Scott Shine Withdraws from Duval County School Board Race (Updated)

Was chastised by other board members for statements to the media concerning the Superintendent search.

District 2 School Board representative Scott Shine has withdrawn from his reelection bid for the seat. Shine represents the beaches area on the panel.

Shine has advocated for delaying selection of a new Superintendent of Schools until after the election. He has said that since two of the members are term-limited, there will be new members of the board following the election in November. He has said that those new members should have a say in who will be the new Superintendent of Schools with whom they will have to work.

During a special School Board meeting held Monday, Shine again voiced his concerns, but was then criticized by several board members for expressing his views to the media. More than one member said he should have allowed all communications with the media about the Superintendent search should have come from Board Chair Paula Wright, who is one of the term-limited members. Board member Rebecca Couch, the other term-limited member, said Shine should have adhered to an agreement among members to have only Wright speak to the media on the matter.

Shine was also criticized for costing the district “a lot of money” by vice-chairwoman Lori Hershey. She was referring to a $60,000 settlement with a teacher and blogger who engaged in an online exchange with Shine in 2016.

Shine tried to respond to the criticisms during the meeting, but he was not allowed to do so by Chairwoman Wright. He also objected to the discussion, saying it was not an agenda item, and asked Chairwoman Wright to end it, which she also would not do.

Shine ultimately voted in favor of approving the final slate of six candidates for the job. But he left the meeting shortly before it adjourned when the issue of interaction with the media was brought up again.

A check of the Duval County Supervisor of Elections website shows that Shine has withdrawn from his reelection bid. He had raised about $32,000 for the effort, including two personal loans of $10,000 to the campaign.

His withdrawal leaves no filed candidates for District 2 on the board.

UPDATE: 04.25.18

Scott Shine posted the following announcement on his website Wednesday:

“With much thought, I have decided to withdraw from re-election to the Duval County School Board. I originally filed to run for re-election over a year ago. That was prior to Dr. Nikolai Vitti leaving the district. Dr. Vitti and I worked well together and we became good friends – we remain so, today. Among the reasons I ran for School Board was to work with Vitti and his team. The results speak for themselves: record Florida Achievement scores, record graduation rates and the top rated urban school district in America (NAEP). In all honesty, I have been on the fence about continuing on the board since Dr. Vitti’s departure.

Over the past month, I have been in discussions with one of Jacksonville’s most promising young leaders about running for my seat. His credentials are among the best you will find and will bring new and impactful ideas to the school district. There should be an announcement on this soon.

While I have worked successfully in many different settings in life, I found the School Board to be somewhat strange and foreign to the experiences I have had working in the business community or as an appointed official with the City of Jacksonville. There are many challenges on the School Board and the ability to make forward progress and productive change is inconsistent with my personal goals and level of ambition. There are many ways to support our community and I am looking forward to new and impactful public service in the future.

I continue to be optimistic about our schools and our city. I love Jacksonville and I enjoy my life here. I am elated at the prospect of adding time back in my day to pursue the things I enjoy about the First Coast. My outlook is positive and I am ready to move forward.”

School Board Meeting video

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