Meet Stephanie, The Candidate
Dear Neighbors and Community Members,
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my candidacy to continue serving the students, teachers, parents, taxpayers and the communities throughout Hendry County on the school board. It has been an honor to be elected to the Hendry County School Board in 2014 and overwhelmingly reelected to serve again in 2018.
I am a mother and a third-generation Hendry County native who is passionate about issues impacting young people, education, and the workforce in Florida’s agricultural heartland. I consider being raised in Clewiston and educated by the Hendry County School District in the 80's and 90's to be one of life's greatest blessings. I'm continually inspired by the reflection of the kids I grew up with, the people I know, and the community I love in the faces of our students.
I strive to serve well and have made informed advocacy for students, schools, and Hendry County a professional priority. I've dedicated myself to continuous professional development and staying informed about education issues on the federal, state and local level. I have completed professional training in school finance, bargaining and personnel, and education advocacy, and in 2018 I became the first Hendry County School Board Member in nearly three decades to earn the status of Certified Board Member by the Florida School Boards Association.
The Hendry County School Board is a board of directors of individually elected representatives who serve as fiduciary agents for the entire district and who are accountable to community stakeholders. I believe a school board's purpose is to provide a collective system of checks and balances in alignment with state statute and board policy. As such, I have made it my professional hallmark to engage in difficult but necessary conversations, be accessible to all stakeholders, be an objective decision-maker, and an effective communicator as your elected representative.
I recognize and respect that the District is funded through tax dollars provided by the hardworking citizens of Hendry County and the State of Florida and consistently insist that tax dollars are spent resourcefully, prioritized for the benefit of student achievement, and that cost benefit analysis is conducted to measure the benefit to students and teachers. I align my philanthropy to be of value to students and those serving in their schools. Since becoming president of the Hendry Public Schools Foundation (HPSF) in 2018, the organization has leveraged community partnerships to raise and invest more than $250,000 in Hendry County's students and classrooms by funding literacy, STEM, and student achievement projects in classrooms in addition to teacher recognition programs.
My work with the Hendry County Education Task Force has been some of the most impactful work in which I have participated. The Task Force's mission to provide resources to projects within the local education system most connected to the data that drives local economic growth and opportunity taught me just how important student outcomes are to not only our students and families, but also to the prosperity of our communities as a whole. To me, there is no job more important than ensuring our young people receive a free and appropriate education that adequately prepares them to be civically-minded and prosperous members of their community.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more me as your school board member and as candidate for Hendry County School Board District 4; and thank you for entrusting me with the great responsibility and the great privilege of serving this community. I hope I have earned your support and would deeply appreciate your vote in the August 23rd primary.