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LIVE RESULTS: Central Florida school board races

Get to know candidates ahead of August primary election

Stock image of school desks
Stock image of school desks (Wokandapix/Pixabay.com)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The polls have closed and results are being tallied for Florida’s primary election.

Every Central Florida county but Sumter has school board seats up for grabs this year. See live race results as they come in and meet the candidates running for school board positions in Central Florida, organized alphabetically by county below.

[2020 VOTER GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of Florida’s primary election]

District 3, Brevard County

Candidate

Votes

%

Jennifer Jenkins
14,75754%
Tina Descovich
12,27145%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(171 / 171)

Tina Descovich

Descovich is a current Brevard County School Board member representing District 3. She was first elected to the school board for a four-year term in 2016.

Desovich has two decades in business and communication experience including working on the U.S. Army Commanding General executive staff. She worked for Northrop Grumman developing multi-billion dollar proposals and then worked for the Melbourne Air and Space Show organizing more than 650 volunteers.

As a parent of five children who graduated or currently attend Brevard County schools, Desovich has volunteered more than 2,000 hours for the school district. She also serves on the board of The Children’s Hunger Project and AMI Kids.

Descovich lives in Satellite Beach and has five children with her husband, Derek. To read more about Desovich, click here.

Jennifer Jenkins

Jenkins is a speech language pathologist at a Brevard County elementary school. She is also married to a Brevard County teacher.

As a language development specialist, Jenkins also works with a government agency working with children under 3 years old who are at high risk or have development disabilities or delays. To read more about her platform, click here.

If elected, Jenkins’ plan includes finding solutions to attract and retain teachers in Brevard County, which is currently experiencing a shortage.

Jenkins and her husband have a 3-year-old daughter and live in Satellite Beach.

Read more about both candidates here.

District 4, Brevard County

Candidate

Votes

%

Matt Susin
19,60375%
David S. Worrells
6,50924%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(41 / 41)

Matt Susin

Susin is a former high school teacher turned businessman and the current school board member for District 4. He was elected in 2016.

He is also a member of the Economic Development of the Space Coast, chairman of Suntree Rotary and a member of Melbourne Regional Chamber.

Susin said if re-elected he will prioritize on-the-job training for students in aviation, construction and other trade fields. During his current term, Susin said he has worked with local manufacturers to strengthen the workforce in Brevard County and provide options for students after graduation.

Susin lives in Viera with his wife and four children.

David S. Worrells

Worrells is a retired university professor with a doctorate in philosophy, workforce education and development.

If elected Worrells said he would reinforce the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee for Brevard County Public Schools and work with industry leaders to offer internships and opportunities for students.

Worrells lives in Rockledge with his wife and has two sons and two grandsons.

Read more about both candidates here.


Flagler County School Board District 1

Candidate

Votes

%

Jill Rena Woolbright
14,40559%
Vincent Lyon
9,86940%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(25 / 25)

Vincent Lyon

Lyon is an attorney who has lived in Palm Coast for eight years. He previously served on the Palm Coast City Council and is part of other community associations. He is the vice president of the Estate Planning Council of the Fun Coast, on the board of directors of the Palm Coast Historical Society and previously the president of the Flagler County Bar Association.

If elected, Lyon said he will focus on improving test scores of special education and minority students. He wants to make the voluntary pre-kindergarten program more effective by hiring credentialed instructors and expand recruitment to draw a more diverse and inclusive workforce in the school district, according to his website.

Read more about Lyon here.

Jill Rena Woolbright

Woolbright is a longtime Flagler County resident and a retired public school teacher. She is now the part-time director of a church pre-school, according to her interview with Flaglerlive.com.

The Palm Coast Observer publisher has endorsed Woolbright for the school board seat. She has also been endorsed by several education groups, including the Flagler County Education Association, the Flagler Education Support Professional Association and the Flagler ESE Support Group.

Learn more about Woolbright here.

