St. Johns County School Board

ST. JOHNS COUNTY COMMISSION (three county school board seats are up for election this year: districts one, three and four. The only competitive race is for District 4. Incumbents Beverly Slough and Bill Mignon were re-elected to represents District 1 and District 3, respectively, without opposition.)

DISTRICT 4 (includes northeastern St. Johns County east of US Highway 1 and north of St. Augustine
This nonpartisan race will appear on ballots during the August primary election. 

Qualified Candidates

Kelly Barrera

Age: 53

Candidate's family: Husband Gil, son Colin,daughter Lyndsay and 2 foreign exchange students Julia and Raffaella

Occupation: St Johns County School Board Member, Embry- Riddle University

Education: B.S. Degree Davis College of Business, Jacksonville University; Master Board Certified Florida School Board Association,Certified Board Member

Political experience: Current Vice-Chair St Johns County School Board, previous Board Member of the St. Johns County-St. Augustine Airport Authority, past chairman and treasurer
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Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less. 

Excellent education for all students; safe, supportive and secure schools; manage growth

What do you see as the top three issues in this race? 

1)    Continuing to be ahead of the curve on safety and security, including ongoing review and evaluation of best practices and the latest innovations regarding security, prevention, intervention both inside and outside our schools. 
2)    As current Vice-Chair, I will continue to lead with forward thinking and constant monitoring our long and short-term growth plans to ensure we are meeting our community needs. 
3)    Elevated academic excellence for all students and successful preparation for both college and career to meet the needs of our local community and the 21st century workforce. 

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot? 

1)    Proven Community Leader: I have been a fierce advocate for parents, students, teachers and my community during my term on school board and have delivered results. 
2)    Active and engaged in our schools at all levels, including school board member, the Commissioner on Education's Business partner of the year, multiple Career academy advisory boards, Community Partnership Coordinator, along as a parent classroom volunteer, PTO/ SAC.
3)    My experience with the different phases of child development from young to adulthood, professionally and personally, as well as my on-going experience as a leader in post- secondary education provide me a unique perspective in shepherding our students so that they can thrive. 
4)    I have been anchored in our community over 30 years and have been unwavering in my commitment to our schools, teacher, parents and students, even after my children transitioned to college. 
5)    As an educator, leader and exceptional public servant I am a creative, independent doer, problem solver, challenging others as a positive professional servant leader. 
6)    I have watched our schools grow and have seen what works, what doesn't and what could be improved.
7)    As a life long learner, I have earned my Certified Board Member certification, Master Board certification, completed graduate course work in educational leadership and technology, serve on the Shultz Board for Teaching and Learning and completed several leadership programs. 
8)    I have been invested in our children in a multitude of community organizations that have contributed to our community's success. 
9) My extensive, well rounded experience in safety, business, education and development of business partnerships for education, have well served our community and students. 

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office? 

I want to be remembered as a servant leader, making a positive difference for children, so that they will have the knowledge, skills and ability to thrive and pursue their passions.

Website: kellybarrera.com

Social Media: Facebook / Twitter

Denver Cook

Age: 52

Candidate's family: Wife: Michelle Kids: Mia, Piper

Occupation: Stay at home father

Education: General Contractor, AA Animal Husbandry

Political experience: Candidate for St Johns County Commission 2014  

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less. 

Fiscal Responsibility to ensure students needs can be placed first  

What do you see as the top three issues in this race? 

1. Overhaul Curriculum to move past FSA Standards
2. Return Power to Parent to ensure individualized education pathways for students
3. Truly support teachers through pay, resources and administrative backing.   

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot? 

As a father with kids in the district schools, I am the only candidate dedicated full time to serve as a voice for parents and advocate students. As former military intelligence, general contractor and law enforcement I am uniquely qualified to ensure we have SAFE as well as effective educational environments for our kids.      

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office? 

I intend to leave the St. Johns County School District debt free, with nationally competitive curriculum, and to build schools of the future where every student are inspired to achieve their full potential for success in life.    

Website: denvercook.com 

Social Media: Facebook 

Abigail Levrini

Age: 38

Candidate's family: Husband, Chad. Daughters, Evie (8) and Reese (5)

Occupation: Educational Psychologist

Education: PhD in School Psychology and Counseling Psychology from Florida State University

Political experience: Volunteer for several local campaigns

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less. 

Expertise and knowledge to make schools the best in America.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race? 

1. Overcrowding: Like many of you, Dr. Levrini and her husband picked St. Johns County for their children because of its phenomenal schools' ratings and reputation. With more and more families moving here every day at record pace, this quality is at risk. Dr. Levrini will fight to provide every child with a free and quality education and keep St. Johns County at the top in Florida, and improve national rankings.
2. Health & Safety: As a counseling and school psychologist for over a decade, Dr. Levrini has seen the adverse affects that poor schooling and lack of support can cause to a child's mental and physical health. Dr. Levrini understands the ways in which our children's potential can be undermined by anxiety, bullying, and other issues. Because of this, she will fight to improve communication between the school district and families and make sure our sons and daughters get the support they deserve.
3. Special Education: Many of our children have special needs that require Individualized Education Plans (IEP) or 504 accommodations. While schools have done their best with the resources available, we could be doing more to help our children with ADHD, Autism, Learning Disbilities, other school related disorders, and even Gifted children. Dr. Levrini has the unique knowledge and expertise to help improve the standards of care for these individuals and their families.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot? 

Dr. Abigail Levrini is a licensed psychologist, Ponte Vedra business owner, bestselling author and mom to two St. Johns County public school students. She earned her doctorate in Counseling and School Psychology from the Florida State University College of Education in 2008. Dr. Levrini has published numerous scientific articles in the field of school psychology and presents on school interventions in professional settings throughout the country. She can be found throughout the media on WebMD, The Washington Post, NAMI, APA, PsychCentral, and many other popular means of press. In 2014, she opened a Florida branch of her highly acclaimed educational and psychological practice, Psych Ed Connections. Dr. Levrini hopes to bring her vast experience in the field of educational psychology to the St. Johns County School Board, emphasizing the importance of our children's social and emotional health in addition to their academic prowess. She plans to take St. Johns from a top tier Florida county to a top performing county within the United States. As an educator, psychologist, business leader, philanthropist, and mom, Dr. Levrini possesses the knowledge and skills to continue to improve schools in our rapidly growing community, work closely with parents, and keep our students safe.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office? 

Dr. Levrini hopes to be remembered for improving the national rankings of St. Johns County schools during her time in office and for helping to foster a community of families full of health, happiness, and success.

Website: votelevrini2018.com

Social Media: Facebook