Governor Rick Scott last week appointed Apalachicola Bay Charter School Assistant Principal Elizabeth Kirvin to represent Franklin County on the Gulf Coast State College district board of trustees.
If confirmed by the Florida Senate, as is likely, Kirvin’s term would run two years, from last Friday until the end of May, 2016.
She succeeds retired educator and school board member Denise Butler, who completed two four-year terms, beginning in 2004. In 2011, she was elected to a two-year term as chair of the trustee board, and Scott chose not make an appointment in 2012, to allow her to complete her chairmanship of that board.
“This governor doesn’t like you to go beyond your two terms,” Butler said. “I got a lot of support from the Republican Party and Rep. (Jimmy) Patronis to allow me to complete my term.”
Butler said she and Gulf County’s Ralph Roberson, who succeeded Butler as chair of the Gulf Coast board, encouraged Kirvin to apply because of her educational background.
A graduate of Apalachicola High School, who Butler taught civics to in the ninth grade, Kirvin, 42, earned an associate’s degree in 1991 from Gulf Coast Community College, the original name for the school. She went on earn a bachelor of science degree magna cum laude in audiology and speech pathology from Florida State University in 1993, and a master’s in the subject a year later.
Kirvin, a licensed speech language pathologist, was a founding board member of the Bay Community School, beginning in 1999, as well as the Apalachicola Bay Charter School, from 2000 to 2007. She’s served on the board of the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida from 1999 to 2010.
After working as a speech language pathologist for the Franklin County School District in 1995-96, she went into private practice, and then in July 2010 was named the ABC School’s assistant principal.
“I am beginning my fourth year as a school administrator and am extremely grateful to be part of an amazing school community,” she wrote in her application. “I currently serve on the School Advisory Council at the Franklin County School as well. We are constantly assessing how we can graduate students who are college and career ready.”
The governor interviewed Kirvin personally before making his selections, Butler said, as Scott did the two appointments and one reappointment that he also announced last week.
Don Crisp, 71, of Panama City Beach, vice president of First American Title Insurance, was named to succeed Danny Estes; Steve Millaway, 57, of Panama City Beach, a self-employed electrical engineer was named to fill a vacant seat; and David Warriner, 48, of Port St. Joe, owner and president of Tapper & Co., was reappointed, all to terms ending May 2017.
“You have to have a willingness to serve because it’s a lot of work,” said Butler.
While Gulf County has three trustees, Kirvin is Franklin County’s lone representative, with the remainder of the nine-member board all from Bay County, She also is one of four trustees selected by Roberson to serve as the county’s lone representative on a 15-member presidential search committee, which also includes community members and other non-trustees, that is responsible for vetting candidates to replace Dr. Jim Kerley, who is retiring July 31.
Butler, the first female from the county to serve on the board of trustees, succeeded Leon Bloodworth, who followed Bubba Gander, the county’s first Gulf Coast college trustee.
“It was a great experience, probably the highlight of my educational career,” Butler said.