2015 Distinguished Alumni AwardsThe USF College of Education is proud to announce the 2015 recipients of its Distinguished Alumni Awards. Join us on Friday, Oct. 9 for our Alumni and Friends reception as we honor Doris Ross Reddick ’70 with the Dean’s Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award, and Chris Christoff ’96 with the Spirit of Partnership Alumni Award. Reception begins at 4:30 p.m. in the College of Education Rotunda with program to begin at 5:30 p.m. in TECO Hall of the College of Education David C. Anchin Center.
“The College is honored to have these outstanding alumni among our graduates,” said Dean Vasti Torres.
Doris Ross Reddick received her Masters from USF in Special Education in 1970. She began her teaching career as a substitute teacher at Simmons, one of the Strawberry Schools of Plant City, in 1947 and later as a full time teacher at Dunbar, Meacham and College Hill Elementary Schools. She integrated George Washington Elementary in the Kingston New York public school system by becoming their first Black teacher at that school.
Upon returning to Tampa she rejoined the Hillsborough County School System as a resource teacher. After two years she served as a Reading Specialist at Carver Elementary. She later became the first Black Learning Specialist/Assistant Principal in the county working at Thonotosassa Elementary School. She was appointed as an Educational Diagnostician with the Model Cities Educational Component of the County System and later as a Curriculum Coordinator for Early Childhood Learning Centers.
Also during her career she taught adult evening classes at Blake, lectured at Hillsborough Community College and USF, was a USF Criminal Justice Department special research project interviewer, trained Head Start teachers and was a member of the planning team for the first Hillsborough County public school Head Start and kindergarten programs. Mrs. Reddick retired from the Hillsborough County School System in 1980 after a full and rewarding career. In 2009 the Doris Ross Reddick Elementary School was dedicated to honor Mrs. Reddick’s service. This was another historical moment for at that time she joined the rank of her mother, who Clemmie Ross James Elementary School was named for in 2005.
In 1992 Reddick was elected to the Hillsborough County School Board becoming the first Black woman to hold that position and two years later was unanimously elected as chair and the first Black woman to serve in that capacity. She became the voice for children and minority businesses and under her leadership annual minority business allocations rose from a meager $1,084 to millions. She served three terms totaling twelve years and retired in 2004.
Chris Christoff graduated from the University Of South Florida College Of Education with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education in 1996. He earned his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University in 1999. Following his graduation from USF, Chris taught social studies at Seven Spring Middle School in Pasco County, FL before being promoted to assistant principal in 2001. Chris’s talent and enthusiasm quickly led to his promotion to Principal in 2004.
In 2007, Christoff was named Pasco County's Principal of the Year and was also a named a finalist for County Administrator of the Year. In 2008, he became the first Principal of newly opened Crews Lake Middle School. In 2013, he moved to the Pasco County School District Office to serve as the Director of Professional Development. For the past 2 years, Christoff has held the position of Leadership Development Director for Pasco County Schools.
Christoff has worked very closely and ardently with the USF Educational Leadership and Policy Studies faculty and alumni in coordination of the Gulf Coast Partnership Race to the Top Job Embedded principal preparation program. The primary goal for the USF/GCP collaborative job-embedded principal preparation program is to prepare leaders who will increase administrator, teacher, and staff effectiveness while raising academic achievement for all students, particularly in high-needs schools.
Chris has a strong belief in empowering teachers through the process of action research and working within professional learning communities. Christoff is co-author of “Empowering the Voice of the Teacher Researcher” with USF professor Dr. Roger Brindley.