In October 2019, Dee Dee Rasmussen filed to run for reelection to the Leon County School Board, District 4. Alex Stemle is also running for the position.
Rasmussen is in her third term of office and is currently the Chair of the Leon County School Board. In addition to her bachelor’s degree, she holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from FSU. She served the State of Florida as a senior staff member in both the Legislative and Executive branches of state government for 15 years, and she has been in association management since 2001. All three of her children attended Leon County Schools.
What motivated you to run for local office?
“Initially, I ran as a mom of three students in LCS schools, because I saw things I thought I could help improve. It soon became apparent that my experience in government leadership would become my strongest contribution to LCS. Since then, my colleagues on the Board and others have encouraged me to continue; I decided to do so again in 2020 because we have significant challenges ahead. I believe my informed and ‘steady at the helm’ approach will continue to serve the district well in these trying times.”
What unique perspective would you bring to the position?
“One advantage of the current School Board is diversity of thought—from an experienced former principal; a former Deerlake teacher; an expert in MBE who understands Title One Schools; and, our ‘Dean’ with school-aged grandchildren. Uniquely, I offer a ‘systems approach’ to the big picture with expertise in government and leadership (including K-20 education). My strengths stem from understanding the legislative process, administrative rulemaking, litigation, auditing, and the business of our district—a half-billion-dollar enterprise with 4,500 employees, 34,000 students on 50 school sites, spread over 700 square miles.”
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing Leon County Schools?
“The pandemic required a Herculean effort, to shift delivery methods for teaching, neighborhood food and even mental health services. We are hopeful students can return to a new normal in school this fall, barring another resurgence of Covid-19. If not, preparations are underway for improved distance delivery models based on what we have learned. Simultaneously, we are preparing for budget cuts contingent upon the resilience of the economy—specifically our dependence on sales tax revenue. I worked for the Senate Appropriations Committee during the recession of the early 1990’s and I served on the LCS Board during the great recession of 2008. These were difficult times, indeed; this one may be the worst.”
What is your plan to address these challenges?
“When we return to campuses, education recovery, health and safety will be top priorities. Many of our students will need some remediation or content refreshment. If the economy worsens, our kids will come to us with additional stressors. I will continue to prioritize safety from internal and external threats (MSD Act) and make measured decisions to advocate data-driven solutions in support of resilience and learning—including the arts, athletics, experiential education and partnerships—to engage all types of learners and prepare them for life after graduation.”
Responsibilities of the School Board include setting the school district’s policies and budget. The School Board position has a four-year term length and an annual salary of $39,135.00. The deadline to qualify for the position is June 12, 2020. The primary election date is August 18 and the general election date is November 3.
Campaign contribution and expenditure information is available here.
Ahead of the 2020 local election season, Tallahassee Reports has asked all local candidates to answer basic questions about their candidacy. The answers to the questions are in the candidates own words.The goal is to get as much information out to voters as possible. More focused questions will be addressed as the election draws nearer.
The silence to discuss the facts speaks volumes about why Ms. Rasmussen should not be re-elected. The silence on the facts illustrates why Rocky Hanna should be investigated by state and federal authorities for orchestrating a $600,000 ripoff of tax dollars.
Ms Rasmussen or Superintendent Hanna,
Would either of you care or dare to respond to the $600,000 ripoff that has been clearly detailed?
You allowed a $600,000 ripoff of tax dollars by Rocky Hanna to go unchecked. The words of the school board attorney hired by YOU and the schools board …
“I think it’s fair to say that the persons who originally created the materials that triggered some of these events had no direct knowledge … of anything, wrong or good or bad or anything,” Coxe replied. “Coxe, in his preliminary investigation, found that the notebook was compiled by former Leon High School Principal Rocky Hanna.
Rocky Hanna ripped off taxpayers to the tune of $600,000 with a fraudulent investigation. The board was given the information that Rocky Hanna designed and sent a notebook to state and federal authorities and “he had no direct knowledge … of anything, wrong or good or bad or anything.” In taking these actions Rocky was never a whistle-blower, he was and is a vindictive man/educator who brazenly broke school board policy and the professional code of educator ethics. You did nothing. Fellow board members did nothing. You allowed Rocky Hanna to costs taxpayers $600,000 and you never investigated him or sent a complaint to the Florida Department of Education to investigate Rocky.
Many Years ago, we Voted to SHRINK Class Sizes and nothing was done because the School Board sited Cost was the issue. I guess NOW, you will have to deal with that issue.
Darn the e and the u are not even close to each other on the keyboard.
There’s no excuse for my poor spelling…The Shame…The Shame…
Certainly an accomplished individual, but a tad too “me” and way to politically rehearsed. Her answer seem like consultant-researched and tested pablum, and are more about her “political acumen” rather than educational prowess.
This, as I’ve noted before, is the problem with our local educational systems/leadership/boards… they’ve simply become too political and are too often viewed as a “rung on the ladder” on your way to a higher political office.
By the way, it is not the education system’s job to provide neighborhood food and mental health services… we have people for that, they’re called parents and doctors. The education of our children is not a social service or social experiment. If you want that job; seek that job… and I wish you success.
As a board member you set policy, approve budget and personnel. Get a grip on your importance or lack of it. You let Rocky Hanna do whatever he wants unchecked. You are not effective.
Hope, if you look at the Board policy, I think a school employee can run for Supt or Bd. Member but they must take a leave of absence or resign. Check into what Hanna or Pons did when they ran and got elected.
They only have to if they run against their boss. She is not his boss. Rocky had to resign because he was running against his boss.
Mimi, if an employee runs and wins, they must resign or take a leave of absence from their non-elected position before being sworn in to office. If you loose you can keep your old position if re -appointed. A school board employee can run for a non school board office and keep their school board position if elected. Example, principal at Ft Braden .
Is DR’s conflict an issue for the Board? I have read the article, comments, and I just don’t think this benefits our public education system. Have vendors, contractors doing business with LCSB made any contributions to her campaign?
Welcome to Groundhog Day! Deja vu! Been there done that! Broken record!
Dee Dee’s opponent needs to get a platform because this just does not work for me.
Dee Dee should ask her opponent if he is going to resign his current position at LCS. That is the bigger question.
School board member Rasmussen
You had evidence given to you from the school board attorney that Rocky Hanna had no factual evidence of any wrongdoing when he falsified information in his notebook. He cost taxpayers $600,000. You have not publicly admonished him or forwarded him to professional ethics. This is in my opinion a breech of your responsibity.
Rocky placed political appointments into Assistant Superintendent positions without advertising positions. This is a breech of your responsibility under personnel actions. You gave raises to district administrators who make over $90,000 many over $100,000 while teachers are the 46th lowest paid in Florida.
You have refused to confront an unethical Superintendent Hanna on personnel and budget.
Rocky overseas construction a clear breech of your authority given his notebook that was proven 100 percent false. You embolden a bully, Superintendent Hanna