison Carlson joined FCIS as Director of Professional Development in 2014. After graduating from St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts, Alison went on to earn her BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York and her MA in French language and literature from Middlebury College French School in Vermont. After completing her graduate program, she returned to her alma mater, St. Mark’s School, and taught French for a year. In 1994, Alison took a position at The Taft School in Connecticut, where she spent 19 years. While at Taft, she served as Coordinator of the Faculty Health and Wellness Program, Class Dean and Head of the Modern Language Department. In addition to holding these positions, Alison participated in many different areas of school life as a member of the Educational Policy Committee, Faculty Strategic Planning Committee, Gender Committee, Mentoring Committee, Professional Development Committee, and the Administrative Deans Committee. During Taft’s most recent 10-year evaluation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Alison served on the Accreditation Committee for Administration. Alison is an avid learner, who seeks to inspire other educators to continue the path of growth and professional development.
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 of Operations, she is now responsible for handling master in-service, certification, accounting and all publications as well as other administrative duties.
Director of Technology
Assistant Director of Accreditation and Member Services
Julie Johnson joined FCIS in July 2017. Julie is originally from the historic city of Savannah, Georgia where she attended and graduated from an independent school. She went on to attend the private college, Lee University in Cleveland, TN and graduated with honors in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications. Julie moved to Orlando in July of 2005 shortly after getting married. While there, Julie worked at Morgan Keegan as an Operations Manager. She also worked in the Admission Department at Lake Highland Preparatory School and was responsible for the enrollment of PreK through 1st grade students. Julie moved to Tampa in 2015 with her husband and two boys and began working in the Carrollwood Day School Admissions Office. Julie has had several years of experience working in FCIS schools, and as Assistant Director of Accreditation and Member services, she looks forward building relationships with member schools, working behind the scenes, utilizing the Accreditation Portal, and assisting schools with achieving and maintaining their accreditation!