Flagler County School Board District 3

Candidate

Votes

%

Colleen Walsh-Conklin
13,00152%
Paul Mucciolo
8,68434%
Carol "Mother Elizabeth" Bacha
3,28713%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(25 / 25)

Carol “Mother Elizabeth” Bacha

Bacha is a nun within the Russian Orthodox Church, a licensed practical nurse and a medical ethnomusicologist, according to her interview with the Palm Coast Observer.

Bacha describes herself as a natural leader and has been vocal throughout the coronavirus pandemic about her concerns with students and teachers returning to school.

“Now is the time for an overhaul of our values, visions, and support for education. Let’s work together to make excellence in Flagler County Education so that we are the EDUCATION COAST,” she wrote on July 31.

Read more about Bacha here.

Dr. Paul Mucciolo

Mucciolo is a doctor currently working in emergency medicine at AdventHealth Palm Coast, he is also the medical director at Daytona International Speedway and has a teaching appointment at the Florida State University College of Medicine.

Mucciolo and his wife, Christie, have two young children, who attend Flagler County Public Schools.

Mucciolo has earned endorsements from State Sen. Travis Hutson, the Palm Coast Observer, the Flagler ESE Support Group and several other community leaders.

“Paul is one of the most modest and humble men you will meet. His goal is to encourage less animosity at school board meetings and greater transparency, particularly with respect to the District’s budget,” the Flagler ESE Support Group wrote in its endorsement.

Learn more about Mucciolo here.

Colleen Walsh-Conklin

Walsh-Conklin is currently the vice chair of the Flagler County School Board and has served on the board since 2000. She began her education career as a teacher in New York City, according to her biography. After moving to Florida to be close to her parents, Walsh-Conklin taught at Bunnell Elementary before running for a school board seat.

If re-elected, Walsh-Conklin said she will work toward preparing students for the 21st century and believes the school district should “re-invent how we educate children.”

Walsh-Conklin and her husband have two sons.

Read more about the candidate here.

Flagler County School Board District 5

Candidate

Votes

%

Cheryl L. Massaro
13,56856%
Maria Pinto Barbosa
10,64143%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(25 / 25)

Maria Pinto Barbosa

Barbosa is the current District 5 school board member for Flagler County. She was elected in 2016.

According to her website, Barbosa has a doctorate in clinical Christian counseling and is the CEO of DIVAS International and ACCEL Educational Leadership. However, according to an investigation by the Palm Coast Observer, the Florida Department of Health does not recognize Barbosa’s clinical counseling degree.

“I want to be the voice of students, parents, teachers and the whole community to make the schools a better, safer place for our children and grandchildren,” Barbosa writes on her website. “It is important students achieve educational excellence to succeed in school and life.”

Read more about the candidate here.

Cheryl L. Massaro

Massaro is a former teacher, coach and athletic director who retired from the Flagler County Public School system.

She is currently the director at the Flagler County Youth Center and the G.W. Carver Community Center. Massaro also serves on the Florida Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group.

“It is my desire to continue to serve the community as a member of the Flagler County School Board,” Massaro writes. “I am a passionate candidate for the Flagler County School Board and will bring significant experience and a fresh perspective to enhance the critical work of the Board.

Massaro has earned endorsements from former students, community members and others. You can read those here.

Read more about Massaro here.


Lake County School Board District 2

Candidate

Votes

%

Kristi Burns *
37,44364%
Patricia Nave
20,38635%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(103 / 103)

Dr. Kristi Burns

Burns, of Leesburg, is the current school board member for District 2. She grew up in Lake County and graduated from Eustis High School. Burns has a doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. She previously worked at Dupont Corporation in business, research and development.

According to Burns’ biography, one of her key concerns for running for school board in the first place was recess. As the parent of elementary school children, she helped lead a group of parents and educators to demand at least 20 minutes of recess per day. Lake County Schools now have a 60 minutes per week policy.

Burns is also passionate about high-stakes standardized testing and believes they can be misused.

“These tests should be created, examined, and evaluated by the teacher – who, after all, is the person who best knows the child. Testing can be a useful tool – as long as it is used correctly,” Burns writes.

Burns and her husband, Mark, live in Lake County with their two children. You can read more about Burns here.

