Alex Stemle joined Steve Stewart of the Steve Stewart show to discuss his candidacy for the Leon County School Board for District 4. Additionally, Stemle discussed the crucial topics concerning the school district and school board.
Stemle, a native of Tallahassee, graduated from Florida State University with a master’s degree in business administration. He also earned a second master’s degree in educational leadership from the American College of Education.
He has had a long career in education, working in District 4 schools as a classroom teacher, a dean of students, and an athletics director. Currently, Stemle serves as the assistant principal at Amos P. Godby High School. However, if he wins the school board position, he will resign from his role at Godby to avoid conflict.
Stemle previously ran against incumbent Dee Dee Rasmussen in 2020 and lost. Early this year, Rasmussen resigned due to health reasons. He is in a the race with Laurie Cox and Susan Hodges.
“A lot of the challenges we had in our schools prior to the pandemic, we still have in our schools,” Stemle explained when asked why he is running again. “I personally see the challenges our schools go through. I’m in those schools, and the experience I have, I think I can bring to the board and ask the right questions.”
Stewart asked the school board candidate what he believes are the top issues Leon County Schools are facing now.
Stemle asserted that school safety and mental health are a top priority. He wants to have the ability to verify that the district is doing everything it can to protect students.
Another issue Stemle says he will focus on is giving educators and parents a voice. “It is important that school board members get on campus, that they talk with teachers, talk with parents, that they return phone calls, that they show up for meetings, and that they vote on issues…I’ll be that voice for parents,” Stemle said.
Stewart asked Stemle his thoughts on educators taking to social media regarding political issues and what he might suggest.
“They have rights as people, outside of their school day, but they do take a pledge to do what’s best for students, day in and day out. So, I would say to them that when we get into these debates online, it is not helping us to do our job, and it’s a tough job that teachers do.”
Stemle expressed that school officials should notify parents about personal issues their child might be facing when Stewart asked about the controversial Parents Bill of Rights.
However, Stemle said if there is suspicion the child may be in danger, then DCF should be notified. Rather than the previous policy of LCS that enabled officials to talk and guide students without informing their parents.
To wrap up the interview, Stemle noted that in 2020 he finished the race with 40% of the vote, and he understood then that people wanted someone with experience. However, “Going forward,” Stemle said, “I feel that I am the experienced candidate in this race.”