The Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce proudly offers the following side-by-side comparison of the candidates running for Flagler County School Board (District 1) during the August 2022 Primary Election season. Below you will find the answers provided to the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce directly from the candidates running for the Flagler County School Board – District 1 seat.

Basic Information

Jill Woolbright is seeking re-election to the Flagler County School Board District 1 seat and is being challenged by Sally Hunt. This is a winner-take-all Primary Election.

Your Background

Question #1. Please summarize your education and work history, including certifications, professional designations and licenses.

Sally Hunt: 

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Education as well as a Master of Science in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, in addition to my Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, concentrating in International Business and Management. I was a public school teacher in Northwest Arkansas, in both General Education and Special Education, referred to as Exceptional Student Education (ESE) in Florida. I’ve also had a successful career in instructional design, leadership, and consulting, specializing in employee training and development, engagement, and communication. Clients and employers include Walmart Home Office, Sam’s Club, and Nike. For several years at Walmart, I was responsible for associate training and engagement for Entertainment (Electronics) at all levels of the organization, sales associates through Executive Vice Presidents. This was a group of approximately 60,000 associates. I was highly effective because of the great relationships I built with store and market leaders as well as our vendor partners like Intel, Microsoft, Dell, and many others. One of the programs I created delivered an average sales lift of 23% per analytics firm, Mu Sigma.   

I also started my career in recruiting with John Deere which is another skill I hope will help the school district as we work through teacher and staff shortages. Today, my husband and I own a small business (with a very flexible work schedule).

One of the many reasons I’m running is because I am well-qualified for the school board and know I will be highly effective.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I graduated from The University of Central Florida Summa Cum Laude in 1991. I was hired after graduation as a teacher for Flagler Schools where I taught for 28 years. I am certified in Elementary Education 1-6 and Exceptional Education K-12 and have a current State of Florida teaching certificate in those two certification areas. I have taught all types of students in all elementary grades. I have taught general education, learning disabled self-contained, varying exceptionalities inclusion, emotional/behavioral disabled, the gifted and talented, as well as advanced students. In 2016, I earned the #1 ranking of all 6th grade math teachers in the state. Every year the state recognized High Impact Teachers, l made the prestigious list. My yearly evaluations scored me at the top level possible as a Highly Effective teacher.

Question #2: What experience do you believe uniquely qualifies you to be a Flagler County School Board member?

Sally Hunt: 

I am uniquely qualified for the school board seat because of my well-rounded background: former teacher – Gen Ed and ESE, parent to a 5th grader, former Fortune 500 leader and consultant, and small business owner. With my background, I can help: 1) ensure our students graduate with the essential knowledge and skills needed for the next chapter of their lives, 2) create a supportive and engaging work environment for our teachers and staff, and 3) improve school and district metrics so that our parents are confident their children are receiving the best education possible and also for our community to be able to attract and retain highly qualified professionals – doctors, small business owners, etc.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

As a retired high impact and highly effective teacher of 28 years right here in Flagler County, I have the background knowledge and first-hand experience surpassed by no

other candidate or sitting school board member. I have proven in the classroom that I understand what students need to be able to reach their full potential. I have a working knowledge of how our district functions and what areas need improving.

I have also been a resident of Flagler County since 1989 and raised our four children here where they attended and graduated from Flagler Schools with all four living very successful lives.. I have immersed myself in the community over these years and have created a strong network.

Question #3: Please list any charity work, board experience and other community engagement you believe is important for voters to know about.

Sally Hunt: 

From a very young age, my compassion for others has driven me to help when and where I can. In high school, I started and ran a much-needed after-school program. As a young adult, I learned a local group home needed foster parents and signed up that week. Throughout my career in both education and business, I have listened, cared, and acted. Now, this January, I was made aware that many people in our community were searching for another candidate, another option, for the District 1 school board seat, and here I am.