Patricia Nave

Nave, of Leesburg, is a retired educator with nearly 40 years of experience. She was a teacher in the school district and worked in administration, according to the Daily Commercial.

Nave told the Daily Commercial her top priorities if elected are to provide safety measures for students both physically and emotionally and to help children work through the challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Read her interview here.

She hopes to improve the school district to an “A” rating.

Lake County School Board District 4

Candidate

Votes

%

Mollie B. Cunningham
17,19029%
Betsy Farner
15,10626%
Sandy Gamble *
14,24924%
Michael A. Garcia
11,45819%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(103 / 103)

Mollie B. Cunningham

Cunningham has 35 years of experience working for the public school system in Lake County. During that time, she’s served on committees to hire a superintendent, revise the student code of conduct and select textbooks for students.

If elected, she plans to host quarterly town halls to gather input from members of the community and prioritize employee compensation.

Her other platform points include lobbying the legislature in Tallahassee, making sure schools are hiring the best and most qualified individuals and restructuring the school board’s budget.

Read more about Cunningham here.

Betsy Farner

Farner is a teacher with 37 years of experience, 33 of those spent in Lake County schools. She says that experience has helped her to fully understand the relationships between parents, teachers and students and she hopes to bring that knowledge to the school board.

Another focus of Farner’s is promoting vocational education for students who may not be interested in pursuing a four-year degree.

In order to achieve her goals, Farner hopes to foster more involvement from the community at large to support educators.

Learn more about Farner here.

Sandy Gamble

Gamble was elected to the Lake County School Board in 2016 and has served in the role ever since. His other political experience includes sitting on the Tavares City Council for eight years and serving as vice mayor and mayor.

He has 20 years of experience working in classified support roles within the school district and is currently an assistant softball coach at Umatilla High School.

He lives in Tavares with his wife, where he is a pastor at Church of God of Prophecy.

Read more about Gamble here.

Michael A. Garcia

Garcia is a former school resource officer, a police officer for 27 years and an on-campus volunteer who touts himself as having a “deep connection” with students, parents, teachers and others in the community.

Garcia uses the ACTS acronym for his platform: Academics, Commitment, Teamwork and Safety. That plan involves need assessments for schools, transparency within the school board, working with teachers and improving the relationship between the school board and local law enforcement agencies.

He writes on his website that he recognizes each child has different learning needs and he plans to advocate for each of those needs while protecting and providing for students.

Learn more about Garcia here.


Marion County School Board District 1

Candidate

Votes

%

Lori J. Conrad
26,66740%
Allison B. Campbell
23,62936%
Shelia Arnett
15,04223%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(122 / 122)

Shelia Arnett

Arnett has worn many hats as a business owner, running a BMX bicycle shop and baseball store with experience as an office manager for her husband’s private investigation firm for 14 years before becoming a hospice specific healthcare recruiter in 2000.

She says her work with her husband, former Marion County Commissioner Earl Arnett, helped her realize her passion for serving the community and running for the school board.

Arnett’s platform includes creating more effective school discipline policies and making strict changes to school safety and bullying offenses.

If elected, Arnett says she will also be a watch dog over the board’s budget to make sure each taxpayer dollar is spent effectively.

To learn more about Arnett and her platform, click here.

Allison B. Campbell

Campbell hopes to use her extensive background in communications, bring a new vision and a new voice to the school board and better Marion County schools.

A native from southeast Tennessee, Campbell has built her own small public relations business while pursuing her a doctorate in strategic communications. She also serves as an adjunct professor for the College of Central Florida and Southeastern University while raising her three children alongside her husband. She says her current experience as a mother, a teacher, a student and a businesswoman will bring a well-rounded perspective to the board.

As part of her platform, she hopes to assist vulnerable populations, highlight the importance of learning different trades and shaping that education by learning styles and give students the opportunity to learn a variety of skills to make them more marketable for the future.

To learn more about Campbell, click here.

Lori J. Conrad

Conrad is a 25-year veteran teacher and a certified media specialist who lives in Ocala.

