Five people ran to replace Scott Shine on the school board. After the very competitive primary, former teacher and current mental health counselor Elizabeth Andersen and businessman Nick Howland advanced.
The three that didn’t Shannon Beckham, Sam Hall and Casey Ayers have all since endorsed Elizabeth Andersen, and here Ayers explains why.
Running for Duval County School Board in District 2 as a first-time candidate, I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the process, or from my four opponents. I ran to share a message about how our schools can better serve our students by recommitting to career and vocational education, especially in cases where certification programs could add value to our students’ diplomas and unlock badly needed bonus funding from the state.
Over the course of many forums and public events featuring all five candidates, I had the opportunity to share this message, but also to listen to others driven to serve their community.
Given Scott Shine’s abrupt departure from a reelection campaign that at one point seemed forgone, and given how much focus other races are receiving in this election cycle, it was amazing to see firsthand the rich diversity of perspective, experience, and passion the District 2 candidates brought to this race. And while losing an election after months of work may be painful, I was at peace knowing Elizabeth Andersen would be advancing to the general election.
As a former teacher at two Duval County high schools, she understands the challenges our educators and students face, and how to best allocate resources to help them succeed. Thanks to her work as a mental health professional, she has unmatched insight into the greatest challenge of our time: ensuring our schools are safe and constructive environments for our children to learn and grow. As a successful business owner, Elizabeth understands how to wisely allocate resources and can help our school system navigate its budgetary challenges effectively.
I’m delighted to endorse such a qualified and passionate candidate, and am glad that District 2 candidates Sam Hall and Shannon Beckham have done so, as well. I’m confident that Elizabeth will be tireless in her service as a member of the Duval County School Board, ensuring our schools are safe, our teachers are empowered to succeed, and every one of our students has access to high-quality educational options, preparing them to carry our community to new heights.
I thought Ayers had a great message while running and I hope we see him again.
Mrs. Andersen is also a lifelong resident of Duval and graduate of DCPS schools something Howland can’t say. He also can’t say he hasn’t taken tons of money from charter schools and voucher interests.