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Opposition in all four Hillsborough County School Board races

Henry "Shake" Washington is running for Hillsborough County School Board for the second time since 2018.
Published Nov. 15

TAMPA — Henry Washington has entered the race for Hillsborough County School Board, becoming the first candidate to oppose incumbent and chairwoman Tamara Shamburger.

Washington, 70, brings with him decades of experience as an educator in the district. Known as “Shake,” he was a high school principal and later a deputy superintendent.

After retiring, Washington ran for School Board in 2018. Karen Perez, a social worker, defeated him for a countywide seat with 54 percent of the vote.

Four seats are being contested in the 2020 elections. The candidates so far are:

  • Victoria Anne Gudbranson, 23, challenging incumbent Steve Cona III, 45, in District 1, which covers the Northwest suburbs, Town 'N Country and parts of West Tampa.
  • Jessica Vaughn, 42, challenging incumbent Cindy Stuart, 52, in District 3, which includes the Carrollwood area, New Tampa and parts of East Hillsborough.
  • Washington seeking to unseat Shamburger, 44, in District 5, which represents Tampa’s urban neighborhoods and part of Brandon.
  • In the countywide District 7, incumbent Lynn Gray, 67, has two challengers: Former board member Sally Harris, 69, who lost her bid for re-election in 2018 to Stacy Hahn; and Josephine Amato, 51, a parent activist who has spent the last several years fighting back against the district’s cutbacks in bus service.

School board elections are nonpartisan and, as the cost of candidacy is relatively low, some races attract large numbers of entrants. A primary will be held on Aug. 18. The winner will be determined at that time if any candidate wins more than half the vote. If not, they will continue to a runoff the day of the general election on Nov. 3.

This is also the time of year when leadership changes on the seven-member board. On Tuesday, members will vote on a new chair and vice chair. Tradition would give the chairmanship to Melissa Snively, as she is the vice chair. But, in recent years, the board has often deviated from that tradition.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Chanell Newell, a reading teacher at Woodson K-8 School, is a finalist for Hillsborough Teacher of the Year. HCPS  |  HCPS
    The winners will be announced on Jan. 23.
  2. A school bus travels the early morning streets of Pasco County on the way to the first day of classes in 2017.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  3. Transgender student Drew Adams speaks with reporters outside of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. Adam's fight over school restrooms came before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has since appealed. RON HARRIS  |  AP
    The closely watched case of Drew Adams, once a high school student in Florida, is heard by a three-judge panel in Atlanta.
  4. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  5. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  6. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
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  7. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  8. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  9. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
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