She serves in her community through the Humane Society, Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity. At the school level, she’s participated in literacy and textbook committees while serving planning and safety groups. Her role as a teacher has also given her the opportunity to help develop curriculum.

Touting her experience as an educator, Conrad says her hands-on point of view will help shape the board’s priorities and impact Marion County’s school system. She hopes to bring on a wide-range of initiatives and tackle issues such as distance learning and the digital gap, supporting the Safe School Initiative and reduce county base testing.

In 2012, she was recognized by the community and the Public Education Foundation as one of the Top Five Educators in Marion County through the Golden Apple Program. Conrad holds a primary education certification for kindergarten through third grade and is a certified elementary education teacher for first through sixth grades.

To learn more about Conrad, click here.


Orange County School Board District 4

Candidate

Votes

%

Pam Gould *
16,59648%
Prince Brown
10,95831%
Dayna Gaut
6,79619%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(38 / 38)

Prince Brown

Brown is a Navy veteran and a father of three, with extensive experience in public health. After working as public health at analyst at the federal level, he became an Orange County Public Schools administrator while also doubling as a college professor.

The Orlando native has been married to his wife, an OCPS teacher, for 24 years. Prince says his experience as a loving husband to an educator and becoming an educator himself has helped shaped his perspective and inspired him to run for a school board seat.

In his platform, he outlines ways to support teachers which includes creating more efficient meetings that don’t cut into a teacher’s planning periods or lunch breaks and provide a fair platform for pay negotiations. He also wants to spearhead more collaboration with local businesses and entrepreneurs to create alternative avenues of success for high school graduates and establish apprenticeship positions and marketable certifications for students.

To learn more about Prince and his platform, click here.

Dayna Gaut

Gaut has served many roles as a paramedic, firefighter, public information officer and most recently, a public school teacher.

Before heading to the classroom, Gaut was also an active parent taking part in her child’s PTA and other parent associations to help enhance a school’s transparency and student education. Her involvement as a parent and experience in the classroom encouraged her to receive her master’s degree in education. She is currently studying for her doctoral of education leadership.

As an active member of the community, she decided to run for District 4 school board to mitigate school overcrowding, overtesting and address student well-being. She also hopes to help negotiate more competitive teacher pay.

To learn more about Gaut and her extensive platform, click here.

Pam Gould

Gould has held the District 4 school board seat for the past eight years and is running for re-election. She has lived in Orange County since 1990, where she raised two sons alongside her husband.

During her tenure as a school board member, she’s also assumed the role of vice chair spearheading the accelerated expansion of new schools to keep up with the growing west Orange County population. Passionate about creating pathways to careers for all children, she’s directed a collaborative opportunity with Special Hearts Farm creating a program for students who are differently-abled to train and continue performing meaningful jobs once they age out of public school. She is also currently organizing an initiative to provide a polytechnic option for sixth through twelfth grade that would enhance experiential learning environments.

Gould hopes to continue to expand on these initiatives and provide more career pathway options for students by extending her time on the school board.

To learn more about Gould and her platform, click here.

Orange County School Board District 5

Candidate

Votes

%

Vicki-Elaine Felder
7,88540%
Bruce H. Antone
6,12731%
Michael "Mike" Scott
5,43127%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(34 / 34)

Bruce H. Antone

State Rep. Atone currently represents Florida’s District 46 in Tallahassee but as his term ends on Nov. 3, he’s now seeking a seat on the Orange County School Board.

Atone received a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Tuskegee Institute, later attending graduate school at the University of Central Florida studying public administration. He has served on the Florida House of Representatives Education Committee since 2017.

Opponent Michael Scott filed a lawsuit against Atone challenging the representative’s eligibility to run. At last check, Atone was still on the ballot for Florida’s primary election.

To learn more about Atone and his campaign, click here.

Vicki-Elaine Felder

Felder is a life-long Orlando resident with nearly 40 years of experience in education.

Felder hopes to bring her experience and pure intentions to advocate for the needs of students, parents, teachers, staff and the overall community. She hopes to provide more training for innovative learning that keeps special education and English-learning students in mind. Outlined in her platform, Felder hopes to introduce vocational education to bring a variety of ways for students to reach academic success while encouraging creativity in instruction and making it an accepted aspect of teacher evaluation.

