Eleven Collier School Board candidates speak at the Candidates Forum on Tuesday
Three of the five Collier County School Board positions are up for this year. Three incumbents and eight challengers are in the running for the school board’s District One, District Three and District Five races in the Aug. 23 primary election.
The eleven candidates plan to participate in a forum on Tuesday, June 21 at the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) convention center from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The forum is sponsored by NABOR and Naples Better Government in partnership with Collier Citizens Council , the League of Women Voters of Collier County and Greater Naples Leadership.
WGCU’s John Davis will moderate the forum, which will be broadcast live on WGCU-FM and streamed online at wgcu.org, naplesnews.com, news-press.com and via Facebook Live on each of the organization’s Facebook pages.
Collier School Board Vice President Jory Westberry faces two challengers. Westberry, who holds a doctorate in education, previously served as a teacher, vice principal and principal at the Collier School System before being elected to the board.
Westberry said she is running for re-election, “to continue to apply my experience, dedication and support to CCPSA and positively promote and inspire impressive incremental achievement gains for our aspiring students, teachers talent and our staff”.
Westberry is challenged by Kimberly Ann Boobyer and Jerry D. Rutherford.
Boobyer is a high school graduate, a golf professional who coaches youth through the Collier County First Tee program, and a Special Olympics volunteer.
Boobyer said she is running for the school board with the goal of “restoring the foundations of academic excellence and traditional values for all students.”
Rutherford is also a high school graduate and has worked as a painting contractor and substitute teacher at Collier, among others. He is a member and past president of the Christian Coalition of Collier.
Rutherford said he is “running for the school board because I want to have a vote, as a member, to end bad educational practices.”
Rutherford’s campaign website prominently displays a quote from his own reading, “In today’s world leftists afflict others by using illogical arguments with their own terms invading our school system.” When in fact they attack gender and truth with their own cysphobic ideology.
In the Collier School Board District Three race, outgoing and current board president Jen Mitchell is running for re-election against challengers Jana Greer and Kelly Lichter.
Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and previously worked as a teacher in the district. She currently works as a local real estate agent. Her four children have all graduated or continue to attend schools in the Collier district. Over the past two decades, Mitchell has volunteered extensively with Collier Schools, which led to her involvement in the Champions for Learning Connect now project which led to what is now CCPS’s strategic plan.
Mitchell said she was running for re-election, “to continue to focus on improving student achievement, especially in math and reading, expanding vocational and technical training, attracting and retaining new excellent teachers and maintaining strict budget control”.
Jana Greer is a high school graduate, doula, and businesswoman with a background in massage therapy. She has worked with the Collier County ESE Student Advisory Council and is active in her church. Greer’s campaign website emphasizes her faith: “I feel God is calling me to serve on the school board. When BLM and Pride flags are allowed in classrooms, but the Bible is not, something is wrong.
Greer said she was running because “we need American values back in American classrooms and doing better for our kids in Collier County, who are our future.”
District Three contestant Kelly Lichter holds a Master of Education in Social Sciences and is the founder and president of Mason Classical Academy. She is a mother of two and has previously taught United States history, economics, and government at the high school level, as well as experience teaching students with special needs.
Lichter said she is running for the school board, “on a strong track record of student success and fiscal responsibility with taxpayer dollars,” and that she “could make an even bigger impact.” throughout the county”.
Roy M. Terry, five members of the Collier School Board District, is seeking a fourth term. He faces four challengers: Arthur Boyer, Jacqualene (Jackie) Keay, Timothy Moshier and Ana Turino.
Terry holds a Masters in Education and his past experience with the district includes serving as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal. He is also a board member of the Collier County Education Foundation and the Collier County YMCA and chair of the Greater Florida Consortium of School Boards.
Terry said, “The District has made very positive progress over the past 10 years and these next four years will either solidify and improve on that momentum or see us get back to where we were 10 years ago, and I want to finish the work we have done. .”
Challenger Arthur Boyer holds a doctorate in education in organizational leadership and has worked as an educator for approximately two decades. Originally from Haiti, Boyer has lived in Immokalee for 30 years and is CEO of education, leadership and life coaching company Boyer Multidisciplinary Consulting.
Boyer said he comes to the school board to “seek, serve and advocate for the success of our current and future students for the greater good of Collier County.”
Candidate Jacqualene Keay holds a Master of Arts in Psychology with a specialization in Career Counseling. She is a mother of four children and immigrated to Naples at the age of six from the Bahamas. After high school, she enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany where she lived for 17 years before returning to Collier County. She previously taught at Mason Classical Academy.
Keay said she is running to “ensure our students have the education, skills and resources to get and secure jobs in the global world and to protect our democracy.”
Timothy Moshier graduated from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, before starting a building restoration business and an auto detailing business. He has worked in the trucking industry for approximately three decades and currently serves on the City of Everglades Code Compliance Board and the Ochopee Fire Control District Advisory Committee.
Moshier said he was running for the school board because “children are our most valuable asset” and said he “won’t stop until he provides the right school education and professional.
Candidate Ana Turino is studying education at Nova Southeastern University and currently works at a non-profit organization as an academic mentor for children in the foster care system. The mother of six previously worked at a college in Miami. Turino is active in her church and Columbiette, a Catholic auxiliary who helps the Knights of Columbus raise funds to help abused women and children. She also volunteers at Collier Schools and with Special Olympics. Turnio’s campaign websites emphasize protecting students “by keeping inappropriate materials, media and CRTs out of our schools!”
Turino said: “I’m the best candidate based on my experience in education and my understanding of what’s going on in our schools right now.”
Collier School Board races are nonpartisan, vote-at-large elections, which means that all registered voters in Collier County, regardless of party affiliation or district of residence, are eligible to vote for one candidate in each race. If no candidate in a particular race gets at least 50% of the vote in the primary election, the top two voters will qualify for the November 8 general election.
WGCU is your trusted source for Southwest Florida news and information. We are a non-profit public service and your support is more essential than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thanks.