In Northwest Arkansas, I was highly involved with the local animal shelters as well as services for low-income families and have supported my parents, Rev. Dale and Jan Jirousek, with their food drive in Duval County. Details at:

Locally, I’m a member of the Rymfire PTO and hope to serve my community as school board member for years to come.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I am a member of Parkview Church where I have been a part-time staff member as the Preschool Director. I was charged with the care of approximately 50 babies, toddlers, and preschoolers weekly as well as managing a roster of around 50 volunteers. As a member of Parkview I have volunteered many hours for our community. I participated in around a dozen drive-thru food give-ways during the pandemic where people drove up and we put the food in their trunk. I have also been a member of the choir, as well as an annual volunteer at the Trunk-n-Treat and The Living Nativity. One especially rewarding experience was when I volunteered on a mission trip to Hungary with a group of teachers and taught English as a Second Language inTata.

I was a volunteer at Alpha Women’s Center where I instructed Project WARM women in childcare lessons,

I am an active member of The Palm Coast Kiwanis Club, The Florida Pachyderms, The Tiger Bay Club, Moms for Liberty, The AFRW, and I am currently seeking membership in The Palm Coast Rotary.

Along with attending school based activities at Flagler Schools, I participate in Events held by The City of Palm Coast and Flagler County. I believe it is important as a local official to be involved in public events and available to the public at these events. I work hard to have a good working relationship with officials in other civic positions in the county.

Positions on Taxes, Budgeting and Spending (2 Focus Areas)

Question #1: What is your assessment of the Flagler Schools budget and spending?

Sally Hunt: 

Listening to the school board workshops and meetings, I appreciate the board’s continued mindfulness of the school district’s limited budget and specific allocation of funds. Given that the district has dropped a grade level in its Department of Education rating and Flagler Palm Coast High School is now rated a C, I support their decision to invest district funds in programs like Capturing Kids’ Hearts, proven to increase teacher satisfaction, student achievement, attendance, and graduation rates.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I believe in fiscal responsibility. I believe the district is top heavy with administrators and auxiliary teachers that do not have a class roster but rather serve teachers as coaches or specialists. We need to maximize classroom teachers to keep classroom student numbers as low as possible.

Question #2: How would you describe your approach to adopting the upcoming Flagler Schools budget? Do you have any budget priorities that you would like to call attention to?

Sally Hunt: 

I will rely on the expertise of Trevor Tucker who has served on school board for twelve years, has his degree in Accounting, and is a long-time successful small business owner in Flagler County. Trevor and I are aligned in a commitment to be both efficient and effective with school spending.

One priority I’d like to review is support staff pay and benefits. To my knowledge, this is one of the largest employee groups in our county and we have a lot of open positions. Our schools, and community, cannot operate without them. The support staff are responsible for transporting and feeding our county’s students, safeguarding our schools, ongoing maintenance and cleaning, classroom instruction support, front office operations, etc. Given the current labor shortage, Flagler Schools must make sure we are competitive to attract and retain these professionals.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

It is important that we budget for what will be the highest impact on student learning and the success of all student groups. It is also important that we maintain and grow a healthy reserve fund.

There are two areas that need to be priorities for our students. First and foremost is the safety of our students and staff. Second is the appropriate funding for ESE teachers, support staff, and resources for our exceptional student’s education. This subgroup continues to underperform and lost even more academic ground the past two years. We must put into place the support services that these students need including personnel, resources, equipment, and access to service providers.

Lastly, we must raise all support personnel to the upcoming $15 an hour minimum wage and maintain competitive pay for all positions. Raising support personnel to $15 an hour came at a million dollar repeating cost to the district.

Education System Performance: VPK

Question: What is your assessment and thoughts of the VPK program designed to prepare our youngest learners for kindergarten?

Sally Hunt: 

The VPK program is really important for early childhood development. From my personal experience, it was a great transition for my daughter into a formal educational setting. It’s not only the lessons that are a benefit, but VPK also helps children learn how to be a student so they don’t also have that learning curve when they start Kindergarten. It sounds like there may be some opportunities to improve the program. VPK spots fill up quickly so many parents have not been able to get their child into a classroom that is nearby. I’ve also heard there may be an opportunity to be more inclusive of VPK teachers in discussions around teacher support, salaries, and overall funding. The benefits to both students and working parents/guardians is so significant, this is definitely a program worth nurturing.  

