Conservative School Board members relaunch coalition
Being a school board member is incresingly difficult. Image via Reuters.

school boards
After success in November, members say they want a separate institutional voice.

With Gov. Ron DeSantis’ endorsement fueling many runs, the number of conservatives soared in School Board races in November. Now these officials want a statewide organization of their own.

Organizers relaunched the Florida Conservative Coalition of School Board Members (FCCSBM), a group originally founded in 2015 as an alternative to the Florida School Board Association (FSBA). Following an organizational meeting in Orlando on Feb. 10, leaders are planning a larger launch event in March in Tallahassee around the start of the Legislative Session. The Coalition intends to hold a second event at the Florida Capitol in April.

Volusia County School Board member Jessie Thompson will serve as president. Duval County School Board member April Carney and former Flagler County School Board member Jill Woolbright also have seats on the group’s executive board.

“I’m so honored to be part of this group and to serve in leadership, I’m looking forward to what we accomplish for our districts, families and students,” Thompson said.

A release from the group said it will work with political consultant Shawn Frost, who previously worked with coalition founder Erika Donalds.

“One thing that’s different is that we are not attacking the FSBA, we don’t ask our members to decide between the two,” said Frost, a former CEO and past president of the Coalition. “We just want to support growing our members’ leadership abilities and connections so that they can stand together and fight for our shared core values.”

The group retains a mission of being “relentlessly dedicated to student success” and banding together around a conservative School Board agenda.

Carney, Secretary and Membership Committee head, said the group wants to provide many types of basic training. Already, the organizational meeting included sessions on zero-based budgeting and collective bargaining negotiation.

“I love that they are unapologetically conservative and put it right there in the name,” said Donalds, who led the collective bargaining training. “I’m excited to see what this group accomplishes.”

While the organization may not seek an adversarial relationship with the FSBA, Carney did say this organization would represent a different ideology.

“It’s just so obvious that there is a need for a place to get professional development without the spin and indoctrination found in other groups,” she said.

“Among my friends here at FCCSBM, we can be ourselves. We still plan to engage in the other organizations but we will do it without changing who we are and will govern the way our voters expected us to govern when they cast their ballots.”

Woolbright, while no longer holding office, will serve as the relaunched group’s programming director and prayer chaplain.

“I’m honored to serve with these amazing School Board members and look forward to developing great programs and supporting them all in prayer and leadership development,” she said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Elliott Offen

    February 15, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    The Dodo Bird roadshow is on the road again. Let’s see how many Trump trolls, anti-government terrorists, and religious extremist suicide bombers we can pack into one building. America is experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • Woody

    February 17, 2023 at 1:20 am

    “Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a mental condition in which a person has been driven effectively insane due to their dislike of Donald Trump, to the point at which they will abandon all logic and reason.”

    Has now become….

    “Desantis Derangement Syndrome (DDS) is a mental condition in which a person has been driven effectively insane due to their dislike of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, to the point at which they will abandon all logic and reason.”

    I just can’t stop laughing at the libs throwing fits if they don’t get their way!!!

Comments are closed.


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