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Inzetta, Klink vie for school board seat

David Adlerstein
The Apalach Times
The Apalach Times

In the only school board race this year, two Eastpoint educators will be vying to replace the retiring George Thompson in District #1.

Tara Elizabeth Klink, 31, and Melonie Kay Inzetta, 63, will square off in the non-partisan August 18 primary for a chance to represent the district, which encompasses all of St. George Island and Eastpoint from the river east to Otter Slide Road.

Current registration totals show the district includes 952 Republicans, 777 Democrats, 248 who have no party affiliation and 37 who are registered with a minor party.

Both women have raised a small amount of money for their campaigns, with Inzetta reporting $690 and Klink $550.

Those who are not yet registered have until Monday, July 20 to sign up to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 18 election. Early voting begins Monday, Aug. 3.

In the other two possible school board races this year, incumbent Fonda Davis, 52, of Apalachicola, drew no challengers, so he will now be elected to his first full four-year term representing District 3. He was elected two years ago to complete the term of Teresa Ann Martin, who stepped down to seek the tax collector’s office.

In District 5, Jared Mock, 29, Carrabelle, drew no opponents in his bid to succeed incumbent Carl Whaley, who is not seeking re-election but instead stepping down in order to run for sheriff.

MELONIE INZETTA

Many of you may know me as Mrs. Inzetta from the “Nest”

A few months ago, I announced that I would be pursuing the Franklin County District 1 school board seat. I, would now, like to take this opportunity to give you a little information about myself.

I moved to Franklin County almost 14 years ago. Not one day since I moved here, have I felt that I was anything but a local. I felt a connection with this community from the first time I set foot in Franklin County 25 years ago.

I have a bachelors degree from Mercer University and a masters in psychology and counseling from Troy University.

Teaching, as a profession, is not my first career, but one that I have spent my whole life doing. I spent the first 25-plus years in the private sector, where I held several positions - customer service representative, contracts administrator, pricing dispute representative and data management supervisor. In each of the positions my primary responsibility was research, instruction, resolution, and training, all of which prepared me for my teaching career.

I began my teaching career in Florida at the Florida State Correctional Facility, “up 67.” There, I met and worked with some amazing people, parents of children that I would later teach at Franklin County School K-12.

My first assignment working at Franklin County School K-12 was middle school credit recovery. I taught credit recovery for three years, and math for a year-and-one-half. I returned to the Florida Department of Corrections as a GED administrator for a short period, but was drawn back to the children, and returned to Franklin County Schools as the afterschool project coordinator. I held the coordinator position at Franklin County Schools for five years and then moved to the First United Methodist Church as the project director, when the church received the 21st Community Learning Center (CCL) Afterschool Grant.

As the project director, I work closely with teachers, parents, and students daily. In addition, I have the responsibility of managing not only staff but preparation, executing and reporting of the 21st CCLC grant as well as developing and managing the budget. As a teacher, I have been inside the school and classroom and understand the workings of the school system. As a private citizen of this community, I share the same hopes and dreams for our children and community, as we all do.

The duties and responsibilities of the school board are provided in the state statutes. The state statutes cover board responsibilities of not only the general powers but responsibilities of budget, personnel, transportation, educational programs, safety, student welfare, and facilities.

I intend to work within and exercise these statutes to the fullest, to provide our students with the opportunity to receive a complete and successful education.

The board should maintain fiscal responsibility for taxpayers’ monies. It is the board’s responsibility to adopt and submit an annual budget. As such I will actively participate in the review of the budget as well as all supporting documents.

Operating within the restraints of the budget the students must be provided with educational programs that prepare them for their future endeavors.

The facilities should be safe and conducive to the educational process. In addition to providing a facility that is safe, students and staff should feel safe from disrespect and disruption the in classroom. These issues, as well as safety on the bus to and from school, will be addressed in the school code of conduct

Our school system should provide not only highly qualified teachers, but the educational materials needed by students to receive the best education possible.

Policies and procedures are determined and adopted by the board for operating the school district. I will work to see that all policies and procedures not only support the best interest of the school system, staff, and students, but are adhered to in all cases.

As District 1 school board member, I will do my best to see that each of these items are addressed and executed to the best of my ability

I am highly qualified and highly committed to take the next step in my role as a school board member in helping our school and students become the best they can be. I need your vote on Aug. 18 accomplish this goal.

TARA KLINK

My name is Tara Klink and I am running for school board in District 1. I am born and raised here in Franklin County and I am extremely dedicated to this community. I am a product of our local school system. I graduated as valedictorian from Apalachicola High School in 2006, and continued my education at the University of West Florida, earning a bachelor’s degree in environmental science.

After graduating, I worked locally as a marine biologist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. While doing my work for the state, I began volunteer coaching for the Franklin County School volleyball program, and the following year accepted a paid coaching stipend.

That is the moment when I realized that I was meant to be in education. I can’t imagine a career path more rewarding than being able to have a positive impact on the youth of my hometown. I received my teaching certification, and just recently completed my sixth year of teaching high school and middle school science at Franklin County School.

I have experience in many different roles: class sponsors, club sponsors, coaching sports, interviewing panels, mentor teacher, member of multiple school committees, and fundraisers. Being an integral part of this school system has given me the insight to our strengths and weaknesses that we currently face, which will make me an asset to our school board. I have enjoyed my time in the classroom, but I am ready to elevate my voice for the sake of our faculty, staff and students.

Throughout my life I’ve been drawn to leadership roles. In high school, I was president of our Student Government Association, in college I served as our Student Relations Chair, and now I am currently the president of the Franklin County Teachers Association. As a teacher and union representative in Franklin County, I have first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced at every grade level.

The future of Franklin County lies with our children, and the education they receive will help determine our future. If I am elected to the school board, I will fight for the desperately needed funds to ensure our teachers have the tools they need to complete the incredibly important task of educating our children. I will stay involved and up-to-date with what is happening on campus and focus on making sure there are clear lines of communication. I am always accessible and will work hard to make sure that our community members feel well represented.

I am asking for your support as I run for the District 1 school board member position, so that we can make the Franklin County school system one that our community, staff, families, and most importantly children, can be proud of. Once again, I am Tara Klink, and I thank you for your support.