Felder boasts many accomplishments as an educator including an invitation to do research as a Fulbright-Hays Scholar on the art and architecture of India and served as an educational facilitator to South Africa to assist in rebuilding the educational communities after the election of Nelson Mandela.

Felder hopes to bring her wide array of experience to the Orange County School Board and serve the overall community.

To learn more about Felder, click here.

Michael “Mike” Scott

Scott is an Air Force veteran who was born and raised in Orlando. Scott points to his community engagement and education-initiatives as to why he’s fit for the District 5 school board seat.

If elected, Scott hopes to increase the school board’s engagement with students, saying it will have insurmountable benefits that he has seen firsthand. Scott spearheaded the implementation of a mentorship program with the Public Defender’s Office Juvenile Division, helping high-risk or repeat offending students stick to their education and utilize community resources for academic success. According to Scott’s website, he has partnered with multiple organizations to create a number of personal development and educational programs that serve youth and their families for more than 15 years.

He says he hopes to continue to be of public service on the school board to create more community-based initiatives that will create more vocational opportunities for students. Outlined in his platform, Scott wants to promote purposed changes to the advisory committees and families before they happen and keep families more informed by hosting more informational meetings at schools.

To learn more about Scott, click here.

Orange County Board District 6

Candidate

Votes

%

Karen Caster Dentel *
24,13372%
Jonathan Hacker
9,17327%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(44 / 44)

Karen Castor Dentel

Dentel is running for re-election hoping to build upon her accomplishments on the Orange County School Board.

Dental received her doctorate from the University of Florida in curriculum and instruction and previously served as a state representative on the education appropriations subcommittees. As part of her re-election platform, the former Orange County teacher wants to create equitable opportunities for all students while integrating more social-emotional learning.

With her experience in Tallahasse, Dentel says she’s not shy about bringing issues up at the state level. Her track record shows she’s spoken at the Capitol in support of raising teacher pay and public school funding.

To learn more about Dentel’s re-election campaign, click here.

Jonathan Hacker

District 6 school board candidate Hacker has been described as the race’s underdog.

Hacker grew up in Pine Hills and says his experience in an underserved and diverse community gives him a perspective his opponent cannot fathom.

He says he’s running for the school board to help serve students and families with backgrounds like his. He says if elected, he will prioritize parents’ rights and their input on their child’s education and ensure anti-bullying curriculum is implemented throughout the year to create a more understanding generation. Hacker also wants to address OCPS spending, saying it could be more efficient and impactful and could help implement more competitive salaries for teachers.

To learn more about the issues Hacker hopes to tackle, click here.

Orange County School Board District 7

Candidate

Votes

%

Melissa Mitchell Byrd *
17,37656%
Ericka Bell
7,74325%
Jeannetta Maxena
5,64618%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(34 / 34)

Ericka Bell

Bell is a wife, business owner and dedicated mother.

A 20-year resident of Orange County, Bell is running for school board to mitigate school overcrowding in the district and invest more time, resources and money into the county’s teachers. If elected, she will put a strong focus on school attendance, family and community engagement and search for innovative ways to prepare students for the future. She says she will fight to add skilled trade programs at all high schools so students in the 11th and 12th grade can pick from a variety of vocational electives.

Learn more about Bell’s plans for District 7 by clicking here.

Melissa Mitchell Byrd

Byrd is running for re-election, saying she’s not throwing away her shot at an opportunity to continue the board’s success.

The current District 7 school board member graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, taking a sabbatical to raise her children while substitute teaching. She was elected onto the school board in 2018 and was named an Emerging Leader from the Florida School Boards Association the following year. She recently earned the distinction of certified board member.

To learn more about Byrd, click here.

Jeannetta Maxena

Maxena is running for school board on the values of competency, qualifications and compassion.

After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Maxena quickly made a name for herself in the classroom. Her teaching efforts were recognized in 2018 when she was awarded Florida’s Best and Brightest Teacher Award.

