District 1 - The Honorable Kelly Coker - Vice-Chairman
Dr. Kelly Coker is a committed educator in the Jacksonville community who continually works to use her knowledge and resources to make our schools better for children. She was elected as the District 1 School Board Member in August of 2020 and proudly serves her constituency in the Arlington, Regency, and Oceanway communities.
Dr. Coker began her career as a middle school teacher with the Duval County Public Schools. Over the next 27 years, she went on to serve as a Principal of two middle schools, Executive Director of Middle Schools, Region Superintendent of K-12 Schools, Region Chief of High Schools, and, most recently, Assistant Superintendent. During her career, she expanded school choice options for all children, oversaw a 29-million-dollar budget, and led multiple divisions across the school district. Working with parents, local business leaders, and school principals, she was able to establish new workforce development programs, expand dual enrollment options, and achieve record high district graduation rates.
Dr. Coker is a 4th generation Jacksonville native who has lived in School Board District 1 her entire life. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, master’s degree from Jacksonville University, and doctoral degree from the University of North Florida. Dr. Coker currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, where she is chair of the Education Committee. She is also on the Leadership Team for Leadership Jax and serves as a Co-Chairperson for their Education Day Program. In her continued commitment to education, she serves on the Adult Literacy Alliance Board and is also a member of the Jacksonville Women’s Network. She and her husband of 30 years continue to live in the neighborhood where she grew up. They are the proud parents of a daughter who is a graduate of Duval County Public Schools and The University of Virginia, who is now attending The University of Virginia School of Law.
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Elizabeth Andersen is a former Duval County Public Schools educator, current small business owner, mental health counselor, wife and mother. Raised in Arlington, she attended Arlington Heights Elementary School, Arlington Middle School and Terry Parker High School.
Andersen obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration in Psychology from the University of Florida. After graduation, in search of a meaningful and fulfilling career path, she decided to become an educator. Andersen taught in Alachua County for one year, but ultimately found her future at home in Jacksonville. She continued her teaching career in Duval County - teaching English at both Terry Parker High School and Edward H. White High School. There, she served as a lead teacher and had the opportunity to participate in curriculum writing and development. As a result, she has a clear understanding of the rigorous academic demands on both teachers and students.
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District 3 - The Honorable Cindy Pearson
Cindy Pearson is a Jacksonville native who attended Duval County Public Schools K-12. She and her husband Scott have three students in DCPS schools. For the past 8 years, she has been an active parent volunteer on the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Cindy holds a BA in English from Florida State University and an MS in Recreation Studies from University of Florida. She has worked for a city government and for a faith-based not-for-profit organization.
Cindy brings experience in mobilizing parents and community members to support local schools. She looks forward to building a broad coalition of people who care about our public schools. She believes that we need to hear from many voices and many perspectives on how to create a countywide system of thriving schools.
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District 4 - The Honorable Darryl Willie - Chairman
Darryl Willie is a proud military child that has attended both low and high performing public schools. He has used the education he was afforded to work passionately for students for the past 15 years. He comes from a family of educators and deeply understands the value and potential of high-quality public education. As a former teacher, he has taught in both K-12 and university settings. He knows what it takes to prepare students to be successful on various levels.
In his current role he recruits, selects, and trains new teachers and education leaders for Title I schools in Duval County. His “on the ground” experience has allowed him to partner with Duval County Public Schools Human Resources and certification staff, Principals, Duval Teachers United, parents, veteran teachers and other invaluable community and school-based partners.
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Request Darryl Willie Speakers' BureauDistrict 5 - The Honorable Warren A. Jones
The Honorable Warren A. Jones represents District 5 and believes that having a well-educated and qualified workforce is a critical consideration for businesses that are looking to locate or expand in Jacksonville.
He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. During his 28 years as a Jacksonville City Council Member, he served as a member and a Chairman of various standing committees and special committees and was also elected as City Council President in 1991 and 1992. As a City Council Member, he supported education through partnering with community associations and the Duval County Public Schools to provide funding for swimming pools, walking trails, and playground equipment for various schools. He currently serves as a board member for Visit Jacksonville and Gateway Community Services. He has also coached the Redcaps youth baseball team for the Paxon Improvement Association and previously served as a board member for Jacksonville Electric Authority, the Museum of Science and History, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Lackawanna Community Association, and Paxon Improvement Association.
He resides on the Westside with his wife Vanessa, who has retired from Duval County Public Schools.
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Charlotte was born and raised on Jacksonville’s westside and is deeply invested in her community, particularly in our children’s education. She attended Joseph Stilwell Jr. High (now the Joseph Stilwell Military Academy of Leadership) and graduated from Ed White High School (now known as the Edward H. White Military Academy of Leadership).
After graduating from the University of North Florida, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, Charlotte began her teaching career at Stilwell. Before that, she was a homeschool mom, and also spent many years as a substitute teacher. She has had the privilege of instructing students from all over the district in many of the classrooms around our city.
As an educator, Charlotte has a first-hand appreciation for the joys and challenges that are common to all students and teachers. As a Magnet Coordinator, Charlotte developed an in-depth understanding of academic and discipline data, the budget process, market development, ESE training, and student incentive promotions, and the need for parental involvement.
In 2014, Joseph Stilwell became a dedicated magnet school. Because of Charlotte’s experience as a “magnet school mom” – her own children attended Duval County Magnet Schools – she knew that successful schools require invested parents. She founded the Leadership Booster Club at Stilwell to develop community support and raise money for the magnet program. The Booster Club has played a vital role in funding the school’s leadership program. As the former parent liaison, she also oversaw parent groups such as SAC and PTSA. One of Charlotte’s children is a proud Stilwell cadet.
Charlotte has five children of her own and understands a parent’s desire to have his/her children delivered a world-class education. Experience has taught her that each child is unique and, as a result, may need a specialized program to maximize the likelihood of success. For this reason, Charlotte is a champion for school choice. She has witnessed, in the transformation of Joseph Stilwell, how Duval County’s magnet school program has transformed communities and lives.
Charlotte also enjoys advocating for agricultural education in our community. She works with Duval County Farm Bureau’s women’s leadership program in furtherance of that commitment.
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The Honorable Lori Hershey is a champion for students and public education. Leading for over two decades, on School Advisory Councils, Booster Boards, PTSA Boards, Strings on the River, and DCPS School Safety and Security Advisory Committee.
Making a difference for children has been central to her multi-faceted career, as she has worked with non-profit organizations like Communities in Schools and The Jacksonville Children's Commission. Ms. Hershey is an educator at heart and a former middle school teacher who is certified in Critical Thinking Strategies and Instructional Design by the National Institute for Teaching Thinking.
Ms. Hershey values opportunities for students to participate in fitness. She has written grants to support run/walk programs for students in Duval and Clay Counties which impacts 18,000 students annually. She is a licensed real estate agent with her license currently placed with Watson Referral Realty. She is a member of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, and the Multiple Listing Service.
During her first year on the board, Ms. Hershey earned over 50 of the 96 hours of professional development required to become a certified board member. She has been recognized as an Emerging Leader by the Florida School Board Association and currently serves on the Federal Relations Network Subcommittee, Finance Committee, and is the board alternate on the Legislative Committee. A graduate of Stetson University, Ms. Hershey is a true lifelong learner. She holds a master's degree in Public Administration and is currently working on her Doctoral degree through Grand Canyon University.
Ms. Hershey lives in Mandarin with her husband, Scott. All four of their children are graduates of Duval County Public Schools.
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