Dr. Maria I. Pouncey has over 27 years of experience working in education, specifically with Migrant and Farmworker children. The 14th of 16 children, 1st generation college graduate, she understands the dilemmas of families trying to survive and the importance of pursuing an education. She was born in the state of Texas, but has called Florida her home for the past 33 years. Dr. Pouncey graduated from St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Special Education from Nova University, and an Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. She has been awarded district, state, national, and international awards for her work with migrant and immigrant families. She is a recipient of a Humanitarian Award – “Ohtli” by the Mexican government, a “Trailblazer Award “and the State of Florida honored with the “Champion of Service Award” in 2013. A firm believer in being involved in her community she is an active board member of the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle, College Reach Out Program, Big Bend Area Health Education Center, and the Early Learning Coalition. She is passionate about education and passionately promotes that “knowledge is power”.