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JU Board of Trustees elects GRASP Alliance Executive Director Rachel Vitti

The Jacksonville University Board of Trustees has unanimously elected GRASP Alliance Executive Director Rachel Vitti to the board, effective April 29, 2016.


The GRASP Alliance is a non-profit designed to engage, enlighten and empower families, students and staff associated with GRASP Academy, a public school of choice in Jacksonville that Vitti led the way in founding to fully serve students who fit a dyslexic profile. As a nationally renowned exceptional-student advocate, she travels the country sharing her expertise with State Departments of Education, the U.S. Department of Education and members of Congress.

“As a member of Jacksonville‘s education community for 82 years, we are particularly interested in joining forces with those of energy and impact in our area – Rachel fits that bill perfectly. Her work educating young people and overcoming challenges is an excellent fit for our higher education mission.”

Vitti’s work as a public school champion began as a classroom teacher in New York City. Her shift into dyslexia research and advocacy began when she recognized the lack of evidenced-based resources within the public school setting for bright students who struggled to read adequately. She has since rallied stakeholders to address the large disconnect between students with dyslexia and appropriate instruction and supports.

As a career educator and advocate, Vitti has promoted dyslexia awareness as an Advisory Council member for Understood.org, the 2015 Webby Award-winning online resource for parents of children with learning and attention issues. She is a Board of Trustees member of WJCT, Education Committee Chair for the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Advisory Board Member for Nemours BrightStart, and Board Member for the Florida Branch of the International Dyslexia Association.

Vitti holds a Master in Teaching from Salem College and a Bachelor of Science from Wake Forest University.

Upon completion of her first three-year term on the JU board, Vitti will be eligible for reelection for two additional consecutive terms.

The Jacksonville University Board of Trustees is made up of 30 members, including 10 alumni, representing national leaders in a wide range of fields such as education, technology, health care, financial services, medicine and the law.

For more information, contact Phillip J. Milano, JU Director of News and Publications, at (904) 256-7042 or pmilano@ju.edu.