The object of the interview is not to grill the candidate, nor to give them softballs. Ideally, in their answers the candidates provide to voters a useful insight into their ideology, their priorities, and their knowledgeability and preparedness for office.
Questions are sent to each declared candidate in the 2022 races for School Board, County Commission, and Palm Coast City Council. Each candidate receives the same exact questions as the other candidates for the same office.
The only edits made are for spelling, formatting and basic grammar (i.e., ‘their’ when it should be ‘there’). Censorship of profanity may also be applied if it were to become applicable. Otherwise, answers are presented in their full form as the candidate provides them.
Answers are subject to fact-checking if they contain information that’s blatantly misleading or untrue (misrepresenting factually verifiable information, misquoting a statistic, etc). Clarifications will be added underneath the candidate’s answer if applicable. The answers will still be presented as given even if a fact-check or clarification is needed.
Some of these questions were contributed by constituents whom candidates would serve if elected later this year.
Other Candidate Interviews
-Order these three groups according to how strongly you feel a School Board member is tasked with serving them: students, teachers, and parents.
“Students first, parents second, and teachers third.”
-Detail your professional or volunteer experience in the field of education.
“Twelve years of serving on the Flagler County School Board. Served on the Education Foundation Board (President Elect) before becoming a School Board member. Mentored students through Rotary with the learn and serve program at the Princess Place Preserve.”
-Is it necessary to address the teaching of race issues in Flagler County? If so, how?
“No. Race issues are part of history and civics and should be discussed in those settings. If a racial issue is happening in the news and a teacher deems it to be a good lesson in civics, then the topic should be discussed.”
-The Parental Rights in Education law was recently passed in Florida. With it in mind, what is the ethical and/or lawful way for educators to handle the issue if kids have questions about same-sex couples or about gender identity?
“If a student has a question about same-sex couples or gender identity, then the teacher may discuss those topics with that student. The topic by law now is not to be brought up or taught by the teacher in K-3 grades. I would not want any teacher to discuss any sexual issues with students that are in K-3. If a student has a question about a family dynamic then, it should be stated each family is different. Many students live with grandparents, aunts, uncles or guardians even.”
-What does the phrase ‘parental rights’ mean to you? How would you handle a situation where the consensuses of parents and teachers conflict?
“Parental rights means to me, that parents have a say in their children’s education. I believe parents should be active in the lives of their children. When parents and teachers have a conflict, I would fall back on policy or law. If the conflict is not in policy or law, then the board would need to look at the situation and make a decision. I am not going to say I would back the parents or the teacher without knowing the exact situation.”
-In 2022, a student activist was suspended for school for distributing Pride flags against the school’s warning, at a protest he’d organized with cooperation from the school. Did the school administration handle its discipline of this student correctly? Why or why not?
“I will not comment on any actions that involve a student. The Family Educational and Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) does not allow school staff or school board members to discuss student without their families permission.”
-How high of a priority is it for you to push Flagler Schools to receive A grades from the Education Department? What are some specific steps you’d take to achieve this goal?
“It is the top priority to make the district an A. Quality education is the best option for all. Improving ESE scores will make a large difference in the grade of the school district. Training for all involved with ESE students should make a difference.”
-School shootings are a relatively common occurrence in America, from Parkland to Uvalde to Sandy Hook. Are there any measures you’d like to see put in place in Flagler Schools to protect against a school shooting?
“Flagler Schools have been making improvements for safety and security since the shooting in Sandy Hook elementary school. Safety is a topic that is discussed in executive sessions and not in the public. The reason is to keep response plans and security plans from anyone who may wish to harm students.”
-Lastly, give a broad campaign pitch to those who are still undecided.
“My vision for public education is for rigorous academics, which enable students to attend higher education after leaving our school district, and job training or certificate program that enables students to easily find employment after leaving our district. I believe we are ahead on the academic side with IB at FPC and ACE at Matanzas (the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education), dual enrollment, and AP courses. I believe we are moving in the right direction by giving students in high school the opportunity for certificate programs for job training. We need more programs that enable a student to find a job immediately out of high school.”