There are a total of six candidates running for two seats on the Leon County School Board in two districts that span the Northeast part of Leon County.
Three candidates are running for District 1, which is currently held by incumbent Alva Striplin. This district starts downtown and covers an area -heading Northeast – between Thomasville Road and Mahan ending at the county line.
Striplin is being challenged by Anthony DeMarco and Marianne Arbulu.
Alva Striplin for School Board
In an interview with TR about her campaign, Alva Striplin stated that, “Now more than ever, our community needs a voice on the Leon County School Board who will advocate for parents, students and teachers.
As a mother of six and former classroom teacher, I will continue to be that voice, ensuring the very best education for all of our children.”
On the campaign trail Striplin has noted that she is the only candidate with teaching experience and she said she will continue to advocate for increases in teacher salaries.
Striplin noted that while she served on the Board, “we have put student safety first, while successfully continuing to ensure a positive educational environment was provided for all.”
Anthony DeMarco, referring to Striplin, told TR that “my opponent believes our only major difference is her experience in the classroom. Increased parent involvement at every level of our schools is today’s primary focus. I’m the only candidate with children in K-12 schools. Many would agree she’s led the attack from the dias on local educators and students. Her attempts to cast herself as a former educator and friend to teachers falls flat.”
DeMarco also said he views the Moms for Liberty group as a fad or passing trend. He added, the group has brought nothing of benefit to the district. The only time I’ve heard of Moms for Liberty Leon County is when they were planning protests. Their approach and demeanor, creates a hostile environment making rational discussion near impossible.
Four Questions with School Board Candidate Anthony DeMarco
Candidate Marianne Arbulu has said she decided to run for the District 1 position after hearing about the district’s potential tax increase and identifying troubling academic and financial trends.
Arbulu was a Jefferson County School Board Member from 2008-2012 and was elected Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools for the 2016-2020 term at the beginning of the state’s takeover of the Jefferson County School District.
Candidate Arbulu’s website: Mom4Schools
Arbulu believes that she is the most experienced of all candidates. She highlights her previous work as a former school board member and district superintendent and her 40-year career in the financial services industry.