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Rocky Hanna, Rosanne Wood Sworn In To Leon County School Posts

From left to right: Maggie Lewis Butler, Dee Dee Rasmussen, Roseanne Wood, Joy Bowen and Alva Swafford Striplin
Chris Petley
Leon County Schools

Leon County has an all women school board, and a new district superintendent. Tuesday’s district meeting saw the swearing in of Rocky Hanna, and Roseanne Wood.

Former Sail High School Principal Rosanne Wood is the newest member of the Leon County School Board. Wood says she’s looking forward to continuing her work in putting kids first.

“I’m looking forward to speaking up for our children, including our teachers in decision making, making sure all our dollars go to the classroom as much as possible. I’m just looking forward to helping our kids with careers and internships. And our littlest ones, making sure that we’re doing all the right things for them.”

Wood’s election coupled with the re-election of Dee Dee Rasmussen marks the first time Leon County Schools will be represented by an all woman board. It’s a moment that brought Rasmussen to tears.

“I just want to acknowledge that and say I am honored to be a part of it. I am grateful. I know you’re not here for me, you’re here for Rocky and Roseanne, but I also know a lot of you voted for me, so thank you for that. Thank you," Rasmussen said.

Also marking the moment is Rocky Hanna, Leon’s new school superintendent. Hanna fought through a grueling election season to wrest control of the district to scandal ridden former superintendent Jackie Pons. Hanna says he was excited, yet apprehensive when he started his first day on the new job.

“I should have known better," Hanna said.

"This school system is absolutely amazing. The way I was treated and greeted…reassured me that this school system is bigger than any one person and any one position starting with me. I can’t thank you all for your professionalism and the way you’ve embraced me. It’s time to get on to doing what’s right for our teachers, our students and our schools.”

The school board’s new chairwoman is Joy Bowen and the Vice Chair is Alva Swafford Striplin. Bowen says she is ready to help Hanna work on his priorities, but she cautioned against cutting the district’s budget too much.

“We applaud any offer you undertake to save dollars and do a better job. As long as it doesn’t impact the district’s ability of the district to comply with all appropriate laws and policies that guide us. As one member, I am not prepared to cut the budget at the expense of our ability to run the district in accordance to the law.”

Hanna ran on a platform that included reducing district administrative costs and steering more dollars to the classroom.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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