Egdecomb: I will continue to be a voice for all children
Addressing the Tampa Bay Times for the first time since she was denied the Hillsborough County School Board chairmanship on Tuesday, Doretha Edgecomb declined to speculate as to why the board instead chose April Griffin.
"This is not to be flippant, but you would have to ask that question to the people who were part of taking that action," she said. "I was not a part of it."
When asked that question on Tuesday, Susan Valdes and April Griffin said the board discussed the issue of succession at a retreat on Nov. 13.
But they mostly talked about the mechanics and the procedures, not whether Edgecomb was worthy of the post. "There was never a conclusion," Edgecomb said.
For more than 20 years, the board has rotated the position of chair, giving it to the previous year's vice chair. The vote is largely a formality. This year, if tradition had held, the spot would have gone to Edgecomb.
Instead Valdes, Griffin, Cindy Stuart and Sally Harris - the same four who fired MaryEllen Elia as superintendent and hired Jeff Eakins to replace her - voted to install Griffin as chair and Stuart as vice chair.
Looking ahead, Edgecomb said, "I'm going to continue to make my contribution. I'm going to do what I think is in the best interest of the district, and what meets the needs of all children,
"I'm going to focus on what the people elected me to do, and be the strongest possible voice for all students, particularly students who are struggling. I'm not wavering in that."
Edgecomb, 72, spent more than 30 years as a teacher and principal before she was first elected to the board in 2004. She has not yet said if she will run for re-election in 2016.
"I will make an announcement soon," she said.