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La Gaceta endorses Harris for School Board District 7

From “As We Heard It,” by Patrick Manteiga
Originally published July 24, 2020

In School Board District 7, incumbent Lynn Gray has three opponents – Sally Harris, Jeffery Alex James Johnson and Angela Schroden.
A lot of people really like Lynn Gray serving on the School Board; a lot of people don’t. We find ourselves in the second tier.
Gray has 40 years of experience in education. She is passionate about supporting teachers, wants to improve curriculum and is a champion against for-profit charter schools. Our issue is with her style on the Board. She is quick to attack without all the information and we don’t feel she is helpful in building consensus or creating stability in the school district.
Jeffery Alex James Johnson works for United Way Suncoast and is a pastor. He did not come in for an interview, but strangely, he is endorsed by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Angela Schroden is a K-12 literary consultant and an adjunct professor at USF College of Education. She’s earned an educational doctorate.
Schroden is smart, engaged and has a strong grasp of the educational system and how to improve it to get the most out of talented teachers and administrators. She would be great on the School Board
Sally Harris served on the School Board for four years and made two great decisions that stand out over other good decisions she made. She helped fire School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia, who was placing the district in financial harm, and she voted to hire Jeff Eakins as superintendent to fix the financial problems caused by Elia and return integrity and civility to the position.
Harris has run Circle C Ranch Academy preschool in South Tampa for more than 30 years. She raised four children and 30 foster children. She knows the district and understands business. She wants to strengthen apprenticeship programs and vocational training and provide more support to teachers with better pay, lowering the cost of benefits and supporting discipline decisions in the classroom.
Out of the challengers, we believe only Harris has a chance of defeating Lynn Gray. La Gaceta endorses Sally Harris for School Board District 7.

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