TEMPLE TERRACE - Government and business consultant Rod Jurado has died AT 61, and is being mourned by leaders in the charter school movement and in Temple Terrace, where his wife Mel Jurado is mayor.
Jurado, whose consulting clients included the Hillsborough County School District in 2015, was also prominent in Hillsborough’s community of charter schools, which are funded with state dollars but managed independently.
He chaired the Florida Charter Educational Foundation, which oversaw nine schools including six in Hillsborough. Those six - the biggest are Henderson Hammock, Winthrop and SouthShore - serve a combined student enrollment of close to 6,000.
Schools in the group that Jurado chaired are managed by Charter Schools USA, a for-profit company based in Fort Lauderdale. Jurado, at one point, said he hoped to see 20 in the Tampa Bay area by the year 2020.
The company issued this statement on Sunday:
“We are so saddened to say good-bye to our dear friend and associate. His selfless dedication to education reform and his tireless commitment to providing the best educational options for children have impacted thousands of lives. His influence will felt for generations to come. We will miss him greatly and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family.”