Clay County School Board, District 5

Nonpartisan race open to all voters in district

Two candidates are seeking the votes for Clay County School Board, District 5. This is a nonpartisan office appearing on the August ballot and will be selected by all voters in the district, regardless of party.

News4Jax sent a questionnaire to each candidate asking about their background and their views on several issues. Scroll down to read the responses of those seeking your vote -- in their own words.

Note: Responses are sorted alphabetically and are published exactly as submitted, with no editing by News4Jax staff.


Gerald Beasley

This candidate has not responded to email and telephone invitations to submit the News4Jax candidate questionnaire.

Ashley Gilhousen

Occupation: Teacher

Age: 37

Your family: Husband, Adam, and three sons: Aiden (12), Brantley (10), Caleb (8)

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

Political experience: 2 Terms on the Clay County School Board

What do you see as the top three issues you’ll likely face while holding this office?

  • Three initiatives I plan to accomplish if elected are to follow Governor DeSantis’s lead with a focus on local policies that address the progressive agendas that have invaded our schools, to protect the rights of parents to be their child’s primary educator, and to consistently invest in our teachers, administrators, and support employees.

“Parental rights” has recently become a law in Florida and a political buzzword. What does that concept mean to you and how would it affect your decisions on the school board?

  • Parents are the primary educators of their children and therefore have the right to know what they are learning at school and to decide what is appropriate for their children.

How would you balance new state laws and guidelines restricting how history, gender identity and civics can be taught in public school classrooms with the need to educate children in a complex 21st Century society?

  • I support Governor DeSantis’s stance on these issues and know it to be my duty as an elected official to uphold the law.

Outline your ideas to address teacher shortages and morale.

  • Clay County continues to be one of the best counties in the state of Florida to teach and learn. While we are not untouched by the difficulties facing educational systems across the country, we are doing very well to fill teaching positions in our county compared to the rest of our state. Our district has actively recruited through community job fairs, continued to invest in teacher benefits and compensation, and worked to create a supportive and collaborative work environment.

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

I am the only Board member with children currently attending our schools. I have consistently been a voice of reason and have represented a parent’s perspective on education by advocating for parental choice, high quality curriculum and instruction, safe and healthy learning and working environments for students and staff, fiscal responsibility and transparency with tax paying citizens, and consistent investment in our teachers, administrators, and support employees.

As a third generation resident of Clay County who directly benefited from our educational system and whose children are all Clay County Public School students, I am personally vested in the future of our district’s performance. My heart for service and love for my community as well as my educational and professional background in teaching, science and nursing have been instrumental in my decision making and problem solving during my tenure on the board, especially through the recent challenges of 2020-2021. I work to provide a unique perspective as a parent, health care professional, and educator and can always be counted on for my professional demeanor.

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

  • I hope to be remembered for working hard to consistently improve teaching and learning for the children of Clay County.

Campaign website:

Campaign’s social media site(s):