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#AskExcelinEd: How my family inspires my passion for education

• Lowell Matthews


During our #AskExcelinEd Summer Learning series, you’ll get to know some of ExcelinEd’s team as they share what they are learning over the summer. Remember to join us on social media to ask your burning policy questions. Enjoy!

ExcelinEd.Headshot.LowellMatthews.webMeet Lowell Matthews, Jr.

ExcelinEd’s Director of College and Career Pathways

My passion for education really started with my family. My mom was born in Spain in the 1930s around the Spanish Civil War. She left school in the third grade to work in a factory as a seamstress. My father was born in the 1940s around World War II. He graduated from high school and went immediately into the Air Force. These two constantly encouraged me and my siblings to do better in school. To them, an education offered the opportunity to have greater choices about what we wanted to be and how we could make a difference.

My interest in college and career pathways was sparked by two Florida education leaders: Florida Senate President and Okaloosa School Superintendent Don Gaetz and former school Okaloosa School principal Frank Fuller. In the early 2000s, they opened my eyes to the power of career and technical education, and I’m forever grateful.

I Prefer…

Print Book over E-Book

Text over Phone Call

Traditional Watch over Smart Watch

ExcelinEd Resource Highlight

ExcelinEd’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Playbook Series

My Favorite Quote

“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”

The Shawshank Redemption

Thought Starter

In 2007, Florida started an industry certification incentive program to reward schools with extra funding when students earn a qualifying industry certification aligned to workforce demand and connect to postsecondary learning and credentials. The work of Florida’s amazing teachers has made this program a success.

About the author

Lowell Matthews

Lowell is the Director of College and Career Pathways for ExcelinEd. He previously served as Staff Director for the Florida Legislature’s Senate Committees on Education Pre-K-12 and Higher Education, where he helped create Florida’s industry certification incentive to create a nexus between education and the workforce. Lowell is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University Law School. He also served in the U.S. Army. He lives in Rochester, MN with his wife and two kids.