Gov. DeSantis appoints Kevin McDonald to Indian River School Board

Kevin McDonald
His seat is up for grabs again this August.

Semi-retired private equity investor Kevin McDonald is the newest member of the Indian River County School Board. Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him to replace a former member who mistakenly resigned in February.

McDonald, of Vero Beach, filed last month to run for the District 5 seat on the School Board. He said his priorities include protecting parental rights, improving school safety and security, making the district more fiscally responsible and promoting literacy and math initiatives, school choice and classical education models.

He succeeds ex-School Board member Brian Barefoot, who resigned suddenly on Feb. 21, saying he was moving out of District 5 and could no longer serve. Barefoot, a self-described Republican, won his seat in 2020.

Barefoot tried to rescind his resignation and later sought reinstatement by DeSantis after it turned out that his new home was still within the district’s bounds.

DeSantis, who targeted Barefoot and then-fellow Board member Peggy Jones in early 2023 for not protecting students from so-called “woke” ideologies, instead chose McDonald.

McDonald, who has lived in the county for 10 years, is the CEO of Flamevine Capital and a former business development manager for workspace machine company Ricoh Americas Corporation. He is the former board Chair, President and Treasurer of the Geneva School of Manhattan, a classical private school.

McDonald’s stint in the District 5 seat may be short-lived. He is one of two candidates actively running for the seat. The other is retired executive David Dyer, whom Barefoot and Jones have endorsed.

Voters will choose between them in the Aug. 20 Primary Election.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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