Meet Betty Norton, M.Ed., President of Education, Affiliate Division
Every organization has that one person known as the holder of institutional memory – the person who has been there almost from the beginning, the person who has worn several hats, the person who seems to know where to find everything and how things are to be done. At Xceed, that person is Betty Norton, M.Ed., President of Education, Affiliate Division.
Betty’s background in education is diverse. For almost 20 years, she worked for the Broward County School District (Florida), with 10 of those years in the classroom teaching middle school.
Betty then moved to the district administrative level, where she was a county trainer and worked for the curriculum department, building curriculum for over 200 schools in the county.
“That curriculum still exists,” said Betty. “It’s fun to have my son come home and tell me what he is learning and knowing I helped create it. It’s a nice feeling to see your life’s work show up here and there.”
In 2016, Betty met Brent Goldman, CEO of Xceed, to chat about his new educational venture. When Brent learned of Betty’s extensive background, he offered her the position of head of school for the Coral Springs campus. She started in December 2016 and officially began full-time work in February of 2017, becoming Xceed’s second employee.
“I knew that traditional school didn’t work for everyone,” Betty said. “Joining Xceed was a great opportunity to take someone else’s idea that was in line with what I thought the future of education could be. To feed and water that idea, to watch it grow over the last few years, has been an incredible journey. I’m proud to have been and continue to be a part of it.”
When joining any startup, employees know they will be called upon to wear multiple hats; Betty was no exception.
“I was a jack of all trades,” Betty remembers. “I was juggling different things and wearing various hats, but I got to do a lot. I think that is one reason why everyone feels like you have to ask Betty, because she was there for all the conversations, the origin stories, everything.”
“Nothing happened at Xceed without me being a part of it when we first started.”
“I was able to witness the Coral Spring campus transform from a bank to a school and the Kendall/Pinecrest campus transform from an empty office space and then helped build both of those campuses to what they are today,” stated Betty.
Betty was also instrumental in starting Xceed’s virtual school. When COVID-19 shut everything down in March 2020, Betty was tasked with transitioning Xceed to virtual learning.
“A few days before we had to close, Brent called me and warned me that we may have to shut down our campuses,” shared Betty. “He asked me to do whatever was needed to get us up and running as a virtual school.”
Within 48 hours, Xceed transitioned to virtual mode, trained the teachers, communicated with students’ families, and let everyone know where they needed to be and what they needed to do.
“Even though the decision to go virtual was made on Friday at 4:30 p.m., we were remote by the next Monday morning with help from the entire team,” stated Betty.
When it became apparent that the pandemic would last longer than a few weeks, it was decided to open a virtual school permanently.
“Brent called and asked for my thoughts on opening a virtual school; he believed it was the next step for Xceed,” said Betty. “I responded that we already had.”
Betty was once again asked to head up the new endeavor.
“I can’t do anything for too long, I get restless, so I was happy to take on the virtual school while still doing many other things.” shared Betty.
As the virtual school evolved, Betty was asked to help with a new venture towards the end of the 2020-21 school year.
Betty helped establish a new partnership with Overtime Elite to provide personalized learning for its athletes, 16-18 years of age, at their new training facility in Atlanta, Georgia.
This new partnership led to Betty’s new role as President of Education, Affiliate Division, and a new focus for Xceed, building affiliate partnerships.
The new role as President of Education, Affiliate Division, means that Betty’s primary focus is placing Xceed locations within sports facilities around the country.
Currently, Betty oversees three affiliate locations – one in Iowa, one in Georgia and one in Daytona, Florida. She also continues to lead the virtual school and is working with approximately four other sports academies to finalize partnerships for the fall of 2022.
Betty has had a hand in almost every aspect of Xceed and she shows no signs of slowing down. She feels strongly about the work she does and how it benefits students.
“I need to feel like I am contributing to society,” said Betty. “To improve the world, not just for me but for my own children and advocate for all students who benefit from our blended model.”
After spending a couple of decades in education, Betty understands that the old way of doing things is “a dying system” and “it’s too massive to pivot or be able to cater to student needs.”
However, she is hopeful that the work done at Xceed will help transform the educational system – allowing for more flexibility and personalization.
“I’m passionate about the idea that at Xceed we can revolutionize the educational system for the modern student,” Betty stated.
To learn more about Xceed Preparatory Academy and all it offers, please visit www.xceedprep.org.