Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kriseman names lawyer to new education post



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]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours