By Albert Wagner
Dear Nassau County Neighbors,
As you well know, my campaign for the District 3 seat on the School Board will soon come to a close. I’ve appeared in numerous candidate forums and have spoken to many of you to get your candid feedback on how we can improve our School District and I thank you for all of your ideas and your commitment to our School District. For some time now, I’ve reflected on what I’ve learned from you and others and I wanted to share some final thoughts with you as you decide who you want to serve in this important role. So please accept this as my “closing statement” if you will.
I decided to run for School Board to modernize our School District and bring “A FRESH PERSPECTIVE.” This is more than a slogan to me. If I’m elected to this position, I promise to bring my 18 years of education experience in both teaching and administration to address our District’s unnecessary but chronic budget issues, teacher retention and to expand our technical education programs. I believe in servant leadership and you are my boss. What is best for our children will always be top of mind for me. I will fight for you and your children and, by doing so, together we will build a more prosperous future for Nassau County.
My opponent is being backed by incumbent members of the School Board and the current Administration. I know, however, that people are tired of the “Old Boys Network.” We all deserve better than the same old policies that have led to our ongoing budget woes, have driven some of our best teachers out of the classroom, and have resulted in 35% of our graduating seniors pursuing no postsecondary education of any kind instead of learning a marketable vocational skill or getting a marketable degree. We all know this is the key to a prosperous future for our children and community as a whole.
The County has grown considerably and we need more sophisticated and conservative financial leadership. One case in point is that, for years, we’ve paid cash (at current taxpayer expense) for capital assets like land and schools that should be debt financed over 30 years to spread the burden among current AND FUTURE taxpayers. I would have never voted to approve the $3.6 million (in cash) for the 10-acre land purchase in Yulee. This purchase cannot possibly provide a rational return on investment for our taxpayers. I also would have never voted to sideline a Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. If our District wants to increase transparency, why would we fear the recommendations of financial experts in our community related to our budget issues?
Finally, I am a father of two children who attend school in Yulee. I am also a teacher by background. I understand the challenges facing teachers today and I also understand that the teachers know far more about what works in their classrooms than the Administration does. Without a doubt there is too much emphasis on testing and the ongoing micromanagement of our teachers is driving our best teachers away from the profession. We do have a teacher pay problem here but it is not the sole reason for our teacher retention issues. I want to be the teacher’s candidate too so, if you’re a teacher here, I ask for your vote.
I want to thank all candidates for their willingness to serve in public office. It would be the great honor of my life to serve you on our School Board. Please vote for Albert Wagner for the Nassau County School Board in District 3 on November 8 for A FRESH PERSPECTIVE!
Albert J. Wagner
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.