TAMPA — Hillsborough School Board member Tamara Shamburger lost her bid for re-election Tuesday to longtime educator Henry “Shake” Washington.
Shamburger, 45, replaced long-serving board member Doretha Edgecomb in 2016 and was a spirited advocate for children in her district, sometimes confronting superintendents publicly on matters of equity.
She also became embroiled in the occasional social media dispute, and at times described her four years on the board as a learning experience when it came to politics.
In a message she posted Tuesday evening on Facebook, Shamburger wrote that, while she learned a lot, the work she did will give children a better chance at academic success. “I’m proud of the policies I passed that are working to make our community better and the many wonderful things I was able to accomplish,” she wrote, adding that she wishes Washington success in his new role.
Their electoral district includes some of Tampa’s most impoverished communities, with pressing needs in many of its schools.
Prior generations knew Washington, 71. as a student athlete, a physical education teacher and administrator. He was the first principal of Middleton High School when the district reopened the school in 2002. The auditorium there bears his name and his son, Henry Washington, Jr., is an assistant principal there.
In his final years before retirement, Washington was an area director and, after the job was reclassified, an area superintendent.
He captured about 55 percent of the vote to Shamburger’s 45 percent.
Washington said Tuesday that he is banking on two attributes as he enters this new position — his dedication to the school district and his ability to interact calmly with people.
“I look forward to unifying the School Board,” he said. “You have to be a bridge to build that relationship where everybody can work together. I’m not the smartest man in world, but I work with people well and I have enough knowledge about how things should work in the school district. God has put me here to be an educator and that’s all I know.”