District 1 - The Honorable Cheryl Grymes
The Honorable Cheryl Grymes is a Jacksonville native who is passionate about our community and public education. For more than 25 years, she has been involved in public schools from many perspectives and believes significant change and reform are needed to assure a quality education for all students. Ms. Grymes is a graduate of Wolfson High School and received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Florida and an executive nonprofit management certificate from Georgetown University. She became involved in the public school system as the mother of four daughters who graduated from public schools. She served as the district’s PTA president and was elected to the School Board in 1992 for two terms, where she served as chairman and vice-chairman. As the executive director of the Alliance for World Class Education, she worked with top-level business executives to assist with developing leaders and improving efficiency within the business operations of the district. Ms. Grymes also helped transition the Alliance into the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. Currently, she is the vice president of development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida, an organization that places caring adult mentors in the lives of children facing adversity. Over the past years, Ms. Grymes has served on numerous boards and commissions. Her current volunteer activities include serving on the Jacksonville Chamber Education & Workforce Development Committee and the Education Practices Commission. She serves as a community coach through the Nonprofit Center and provides mentoring and resources to nonprofits within the community. Her favorite volunteer activity is being with her little sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters. She lives with her husband Warren, and they have four daughters, two sons and two grandsons.District 2 - The Honorable Scott ShineScott Shine is a Jacksonville businessman who has led Communications, Research and Strategic Planning efforts for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Barnett Banks, The Nemours Children’s Clinic, and Bank of America. Shine attended and graduated from the public school system. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served in several leadership positions with the City of Jacksonville, including being a member of the Jacksonville Ethics Commission and the Jacksonville Waterways Commission. Shine has also held advisory positions with the City including the District 2 Visioning Committee, Huguenot Park Advisory Board and as an Ex-Officio Member for the Downtown Development Review Board. He is active with several local non-profit groups, including being a past board member of the Youth Crisis Center. Shine is a former volunteer educator with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and former USA Archery instructor. Shine, 57, lives in the beaches area with his wife of 23 years, Tibby Shine, and their son Jacob who Graduated from Duval County public schools and now attends the University of Florida.
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District 3 - The Honorable Ashley Smith Juarez - Vice-Chairman
The Honorable Ashley Smith Juarez is an educator, a champion for students and a Jacksonville nativedevoted to her city. She knows that quality public education is essential to individuals and communities reaching their potential. Ms. Smith Juarez graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University. In addition to her duties on the School Board, she serves as Associate Director for the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI), promoting cross-sector collaborations for healthier communities. Prior to CHMI she served as the Executive Director of the Chartrand Foundation a family foundation committed to excellence in Early Childhood through grade 12 public education. She has served as a teacher and coach in public and independent schools and has worked in dropout prevention. Throughout her career, Ms. Smith Juarez has partnered with parents, school counselors, teachers, principals, mentors and students to bring about long-term success. She is a three-time recipient of the duPont Excellence in Teaching Award. Ms. Smith Juarez was named the Children's Home Society Buckner Division Public Official of the year in 2014 and was named the Elected Official of the year in 2015 for The Ripple Effect: Northeast Florida Mental Health Awards. In addition, Ms. Smith Juarez is a past Chairman of the Family Support Services Board of Directors. Currently she serves a trustee at The Emily Balz Smith Foundation, and as a member of the Florida Philanthropic Network Board. She lives in the San Marco area with her husband Alex, a local business owner, and her dog Sam.
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“When our students succeed, our schools succeed, and when our schools succeed- Our- community thrives,” is the mantra of Paula D. Wright, Chairman of the Duval County School Board. First elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, Paula represents District 4 which includes primarily the urban core within City Council Districts 7 and 8. As a product of Duval County Public Schools, she’s driven to ensure that all children have the opportunity and resources to reach their full potential and to graduate from high school prepared for college, the world of work, and life. Paula’s mantra is an outgrowth of her experiences as an educator, academic and athletic coach, newspaper publisher, radio talk show host, and school board member. Noted as a servant leader, she worships at St. Matthew Baptist Church, serves as the Multicultural and Diversity Committee Chairman for the Florida School Boards Association, Executive Committee Member for the Council of Great City Schools, a member of The Jax Journey, the Judicial Detention Alternatives Initiative, and represents the School Board on the Chamber’ Board of Directors, among other organizations. A lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Paula is a graduate of Edward H. White High School and Jacksonville University where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English, and earned her Masters of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the American College of Education. Paula brings a rich and sundry background having experience as a manager in the corporate world, newspaper publisher, radio talk show hostess, athletic coach, and an educator in both post-secondary and public school education, an administrator in the High School Acceleration Programs Office in Duval County where she transitioned from teaching 8th grade Language Arts and Reading, served as the school’s Reading Coach, and head coach of the girls’ basketball and swimming teams, all at Northwestern Middle School. She also served as a District Literacy Coach and a Specialist in the Academic Services Department. As an Adjunct Instructor, Paula taught English at Florida State Community College (then FCCJ) for over 12 years and at Edward Waters College for two years. Paula is an experienced educator, a motivational speaker, a member of the PTA of several schools and mentor. Publishing The Jacksonville Chronicle Newspaper and hosting Viewpoint with Paula D. Wright, a live radio talk show, afforded Paula the opportunity to inform citizens of important issues impacting their lives and to keep her finger on the pulse of the community.District 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 Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science. During his 28 years as a Jacksonville City Council Member, he served as a member or 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.District 6 - The Honorable Becki Couch
The Honorable Becki Couch was elected to the Duval County School Board to represent District 6 in August 2010 and is currently serving her second term. Ms. Couch is a native of Jacksonville and a graduate of First Coast High School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the University of North Florida. She left the position of Patient Services Manager for St. Luke’s Hospital to begin teaching at Baldwin Middle Senior High School, where she taught for ten years. In 2009 she was selected as Baldwin’s Teacher of the Year and was a semifinalist for the 2009 Duval County Teacher of the Year. In 2007, Mrs. Couch was also awarded the Jacksonville’s Character Counts Character Builder award. Her community involvement includes co-chair and team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, member of the West Jacksonville Civic Association, member of the Chaffee Trail PTA, co-chair for the 2010 Duval County Teacher of the Year selection committee, and the DAILY Junior Achievement initiative. Becki has served on the Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership, and as the treasurer of the Florida School Boards Association. She is currently serving on the board of directors for the Florida School Boards Association and the legislative committee of the Florida School Boards Association. She has been actively engaged in lobbying for education through her service as the 2012 Chair of the Advocacy Sub-Committee for Florida School Boards Association, the 2013 Chair of the North East Florida School Board Coalition, and as the Chair of the Florida School Boards Association Legislative Committee. Ms. Couch has received the Certified Board Member Distinction for 96 points of professional development with awareness in key areas such as, boardsmanship, school finance, state/federal legislation, school law, and policy making/policy oversight. She and her husband, James, have two children who attend Duval County Public Schools.District 7 - The Honorable Lori Hershey
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. Ms. Hershey received the Judges Choice Award in 2014 for grant writing. A licensed real estate agent since 2001. Ms. Hershey is currently a Realtor with ERA Davis & Linn. 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. Three of their children are graduates of Duval County Public Schools and the fourth is still enrolledEmail Lori HersheyRequest Lori Hershey Speakers' Bureau