The political newcomer says she has dedicated her life to public service and is currently earning a master’s of public administration from UCF. She says she’s running for the Orange County School Board District 7 because she has a deep desire to continue enriching her community by advocating for and ensuring that every child has the best education possible.

Maxena says if elected, she will continue to advocate for teachers and public school funding, making sure families tax dollars are being invested in their children and their livelihood.

To learn more about Maxena and what she hopes to accomplish, click here.


Osceola County School Board District 2

Candidate

Votes

%

Julius Melendez
3,95947%
Kerly Santos
2,33727%
Jochua "Jochy" Cora Santiago
2,08824%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(98 / 98)

Jochua “Jochy” Cora Santiago

Cora Santiago describes himself as an educator and an activist.

The 29-year-old attended Rollins College and previously worked for the Osceola County school district and the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Orange County, according to his personal Facebook page.

The Kissimmee resident hopes to draw from his diverse life experience to create equitable and sustainable change within the district.

To follow Cora Santiago’s campaign, click here.

Julius Melendez

Melendez is hoping to return to the Osceola County School Board after furthering his education in computer programming.

Melendez previously served as vice chair, stepping away after the end of his term to earn his master’s degree in business administration and a second bachelor’s degree in information technology.

The combat veteran is returning to public service to address active shooter training in schools, saying there’s a more efficient way to keep students safe without drills that have proven to be anxiety and stress-inducing. He also wants to create better policies and procedures in coordination with law enforcement and school administrators to ensure children aren’t facing unnecessary and harsh punishments.

To learn more about Melendez and why he wants to serve again on the school board, click here.

Kerly Santos

Santos describes herself as a Latina mom with a multicultural heart, fighting for inclusion and equity for every community.

Santos boasts an extensive resume filled with community engagement from volunteering for teacher’s appreciation week to organizing a supply donation drive after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria. She says she’s been involved in nearly all aspects a parent could be when it comes to schools, saying it has brought her perspective on the resources and support that teachers need to help students succeed.

To learn more about Santos and her platform, click here.

Osceola County School Board District 3

Candidate

Votes

%

Jon H. Arguello
3,19251%
Casmore Alfonso Shaw
2,95048%
Victor Cruz
00%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(98 / 98)

Jon H. Arguello

Arguello is a U.S. Army veteran who describes himself as an education innovator.

A father of five, he hopes to bring his real estate experience and business mindset to help modernize the school board and bring innovative change.

To learn more about Arguello, click here.

Victor Cruz

Cruz is running for school board with the intent to prioritize teacher and student well-being, safety and of course, education.

Cruz has been involved in education and juvenile justice diversion programs for more than two decades. He wants to tackle critical issues such as per-student spending, which he believes is too low in Osceola County. He’s also concerned about equitable school transportation, security and students’ mental health and potential substance abuse.

To learn more about Cruz, click here.

Casmore Alfonso Shaw

Shaw says he is a master educator who reflects the values of the diverse county that is Osceola.

Shaw holds degrees in elementary education, business administration with a concentration in supervision and management. He also has an advanced certificate in health care administration and a graduate degree in curriculum and instruction.

He has experience at the senior management level in the areas of training and development and time in marketing and sales. He points to his experience in education administration as to why he thinks he’s fit for the school board District 3 seat.

Osceola County School Board District 5

Candidate

Votes

%

Robert L. Bass
9,55167%
Jeffrey Rivera
4,65132%
100% of Precincts Reporting

(98 / 98)

Robert L. Bass

Bass is a father and lifelong resident of St. Cloud who has spent more than 25 years as a local business owner, according to his campaign page.

He says during that time, he has also had the privilege to give back to his hometown community and hopes to continue that service as the next Osceola School Board member.

Bass says he knows it takes a village to raise a child and believes his involvement with the school district coupled with his community leadership will allow him to support a thriving school environment for students and educators while exploring ways to expand learning options.

Follow his campaign here.

Jeffrey Rivera

Rivera is a registered nurse who also doubles as an educator, teaching health care at various capacities at the collegiate level.

With his experience in health care, he created a business providing care to people within their homes.

