Karla Hernandez-Mats, who serves as President of that teachers union, explained UTD’s rationale in a Friday statement.
“The next few years will be crucial in charting the future of our public schools and public education. We need a strong advocate for our children, parents and education professionals on the school board. We know that person is Russ Rywell,” Hernandez-Mats said.
“Mr. Rywell, a classroom teacher, has the experience, passion, and vision needed to continue building on our successes as we strive to create the best possible school district. High quality public education is the cornerstone of democracy and the best opportunity for equity. We know we can build a stronger Miami-Dade through education, and I look forward to seeing the hard work and dedication that Mr. Rywell will bring to the school board to make that happen.”
Rywell is one of five active candidates for the seat. He joined the race in October. Rywell works a teacher and debate coach at Miami Beach Senior High School. He also has experience working in the finance industry at companies like Citigroup and Salomon Brothers.
Rywell added a statement of his own Friday thanking UTD for its endorsement.
“I am very grateful to have the trust and confidence of my fellow teachers and educators at the United Teachers of Dade,” Rywell said.
“I know firsthand the value of supporting our teachers. When given the pay, respect, and trust they deserve, their power is transformative. Each of us can remember a teacher or coach that changed our life. I am running because we need people to advocate for a new vision, a new future for the 350,000 students in our district. I am proud to work alongside groups like UTD to make that vision a reality.”
Martin Karp currently represents District 3 and is the Vice Chair for the School Board. However, Karp announced in late July he would not seek reelection for the seat.
Also competing for the seat are Lucia Baez, Raquel Bild-Libbin, Marcela Gómez-Bogomolni and Joshua Levy.