First Series: Campaign Countdown
The Sheriff and Superintendent of Schools Races
Welcome to my new blog where we will dissect the political issues important to us for form our decisions on the best person for the job. This is an open dialogue forum for you to express your voice. Let us and others know what you think. Our goal is to explore all options under consideration so come time to vote, the public can make the best informed decision. We will focus on the Republican primary first thus we take a look solely at the Republican candidates. The election is Tuesday, August 14, 2012. The campaign countdown has begun …
Out first topic: How much does experience matter – on the field and in the office?
Superintendent of Schools Race
Jackie Porter is running for Superintendent of Schools under the campaign slogan, “Common sense leadership making a difference.” That is all well and good, but we should ask ourselves, how much common sense are we applying when we vote who should be the next leader of our education system?
Does it make common sense to elect someone as the Superintendent of Schools who has the most experience in education? Doesn’t it also make common sense to elect someone as the Superintendent of Schools who has achieved the highest level of education?
If it does make common sense, then let’s break it down and examine each candidate taking a closer look at education experience first.
Jackie Porter ran for and was elected into the Marion County School Board representing District 2 in 2008. Prior to her position on the School Board for the past 4 years, she had no prior administrative experience in education management. She has no experience working in instructional education having devoted her career as a small business owner for 20 years, from 1984 to 2004 of Porter’s Nursery & Garden Centers as well as affiliated businesses such as Porter’s Landscape Designs. As a School Board member, Porter participated in monthly board meetings and always voted conservatively, including voting NO on the 4-day school week , fought against and successfully defeated increases in property tax, and called for transparency on spending.
Wally Wagoner is currently the Deputy Superintendent of Operations for Marion County Public Schools. He joined in 2001 at the personal request of the Superintendent Jim Warford. Prior to his position as Deputy Superintendent of Operations, he had no prior administrative experience in educational management. He has no experience working in instructional education having devoted his career as an executive for 20 years for Florida Power Corporation as a utility provider. As Deputy Superintendent of Operations, Wagoner oversaw all support services including Business Services, Human Resources, Technology and Information Services and Support Services.
George Tomyn is currently the Executive Director of School Development and Evaluation for Marion County Public Schools. He joined in 2005 by promotion by Superintendent Jim Yancy. Prior to his position as Executive Director of School Development and Evaluation, Tomyn had 25 years of administrative experience in education management as Assistant Principal of Dunnellon High School (1980-1986) and Vanguard High School (1986-1995) then Principal of Sunrise Elementary School (1995-1996) and finally Forest High School (1996-2005). Tomyn is the only candidate with experience in instructional education, having been a teacher at Osceola Middle School (spring 1977) and Lake Weir High School (1977-1980).
Let’s take a look at educational completion of each candidate.
Jackie Porter graduated from high school. She did not go to college.
Wally Wagoner earned a bachelor of science in biology and environmental science at the University of West Alabama. He has a corporate community relations certification from Boston College.
George Tomyn attended Marion County public schools from 1st to 12th grades and graduated from Forest High School. He received his AA from Central Florida Community College, his BA in History at Valdosta State College and his Masters Degree in Education Leadership from the University of Florida.
If we looked at these two criteria alone – experience in the field and in the office - and based it off their experience working in education and the highest level of education achieved, George Tomyn seems to fit the bill the best under both counts.
Do you agree? Do you feel there are other criteria we are not taking into consideration here that we should? Perhaps there are other mitigating circumstances that, if factored in, would weigh one of these factors heavier and minimize the effect of others? Perhaps it is not the number of years one held office but what they did with that time? Maybe it isn’t about the highest level of education one achieved but what they learned and how they were able to implement their learning ability in life? To sum it up, perhaps it isn’t about the quantity of time involved in education, but the quality of what they achieved?
What do you think?