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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Farewell to Mary Brown and Nina Hayden



mary_brown.The Pinellas school board said goodbye to two members today – Mary Brown (at left) and Nina Hayden (at right).nina_hayden.

Hayden’s last day was actually last Tuesday, when voters picked Jack Latvala over her for a state senate seat. But she attended today’s meeting as an audience member, and fought back tears after board members Janet Clark and Robin Wikle presented her with gifts (a plaque and a snuggie). “It’s been a privilege and an honor to serve with you guys,” she said. “I will continue to be an advocate for education.”

Brown’s last day was today. In her final remarks, Brown – the board’s first elected African American member – described what guided her decisions during eight years in office. She said she hoped the board will carry on with her philosophy. “We haven’t always seen eye to eye,” Clark told her, “but I think we’ve seen heart to heart.”

Here’s what Brown said:

Speak for the children who have no one to speak up for them … 

Make decisions that are best for all children, especially the ones that are poor and have dysfunctional families.

Show compassion for all children that have no one to show compassion for them.

Provide instructional learning across the board, but offer the extra help and instruction to those who receive no help from home, to give them a fair advantage.

When the time comes to decide on where money should be spent and priorities set that will provide the greatest help to children - that will provide great teachers that are needed to provide great instruction to children, counselors that are needed to offer guidance to children and social workers that are needed to help children - remember to provide for those children who have the greatest needs first.

For those with the greatest needs today might be those who will make decisions for you tomorrow.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 7:54pm]


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