Duval County School Board, District 1

Published On: Jul 28 2012 03:33:58 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2012 01:12:19 PM EDT

Martha Barrett and Cheryl Grimes are running for the District 1 seat that covers Arlington and adjoining Southside. This is a non-partisan election, so all qualified voters can cast ballots.

Martha Barrett

AGE:  62

FAMILY:  Single

OCCUPATION:  Senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, Bank of America

EDUCATION:  Masters in Education, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio;  B.A. Political Science, Maryville University, St. Louis, Mo.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  Field director in Jimmy Carter presidential campaign; press aide for former Mayor Jake Godbold (1979-1987);
elected to the Duval County School Board in 2000, 2004 and special election in 2009

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "Improve Academic Achievement ..we are seeing significant achievement in most of our schools but not all schools. We must have all schools achieving at a high rate. We have put great emphasis on reading and we have put acclerated courses and career academies in all neighborhood high schools. We cannot stop until all schools are moving at a significant rate.
  2. "Increase the graduation rate. While we have seen our graduation rate continually improve we still have a long way to go. We must continually make sure students are still interested in school..we do have great programs like Achievers for Like in several middle schools. We cannot afford to have drop outs and we must make sure that the programs that we have in place are working.
  3. "Employ the best Supt. We are currently seeking a new Supt. to lead this district. We must make sure that he/she has a vision for this district and can translate it to the board and the citizens of Jacksonville. We also have to make sure that we have the best teachers and principals as they are the ones who make it happen in the classroom."

HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP VOTERS IN A WAY OTHERS IN THIS RACE CAN'T?

  • "I have current experience on the school board and understand the accoutability changes, financial outlook changes and the state funding changes. I am a great collaborator with board members and I know how to get things done. The board developed a srtong strategic plan and that is our road map to success. I am also a huge believer in public private partnerships. We must have more businesses and volunteers and mentors in our schools to help our children with their many challenges!! We have some very significant non profits in our schools which really assists many of our students and families."

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

  • "I would hope to be remembered for always putting childrens' interests and well being first. I was not influenced by any outside group or individuals regarding the well being of our children. I akways put the interests of childeren first in every action I took."

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  VoteMarthaBarrett.com


Cheryl Grymes

AGE:  58

FAMILY:  Husband, Warren, four daughters, ages 32, 30, 25, 22, two stepsons, ages 36 & 29, two grandsons, ages 8 & 10 months

OCCUPATION:  VP, fund development, Big Brothers Big Sisters

EDUCATION:  Wolfson High School; UNF - B.S. Communications; Georgetown University, executive nonprofit management certificate

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  School Board member, 1992-2000; served as chairman & vice chairman

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "Leadership - We need to assure we have knowledgeable, innovative, courageous and strategic individuals in all leadership positions in the district. This includes the board members, superintendent, administration and school principals.
  2. "Increasing the high school graduation rate - Approximately 1/3 of our students are dropping out of high school before graduation leaving them more likely to end up in prison, unemployed or on government assistance. We must implement strategies that will get our students graduated from high school and prepared for post-secondary opportunities and the workplace.
  3. "Redirect dollars to the classroom - The district is spending $1.7 billion to educate our children. Much of that money is supporting the business services of the district. We need to closely examine how our tax dollars are being expended and find cost savings that can be redirected to the teachers and students."

HOW DO YOU THINK YOU CAN HELP VOTERS IN A WAY OTHERS IN THIS RACE CAN'T?

  • "As a Jacksonville native and product of the public schools, I have deep roots and relationships within the community. For over 25 years, I have held numerous leadership positions and served on several board and commissions. I am passionate about our community and even more passionate about public education. I have worked with both the business and nonprofit communities and my relationships will serve to enhance the community to assist our public schools."

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

  • "Helping to change the direction of our school district and significantly improving all of schools and education of our children."

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  CherylGrymes.com

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