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.