Superintendent of Schools
Superintendent Theresa Axford
From Superintendent Axford: "I took over the position of Superintendent of Schools during a tough time, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are moving forward. We have great teachers, support employees and, of course, a tremendous group of experienced administrators on my leadership team. Our focus remains on the students and families we serve and doing our best job for them under all possible circumstances.”
Theresa Axford has been with the district for 33 years. Prior to serving as superintendent, she was the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning for the district. Her accomplishments include:
- Middle School Principal of the Year in 2000 and 2003.
- Principal of the Year in 2005 and 2009.
- University of Florida “Distinguished Educator” in 2006.
- Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders “Leader in Instructional Technology Innovation” in 2005.
- Chairperson for the Florida Keys Council of the Arts for seven years from 2012-2019. Under her leadership, the Arts Council increased membership, shored up its investment program and developed a new grant program with a focus on cultural equity.
- President of the Zonta Club of Key West in 1998 - 1999 and 2008 - 2009.
- Board Member for the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade Monroe. In her role on this Board, Axford participated on the Finance Committee, which supervises a $215,000,000 budget for the Board.
- Under her leadership, Monroe County earned an A rating by the Florida Department of Education for the school years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
- She has served as a member of the School District’s bargaining team negotiating with the United Teachers of Monroe for six of the past eight years. In this position, she has participated in negotiations for improvements to teacher contracts and salaries and has worked on the development and amendments to the Teacher Evaluation System.
Axford developed a cutting-edge professional development program called the “VIEW” (Visiting Innovative Educators’ Workplaces). In this program, teachers visit other teachers’ classrooms across the district for insights and new ideas to use in their own classrooms.
Axford’s tenure of thirteen years as Sugarloaf School Principal and her service as Key West High School Principal help her understand all grade levels and the challenges schools face on a day to day basis.
Axford has recently introduced two school safety programs to the district. These programs have their foundations in the Sandy Hook Foundation, established after the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. These programs - called “It Starts with Hello” and “Say Something” are designed to help students reach out to others who may need support, and also help students and staff recognize and report signs someone may be having violent thoughts which may lead to violent actions.
Axford has been directly involved in the district’s professional accreditation process. The district was granted District-wide accreditation by AdvancED, now known as Cognia. Accreditation ensures the district is following a set of guidelines and practices that are established nationally. There are periodic rigorous reevaluations by professional educators from outside the district to ensure the district is complying with those guidelines and practices.
“I am proud to be selected by the School Board to lead the Monroe County Schools,” said Axford. “I have served the students, teachers and families of this district with heartfelt devotion throughout my career and will continue to do so as Superintendent.”
Superintendent Axford, Executive Directors, and their teams welcome everyone to the 2023-2024 school year!