With Edgecomb leaving, Hillsborough school board race gets interesting
As Gradebook reported late Tuesday, Doretha Edgecomb will step down when her third Hillsborough County School Board term expires in November.
Edgecomb, 72, ends a 42-year career with the district. Her full remarks are here.
Her departure, which she said was motivated by neither fear, nor a recent slight in which she was passesd over for the chairmanship, ends an era in which a majority on the board could generally be counted on to support the administration of former Superintendent MaryEllen Elia. Member Jack Lamb was defeated in 2012, Candy Olson chose in 2014 not to run for re-election and Carol Kurdell announced recently that she will not run in November. Edgecomb, despite the vote counts, always resisted being typecast as an Elia supporter. Rather, she said, she voiced her opinions about contentious issues behind closed doors.
She is the daughter of Sarah Stroud Wynn, an educator who died recently at age 100. Her own daughter, Allison Edgecomb, is an administrator for the Hillsborough district.
Five candidates are now seeking to represent District 5, which covers much of Tampa's urban core and edges into Brandon. The group includes the cantankerous Joseph W. Jordan-Robinson, an engineer and former candidate who has raised $8,000 already. The contest comes at a pivotal time for minorities, as the district is under a sweeping federal investigation that stems from systemwide allegations of racial disparities in discipline and student achievement. Superintendent Jeff Eakins, has proposed a plan to remedy those issues and is awaiting a resolution agreement from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.
Edgecomb said she will continue to support and advocate for public schools after her term ends. She received a standing ovation at the board meeting.