The Navy veteran says his extensive experience running his own health care organization and teaching how to care for others has given him the skills needed to be financially responsible, as well as the knowledge to help maintain and improve Osceola’s school system.

Learn more about Rivera’s experience here.


Polk County School Board District 1

Candidate

Votes

%

William Allen
51,91952%
Billy Townsend *
47,29847%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(167 / 167)

William Allen

Allen is a tenured faculty member at Florida Southern College. He is a Bartow native and a Polk County resident.

Allen said he wants to make sure each student is ready for the workforce or ready for college after graduation.

He adds he wants to make sure lower-income families are informed and have access to educational options that work best for each family.

Allen wants teachers to have creative freedom in the classroom.

Learn more about Allen’s experience here.

Billy Townsend

Townsend is running for reelection for District 1.

He said the graduation rate has improved since he has been a school board member.

The school board member said he wants to reverse the teaching and bus driver shortage.

Townsend is in favor of less testing and creating more educational experiences.

He adds he will govern on behalf of public opinion.

Learn more about Townsend’s experience here.

Polk County School Board District 2

Candidate

Votes

%

Lori Cunningham *
56,07357%
Anita Carson
41,71642%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(167 / 167)

Anita Carson

Carson has been an educator for 10 years.

She earned a degree in middle grades education from Kennesaw State University. Carson has been a teacher in Polk County for the past seven years.

It’s not all testing, according to Carson. She wants to reduce testing and improve school safety, improve mental health services and to provide developmentally appropriate curriculum.

Carson also wants to build partnerships between schools and the community.

Learn more about Carson’s experience here.

Lori Cunningham

Cunningham is currently on her fourth term on the school board.

She received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Florida.

Cunningham has increased the amount of STEM and STEAM programs in the district and has provided more vocational training programs for trade certification.

She said the district has increased the number of mentors and volunteers for the district during her run as a school board member.

Learn more about Cunningham’s experience here.


Seminole County School Board District 3

Candidate

Votes

%

Abby Sanchez *
48,07563%
Veronica L. King
28,09436%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(80 / 80)

Veronica L. King

King is a Florida State University graduate who has more than 20 years in public service work.

She wants to bring a diverse coalition of students, teachers, staff, parents, and community members to address social challenges in the classroom.

King also noted she wants to enhance accountability, inclusion, and diverse practices in the hiring structures to bridge the gap of the cultural and racial divide.

If voted as a school board member, King would attempt to get more funding for after-school programs.

Learn more about King’s experience here.

Abby Sanchez

Sanchez is also a Florida State University graduate and was an elementary school teacher in Seminole County for 16 years. She is the only former teacher on the county’s school board.

She wants to be a voice for the students, families and employees in the county.

The mental health of the students and staff in the district is very important to Sanchez. She is in favor of teacher mental health days and mental health initiatives for students, employees and families.

Sanchez also wants to make technology a priority in the classroom.

Learn more about Sanchez’s experience here.


Volusia County School Board District 2

Candidate

Votes

%

Anita Burnette
9,15648%
Ida Duncan Wright *
7,39938%
Andre Lavon Grant
2,43112%
*Incumbent
100% of Precincts Reporting

(125 / 125)

Anita Burnette

Burnette is a Mainland High School graduate and UCF alumna and said she was asked by educators to run for school board. She said she’s been involved in the school district for the past 20 years.

Burnette said she wants to restore accountability in the school leaders.

The UCF grad said she wants to close the minority achievement gap.

Another goal is to keep students and staff safe.

Andre Lavon Grant

Grant said the Volusia district needs proven leadership and someone who will create a positive environment for students.

He said he has multiple years of teaching experience in exceptional student education, French, health and physical education.

Ida Duncan Wright

Wright is the chairman of the Volusia School Board.

She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and graduated with a master’s degree in business administration from Stetson University.

Wright said she wants to be the advocate for families and students who have concerns with the district.


Florida’s primary is Aug. 18.

You can learn more about the primary and what races you can expect to see on your ballot with ClickOrlando.com’s complete 2020 voter guide.


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