Rocky Hanna Keeps Superintendent Position in Win Over Pam Hightower

Rocky Hanna Keeps Superintendent Position in Win Over Pam Hightower

Leon County Superintendent Rocky Hanna has defended his incumbency against opponent Dr. Pam Hightower. The race, which came to a conclusion on Tuesday evening, has been marked by rampant discussion surrounding issues of school choice, student resources and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hanna, a Tallahassee native who has been working within the school system for over 30 years, has held educational positions as a teacher, a coach and principal of his alma mater Leon High School.

“I’m just a Tallahassee kid who loves this community and is trying to make a difference,” Hanna said following his win. “I’m thankful to the voters for trusting me with their school system for another four years.”

Pam Hightower, Hanna’s opponent for the Superintendent position, ran on a platform promising change in several aspects of the educational sector. These included issues like school safety, support resources, increased graduation rates and more communication between the school board and its constituents.

In her September interview on Above the Fold with Tallahassee Reports Editor Steve Stewart, Hightower claimed that her goal as Superintendent was for “every child, regardless of their zip code, socioeconomic status or ethnicity to have a high-quality education.”

Hanna won the race 60%-40% over Hightower. The Superintendent thanked his opponent Tuesday night for running an honest and decent campaign despite the heightened “ugliness in politics these days.”

The school system’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic was at the center of both candidates’ campaigns. Hanna’s decision to have teachers return to brick and mortar facilities was cause for controversy and discussion throughout the race.

Right now, Hanna said, the School Board’s “top priority is getting students and teachers through the pandemic,” and ensuring that ample resources are available. All Leon County students are slated to receive their own Chromebooks to facilitate the virtual learning process.

“If there’s anything positive that’s come out of this, it’s that it’s allowed us to embrace technology,” Hanna said on the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of his response plan for Leon County included ordering Chromebooks for every student, something he believes will greatly benefit the Tallahassee community.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done,” Hanna stated, “and I’m excited for what’s to come in the future.”

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