Our Education Team

Dr. Miriam Rube, Ph.D.
Head of School, Kendall

An experienced teacher and administrator, Miriam Rube has an incredibly diverse background in education, having spent the last 35 years of her career in traditional, online, public and private schools.

As Head of School for Xceed Preparatory Academy, Kendall/Pinecrest, Miriam is dedicated to serving students and families with compassion and respect, understanding that each student deserves to have learning experiences tailored to their needs. She is passionate about exposing students to activities that help them learn—from on-campus special events to mindfulness and yoga training to organizational skill building; Miriam believes in offering students opportunities to expand their knowledge, interests, and talents.

Miriam earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology from The Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from St. Thomas University. Dr. Rube is a Ph.D. graduate of St. Thomas University, she focused her research on blended learning.

Dr. Lucy Oganezov, Ph. D.
Head of School, Weston and Xceed Preparatory Academy Virtual School

A veteran educator, Dr. Lucy Oganezov serves as Xceed Preparatory Academy Virtual School’s Head of School.

Dr. Oganezov has taught for close to 20 years in a variety of settings including virtual and in-person in secondary schools and post-secondary institutions. She is extremely passionate about both personalized and virtual learning and transitioned smoothly into the Xceed Preparatory Academy Virtual School environment.

 Organezov’s personal life plays a large role in her work. As a parent of two, she has an understanding of the life of a student. She is empathetic to the challenges students face when balancing academics and extracurricular activities, so she is committed to helping each student learn in a supportive and individualized educational model. Her personal experiences influence her philosophy as a school leader. According to Organezov, her leadership is inspired in seeing students as individuals, learning their interests, and working with them to get the most of their experience with Xceed.

Oganezov earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Education and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences from the University of Miami. Her research focused on mental health through the perspective of different cultures.

Pilar Valdez Coral Springs Head of School

Pilar Valdes
Head of School, Coral Springs

Pilar Valdes is a passionate educator with 16 years in education, serving in various capacities in both public charter and private schools. Recently, she served in a district role as the Director of Accountability and Compliance for a charter school network, supporting 23 elementary and middle-high schools and their school leaders across the state. In this role, she developed many systems, including a Leading Indicators Dashboard, to take on a proactive approach to supporting principals and supported Mental Health Counselors with crisis management and streamlining processes. Ms. Valdes was selected to present at the National 2023 ASCD Conference on a holistic framework for supporting school leaders and building teams.

In addition, Ms. Valdes served as the Assistant Principal at The Sagemont School for six years and was a teacher for seven years and a Mathematics Curriculum Specialist for a year in a public charter school setting.

Moreover, she is completing her Doctor of Education degree from Barry University in Organizational Learning and Leadership with a specialization in Human Resource Development, holds a Master of Science degree from Barry University in Educational Leadership, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida International University in Biological Sciences. Pilar is certified through the state of Florida in Educational Leadership grades K-12, Elementary Education grades K-6, Mathematics grades 5-9, and has an ESOL Endorsement.

On a personal note, Ms. Valdes is the mother of three children, including a pair of twins, and is an active member of a public speaking organization, Toastmaster’s International, where she has served as Vice President of Public Relations.

Betty Norton, M. Ed.
Chief Academic Officer

For almost 20 years, Betty Norton worked for Broward County Public Schools where she taught middle school students and later concentrated on special populations included Gifted and Exceptions Student Education (ESE) classrooms and Title I schools.  

Motivated to bring even more value to the students of Broward County, Betty pursued and earned a National Board Certification in 2004 and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2007, while concurrently dedicating her time to increase academic achievement in the district’s middle and high schools. She worked at the district level from 2005-2016. She worked for Core Curriculum as a curriculum developer and then in 2009 transferred to the dept of Accountability. In both cases, she was assigned to low performing schools (D-F schools) and led a team of district support to evaluate, design, and implement school improvement plans and met with great success. Betty also provided training for faculty and administration. 

Keen to learn more about virtual and remote education, Betty also spent seven-and-a-half years working for both Broward Virtual School and Florida Virtual School before embarking on her career at Xceed Preparatory Academy Virtual School , where she served as Head of Schools for Coral Springs. When Xceed Preparatory Academy Virtual School opened in 2020, Betty was tapped to lead the global virtual campus and since then, has become a go-to expert in online, remote and virtual education, having been featured in Thrive Global and numerous family and lifestyle blogs.  

Betty earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Science from Capella University. 

Connect with Betty Norton on LinkedIn here.

Dr. Brent Goldman, Ed.D

A former public school educator, Dr. Brent Goldman has always been passionate about teaching and learning. However, as a young teacher, he quickly recognized that the traditional model of education was—and still is—antiquated and he knew there had to be a better way to help students learn.

So, 25 years ago, Dr. Goldman left public education to co-launch and lead pioneering private schools including The Sagemont School in Weston, Smart Horizons Career Online Education and now, Xceed Preparatory Academy and Xceed Preparatory Academy Virtual School.

As a recognized leader in innovative education, he has been profiled in the FloridaTrend 500, Thrive Global and Authority Magazine for his commitment and dedication to providing a personalized and flexible learning environment for Xceed students focused on subject mastery, not seat time or testing standards. Both Xceed Preparatory Academy and Xceed Preparatory Academy Virtual School were also recently recognized nationally on NBC News for its academic teams’ unique model across all five schools.

Dr. Goldman earned a Bachelor of Arts from The College of William and Mary and both a Master of Science and Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University, where he is often a featured speaker at the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education.

Connect with Dr. Goldman on LinkedIn here.

*All educational team members have a minimum of a 4 year college degree (or higher) and are eligible for or possess Educator Certification issued by the Florida Department of Education.

Reporting Misconduct by Instructional Personnel and Administrators

All employees, educational support employees, and administrators have an obligation to report misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators, which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student. Examples of misconduct include obscene language, drug and alcohol use, disparaging comments, prejudice or bigotry, sexual innuendo, cheating or testing violations, physical aggression, and accepting or offering favors. Reports of misconduct of employees should be made to Mercedes Lutz, Operations Director. Reports of misconduct committed by administrators should be made to Brent Goldman, CEO or Betty Norton, Chief Academic Officer.

Legally sufficient allegations of misconduct by Florida certified educators will be reported to the Office of Professional Practices Services. Policies and procedures for reporting misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student are posted in each school campus’ posting area and on our website at https://www.xceedprep.org/our-education-team/