Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dana DeSantis Announces Run For Brevard County School Board

Dana DeSantis
Dana DeSantis

(VIERA)—Veteran educator and Brevard County businesswoman Dana DeSantis announced on Monday that she has filed to seek the District 4 Seat on the Brevard County School Board. District 4 includes portions of Melbourne, Rockledge, Viera, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, and Palm Shores. 


“As the mother and parent of four children who are products and graduates of Brevard County schools, as a veteran teacher with more than 15 years’ experience in Brevard County classrooms, and as a long-time Brevard County resident with a vested interest in educational outcomes for all of our students, I believe I can bring a unique and broad-based perspective to the Brevard County School Board,” said DeSantis.

The District 4 Seat candidate began her Brevard County teaching career at Stone Middle School in 1997 and departed classroom instruction in the fall of 2014 to launch her own business and contemplate different ways to serve the educational needs of Brevard County students.

“My campaign and my focus if elected will center on three objectives,” said DeSantis.

“The first is results-based teacher recruitment and retention because it is my firm belief that every student in every Brevard County classroom deserves to have a highly qualified teacher standing at the head of the class.  Districts across the state struggle to attract qualified teaching candidates and often face even bigger challenges in retaining good teachers once we get them into the system.  I will work diligently at both ends of that concern to make sure we are doing all we can to make teaching in Brevard County meaningful and rewarding for both beginning teachers and career educators.  That means providing a supportive environment between teachers and administrators, providing teacher-focused professional development opportunities, and when necessary, limiting or removing time-consuming ‘busy work’ that frustrates teachers and contributes little to actual classroom instruction and quality teaching time.”

DeSantis said the second focus of her campaign and platform will be fiscal responsibility.

“Brevard County taxpayers contribute significantly to the educational costs of our school system,” she said.  I will work hard to make sure that every dollar allocated to education is spent in a cost effective and efficient manner, that we practice economies of scale wherever possible, that we fine-tune the annual budget process by examining ways to reduce any waste or program duplication, and that the lion’s share of educational dollars are targeted where they will result in our biggest return on educational investment—classroom instruction.”

The third focus of her campaign will be devoted to ensuring that decisions and control of Brevard County schools is facilitated by local input and local decision making.

“Just last month the United States Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve legislation that for all intents and purposes rewrites the 2002 No Child Left Behind Education Law,” explained DeSantis.

“While the intent of the No Child Left Behind Act was good in theory, in reality it became a tremendously burdensome, widely unpopular, and consistently frustrating mandate for local school districts at the hands of the Federal Government.

“With that albatross removed from local school districts, I strongly believe that working together with teachers, principals, administrators, the business community and other local shareholders in our educational system that we can devise a fairer and more equitable mechanism for evaluating and assessing how our schools, how our teachers and how our students are evaluated on an annual basis.

“If it’s one thing that we learned from the No Child Left Behind Act, it is that federal mandates that suggest one size fits all, just are not workable for many local school districts.

“I’m confident that given more local autonomy, we in Brevard County can develop measurements and assessments that in fact measure and assess what they are supposed to, when they are supposed to and that those assessments will provide solid benchmarks for the academic performance of each and every student, as well as measure the effectiveness of our school administrators and principals on a routine basis without distracting from the core mission of education—quality classroom instruction.”

DeSantis said she plans to work hard on the campaign trail and will actively seek input from District 4 parents, teachers and members of the business community on what each would like to see happen in Brevard County Schools.

DeSantis holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exceptional Child Education from the University of Central Florida, and she is a former National Board Certified Teacher-Exceptional Needs Specialist.

Her 15 years of teaching experience in Brevard County schools dealt primarily with Elementary Education Grades K-6.

A resident of Viera, she is the mother of four ranging in age from 19 to 32, all graduates of Brevard County Schools along with three grandchildren.  She is married to Major Vic DeSantis, a 23-year veteran of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Image Credit: Dana DeSantis for Brevard County School Board District 4