Duval County School Board, District 3

Published On: Jul 30 2012 01:05:08 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 12 2012 04:04:02 PM EDT

Suzanne Jenkins and Ashley Smith Juarez got the most votes in a four-way contest in the primary are running for the District 3 seat, which covers San Marco, Lakewood and San Jose and much of the Southside.

Suzanne Jenkins


AGE:  55

FAMILY:  Husband, Marshall Jenkins, for 35 years; 3 children, ages 28, 26, and 23

OCCUPATION:  Business owner, Creative Community Solutions

EDUCATION:  Englewood High School, 1974;  Florida Association of Counties Certified County Commissioner, 2-year program, 2005; Advanced County Commissioner Leadership Training, 2007

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  Served on the Jacksonville City Council (1999-2007), City Council vice president (2001)

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

  1. "Increase Graduation Rate and tighten student discipline
  2. "Fortify academic and vocational opportunities in all of our schools
  3. "Improve and upgrade technology, perserve the arts and sports programs"

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

  • "I am a proven leader who will fight for all of our children. I am a parent, small business owner, citizen activist, and former City Council member who has a passion for public education. My husband and I graduated from Jacksonville's public schools, as have our three children. Our commitment to public education is clear: We've invested in our children; now I'd like the opportunity to serve your children.

    In 1989 our oldest began Kindergarten. I became very involved in volunteering, from Room Mom to PTA member. I held leadership positions at Love Grove within the PTA and as President at Pine Forest Elementary. I also was very involved in the School Advisory Councils (SAC), both as member and Vice Chair at Pine Forest and Landon Middle School. I was a SAC member Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and Englewood High School. For over 20 years I have been intimately involved in and dedicated to making sure our public schools are meeting the needs of students and their families.

    That involvement led me to run for City Council. I served on the Jacksonville City Council for two terms 1999-2007. I've led City Council Committees, neighborhood associations, PTAs, School Advisory Councils and my own business. I work by creating effective relationships with people from all walks of life, and I never give up.

    My ability to identify issues and build consensus to achieve solutions is an asset I bring to the school board. I have eight years of experience as an elected official serving on City Council committees and interacting with the Mayor's office addressing a multitude of issues that face us as a city. This experience makes me a strong candidate for the school board and the issues we face today.

    Now is the time to break through barriers to our school system's success. I am a proven leader who will fight for all of our children; Jacksonville's children.

    I am the only candidate i this race who has all of these assets to bring to the school board position. I humbly ask for your vote on August 14th."

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

  • "An increased graduation rate with students who are ready for post secondary education or ready to go to work and earn a living wage. Improved communication throughout the system from teachers and principal to students and parents. Better morale for all employees of the DCSB. Adequate funding from the State for our schools. Being accessible and listening to parents, the community at large and making course corrections along the way that make our school system #1 in the state."

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:   PutKids1st.com

Ashley Smith Juarez


AGE:  33

FAMILY:  Husband, Alex Juarez, and rescue dog, Sam

OCCUPATION:  Executive director, The Chartrand Foundation

EDUCATION:  Graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in secondary education and history from Vanderbilt University

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  "This is the only public office I have sought."

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

  1. "Public schools are the cornerstone of our community. Jacksonville will not be a top-tier city until we have a top-tier public education system. The quality of our schools affects the success of our students. Each of our children deserves a high-quality education. The quality of our schools affects every facet of our quality of life: job growth, stable neighborhoods, crime, arts and culture, downtown development and housing prices. We must have high quality, first-choice public school options for all of our students in Duval County.
    "The most important thing that the Duval County School Board does is to hire the Superintendent and charge him with a strong job description. A Superintendent must be a strong leader who is willing to make bold and calculated decisions to improve student achievement. A Superintendent should take time to know and understand the district but should not hesitate to make researched changes that are in the best interest of students. He/She should be approachable, listen and be adequately flexible to respond to needs. He/She must be committed to ensuring all students graduate ready for college or a career. The School Board must maintain a trusting relationship with the Superintendent and give him/her the support and oversight needed to do the job well.
  2. "Second, I will focus on policies that ensure strong principal leadership. School leaders set the tone in their schools and make them safe, nurturing places for students to learn. We need high quality, high capacity instructional leaders in each of our schools. We need policies to recruit, train, retain and champion our great teachers. High quality teaching is critical to the success of our students.
  3. "Third, I will cultivate a positive, proactive, can-do culture on the board. I will champion reasons why we can and we will build better schools. Finally, our school system should be transparent about our challenges and communicate our success. I will encourage a strategic plan that incorporates community involvement and aligns tactics that address unique student needs. Each of these items works together to deliver better schools.
    "I will use the priorities above to guide my decisions in the budgeting process and in policy decisions. I will work to deploy resources to maximize student services that are targeted to meet the needs of our children. Our Children and our city deserve better schools."

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

  • "I am an educator. I have been a classroom teacher in both public and private schools, worked in dropout prevention serving students in 13 different Duval County Public Schools, mentored students, served on SAC committees partnered with principals and teachers and now lead an education reform foundation. I have worked with the school system from the classroom level, the school level as well as the district policy level and as a volunteer. I travel the country studying best practice and observing how other cities are tackling their challenges in large urban districts. I have relationships with people working locally, at the state level and nationally in education reform. I am a lifelong educator dedicated to doing what is best for Jacksonville's children.
    "I know governance. I serve on the Family Support Services Board the Take Stock in Children Leadership Council and the WJCT Board of Trustees. I understand complex systems and public-private partnerships as well as what it takes to make those systems and partnerships successful.
    "I am a consensus builder willing to ask the tough questions and make the tough decisions in the best interest of our children. I have support from all sectors of our community and will foster that support not simply through the campaign but as a School Board member. I am endorsed by JAXBIZ, Duval Teachers United, the Northeast Florida Builders Association and The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. Improving our schools is critical for the success of our students and the success of our city. High quality schools stabilize neighborhoods, lower crime, attract businesses to town and benefit everyone. I am steadfast in my determination to deliver a better school system for our students and our city."

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

  • "I am an educator. I know from working with students and working in policy that Jacksonville can have an excellent school system. All of our students are capable of great things. Children need schools that ensure they reach their potential. I will bring a positive, proactive, can-do attitude and a wealth of education knowledge to the School Board. I will ask tough questions and make tough choices in the best interest of children.
    "I intend to restore public confidence in our public schools by generating results. Schools should be safe, nurturing, creative and inspiring for all students. Public schools should be places where all of our students dream big dreams and are taught the tools and skills to reach them. Our public schools should be a point of pride in Jacksonville. We have waited too long for better schools. We need better schools now. Our children deserve it. Our city deserves it."

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  AshleySmithJuarez.com

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus