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 4, which became open when Board member Dee Dee Rasmussen decided to step down before her term expired.
District 4 covers an area that is west of Thomasville Road to North Monroe and roughly North of I-10.
The candidates seeking the position include Laurie Cox, Alex Stemle, and Susan Hodges.
Laurie Cox was the first to get in the race to replace Dee Dee Rasmussen. Since her entrance, Alex Stemle and Susan Hodges have filed to run.
Laurie Cox was raised in Tallahassee and attended Leon County schools. After graduating from Leon High, she attended Tallahassee Community College and then transferred to Auburn University, where she earned a degree in education. After three years of teaching in Georgia, Cox returned to Tallahassee, where she has been an educator for 33 years.
Regarding the challenges Leon County Schools are facing now, Cox said that learning loss due to the pandemic is a major issue. “We need to make sure we are targeting those students that have not been in school for whatever reason, and make sure we get them back on track,” Cox said.
Cox believes there is excessive misinformation surrounding the parental rights bill, and she encouraged people to take the time to read it. She agrees parents should be notified if changes are made regarding their child, and she fully supports the bill.
On activism in the classroom, Cox insisted “that a student should never know where their teacher stands political, socially, or even spiritually,” Cox insisted. “We need to get back to teaching our standards.”
Cox believes she is the best candidate for the job because she has been an educator for 33 years, has excellent relationships with teachers in many different schools, and is interested in their concerns. She also stated that she wants to work together to address their concerns and develop solutions.
Alex 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.
Stemle 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.
“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.
Stemle addressed the issue of teachers being active on social media related to political issues.
“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 asked about parental rights.
The third candidate for the District 4 seat is Susan Hodges. On the campaign trail Hodges has applauded the work of the Moms for Liberty group.
Hodges has provided a detailed campaign platform on her website.
On school safety she states, “Our schools do not meet the standards of compliance of the state requirements for the Guardian Program. Our children’s lives should be guarded with our own blood, sweat, and tears…”
On the controversy related to gender and sexuality issues in the classroom, Hodges states that “we need to protect our children from indoctrination. They are not old enough or wise enough to make decisions about sexuality. We need to stand for and guard their innocence.”
On the parental rights legislation, Hodges believes “we need to invite every parent back into the classrooms. I completely support the Parental Rights bill and believe parents should vote on what is being taught to our children. We need to take back control of our children’s education.”
Hodges also believes “we need to revamp the curriculum altogether. We need to return to classes such as Civics, Life Skills, Home Economics, classes that teach budgeting and other critical skills that will set our children up for success.”
Blech!!! Keep your kisses to yourself and “hopefully” everyone in your Precinct has voted early or by mail-in-ballot to avoid any nonsense from you!
Well kids… I must say it’s been fun tempting the Marxists into unwittingly exposing themselves to us all, low these past few weeks. But alas, I must retire early to my boudoir for a good night’s sleep. I’ll be at my post – or assigned prescient as it were – bright and early for a long day of Election Day volunteerism. With any luck, and a little “hope”, perhaps I’ll see some of you there.
Just ask for Ed… and I’ll blow you a big America-loving Freedom-embracing Conservative kiss for good measure.
Best of luck to all candidates. And thank you all for stepping to the plate and putting yourselves out there for consideration. Although I certainly have my opinions… I shall not, and have never, compromised my integrity or the duties I’ve sworn to conduct without bias.
Good Night, and Good Luck
Stemle is the strongest conservative voice we can elect to this position. He was a republican before switching to independent before 2020 campaign. If any of you took the time to call, meet, and/or research the candidates you would be better informed. Many conservative parents who have worked directly with him sing his praises as well. Great thing about local races is your access. I called and spoke to all three a few weeks ago. Clear choice folks. Stemle for the win!
You don’t have facts you are uninformed and you push back against people with the facts and who are informed.
You haven’t done your homework.
A person has to have millions in order to lose millions. But, putting that aside, why are you always trying to silence people that disagree with you? It is very un-American.
Same goes for Edward
You are spreading misinformation..
You need to watch the Tallahassee Democrat candidate forums and become enlightened.
You can get sued, you’ll have to spend $20,000 on the defense and you could lose millions and spend the rest of your life putting your money where your mouth is and I kid you not.
@ Fed Up… BINGO! It’s an easy choice for the Cox family… Divorce or Deception.
Alan Cox heads the LGBTQ+ Committee for the Leon County Schools.
@David, You may be right that Cox and Stemle do not want to miss out on the LGBTQ Votes.
However, Susan Hodges said it. The article quotes her saying, “we need to protect our children from indoctrination. They are not old enough or wise enough to make decisions about sexuality. We need to stand for and guard their innocence.”
@ Hope: I am sure it is on their Radar Screen. My guess is that, since no Candidate has yet to say that, they do not want to miss out on the LGBTQ Votes.
You are 100% correct on that; however, are you insinuating that because that wasn’t in the article which was a very brief and abbreviated that is not on a candidate’s radar screen?
Nothing could be further from the truth. That conservative candidate is very much on board with the Governor’s school board agenda.
I apologize if I misunderstood.
@ Hope, what did I get wrong? School Staff and Teachers should not be bringing their Sexual Life Style into the Classroom.
@ Barb… agreed. Hodges seems to be focused on the right things and the duty that comes with the honor of serving. Whereas Cox and Stemle seem more political and focused on the next rung of the political career ladder… not to mention the boost in their FRS pension should either be successful in their quest.
Motive is paramount, and I believe Hodges’ motives are in the right place.
Definitely, vote for Susan Hodges. In the article, she is quoted as saying, “Our children’s lives should be guarded with our own blood, sweat, and tears…”
Stemle is quoted as saying, “I personally see the challenges our schools go through. I’m in those schools, … ” and he can “ask the right questions.”
Cox has been an educator here in Tallahassee for 33 years? And now she is going to help fix things? She says she supports the anti-grooming bill but as @David Hawkins pointed out, she says students should not know where a teacher stands politically, socially and spiritually but leaves out the teacher’s personal sexuality.
More Alinsky Projection. When one can’t justify their brazen hypocrisy nor their double standard in the application of law and governance, one tends to lash out in desperation.
Vote to block the Marxists attempts to take control of our fair City.
I believe you should look in the mirror regarding articulating; some of the stuff we have to endure from you is excruciatingly painful, Mr Marxist.
“I’m rubber your glue whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you”… Edward Lyle… his Marxism is coming out of the closet.
Classic Marxists tactic… when you disagree but can’t articulate why, just attack and slander. In Marxist world, you have a right to you own opinion, just so long as it’s the same as theirs.
Sad little troll… 🙁
David and Edward,
You have this one wrong and this is why citizens are in this situation we are today because of baseless insinuations and not doing your homework and being misinformed. I expected more from David but Edward is a lost cause.
Good catch David… to leave out the most controversial issues facing today’s system is quite telling… and dare I suggest… intentional.
“Cox insisted “that a student should never know where their teacher stands political, socially, or even spiritually,”” ………………… Or Sexually.
As for me and mine, we voted for Hodges in this race. She seemed firm in her stance or school safety and in opposition to the Groomer Establishment and Indoctrination. The others danced around it, and I suspect would fall right in line with the crowd should either prevail.
Why would someone go from being an assistant principal to a school board member? You would think he would be up front to explain that, but he’s been very shady about that. And yet still no explanation…
I’m thinkin’ Laurie wrote this and sent it to Steve…
Mr. Stemle is by far the most knowledgeable in the race and on the debate stage. Any reasonable, unbiased, observer would see otherwise after watching the debate. Do your homework voters. Alex Stemle has the four votes from our household here in District 4. Snidley- quit spewing negativity and support our public schools- you clearly have not done your research.
My family (5 votes) will all be going to Mr.Stemle for School Board. Clear choice in this race folks. Not even close.
Do your homework!
Yes to Laurie!
* Hodges seems like a wonderful person and someone we want involved with our children and schools in some way.
Both Cox and Hodges seemed willing to volunteer words that if true and from their hearts would lead the reader to think they are against grooming and the woke indocternation of our kids and the perminate mutulation of their genitals to pretend to become the other sex.
Stemle on the other hand choose to not address the difficult subjects. Therefore Stemle, out of the three candidates, is the one most likely to either be a groomer or someone who will turn a blind eye to the pedophilia grooming of your sons and daughters along with the perminate mutilation of your babies genetailla.
Our kids are too important to even take a chance on electing a groomer or a go along to get along Board member willing to turn a blind eye to grooming.
Tch, tch, tch, Steve – not a very equal article. Six paragraphs for Cox and four each for the others. Guess we know who you favor