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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kriseman names lawyer to new education post

5

October

Mayor Rick Kriseman added to his executive team Monday, hiring Leah McRae to the city's newly-created position of Director of Education and Community Engagement.

McRae, 42, will act as an advocate for St. Petersburg schools and serve as a liaison with the Pinellas County School Board and other education-policy institutions.She'll also lead the mayor's service learning initiative where school children engage in service projects in the community. 

She'll make $72,000 a year in the post.

McRae is an attorney who most recently served as court specialist for the Sixth Judicial District. She's served as a volunteer attorney for the Guardian ad Litem program. She is also the vice-chair of the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Program's Citizen Advisory Committee.

She also comes from a prominent St. Petersburg family. Her great-uncle, Don McRae, was the city's first black city manager whose 1992 firing of controversial police chief Curt Curtsinger for racial insensitivity and acting like a rogue administrator. 

That firing earned McRae praise from many quarters for his calm, decisive action, but also lead to a backlash resulting in the city's move to a strong-mayor system in 1993. He died in 2009.

Leah McRae, in a news release, said it was an honor to work for the city's families and the mayor.

"Together, we will create the partnerships to help build a true city of opportunity," McRae said. 

Staff Writer Waveney Ann Moore contributed to this report. 

[Last modified: Monday, October 5, 2015 4:30pm]

    

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