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

We have an excellent VPK program. I have been championing the need for us to revamp our program. I believe that all VPK teachers should be certified teachers. We currently have a combination of certified teachers and facilitators. I believe we also need to either house all VPK programs at one school site or zone VPK students to their zoned elementary school. Currently, students may attend a school they are not zoned for. To me, it makes sense that if they are not all housed in one central location then they should attend the school that they are zoned to attend kindergarten.

There is a need for the program to be zoned in one location to make easier centrally located access to services as well as having the principal in charge on site for all students. Currently, the administrator is responsible for the program at five different schools. If that is not doable, then we need students to attend their zoned school so their future administrators and staff of their zoned school get to know their students and they become acclimated to the school’s culture. They would then be considered a part of the whole school family rather than just an extra program on site.

Education System Performance 3rd Grade Reading

Question: According to the Florida Department of Education, 3rd grade reading scores in Flagler County are at their lowest level in Flagler Schools since 2016 (58% of 3rd graders are currently reading at grade level). What are your thoughts about this statistic and what plans or ideas do you have on improving upon this metric? 

Sally Hunt: 

English Language Arts (ELA) is a foundational skillset. All our students should be reading at or above grade level, or to the best of their ability. This is a key area that distinguishes me with the District 1 incumbent. One of my skills is focusing on key goals and the specific objectives to reach them. In every area of life, there is an overwhelming amount of information, priorities, challenges, and noise. We are not given unlimited time and resources on the school board, so unfortunately some matters, by necessity, have to be lower on the list of needs or priorities. At the Palm Coast Observer forum, I spoke to 3rd grade reading scores being one of the areas that took a hit because of the hot button social and political issues that were prioritized by the District 1 incumbent. After speaking to priorities and opportunity costs, I was admittedly disappointed to hear the District 1 incumbent respond that, if re-elected, she would continue to prioritize hot button issues over needs like reading scores. In a perfect world, we could talk about every single aspect of our schools right away; unfortunately tough decisions about objectives and priorities have to be made and I choose to prioritize children being able to read over drawn-out ideological debates or a crusade to ban books.

Reading scores are one of many areas that will take a concerted effort among the school board, administration, teachers and staff, and parents. As I always do, I will listen, collaborate, and ideate. I will help with creative programs and action plans including measurable results, ensure we are diligently tracking those results month over month, and adjust the plan or provide support as needed to make sure we are successful.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

The instructional disruption from the quarantining and remote learning during the pandemic took its toll. Students, especially young students, require up close interaction and instruction with their teacher. Teachers had a next to impossible task to keep students engaged and on task when they zoomed from the living rooms. It is a well known fact in the field that the proximity of a teacher to the students increases student engagement and on task behaviors. Additionally, with the CDC requiring quarantining of not only sick students but students that were exposed, students and staff missed an inordinate amount of school.

I am confident that learning gains will improve as long as we do not have another pandemic where we close schools, quarantine healthy students, and teach remotely. I do believe we need to take special steps for improving the learning gains of our ESE student population as I have explained in a previous question. All student groups will increase in learning gains if they remain in traditional face to face schooling.

Education System Performance 8th Grade Reading

Question: According to the Florida Department of Education, 8th grade reading scores in Flagler County have declined dramatically (62% of 8th graders were reading at grade level in 2019, compared to 49% of 8th graders currently reading at grade level in 2022). What are your thoughts about this statistic and what plans or ideas do you have on improving upon this metric?

Sally Hunt: 

This statistic is extremely concerning as 8th grade students are about to enter high school. As stated above, I will listen, collaborate, and ideate. I will help with creative programs and action plans including measurable results, ensure we are diligently tracking those results month over month, and adjust the plan or provide support as needed to make sure we are successful.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

See response to 3rd grade reading question (one section above)

Education System Performance 8th Grade Math

Question: According to the Florida Department of Education, 8th grade math proficiency in Flagler County has improved over the past few years (51% of 8th graders rated as proficient at math in 2022). What are your thoughts about this statistic and what plans or ideas do you have on continuing to improve upon this metric?

Sally Hunt: 

I’m glad we are on an upward trend, but it’s concerning that only one out of two 8th grade students are proficient in math. This is such a complex conversation around testing, “teaching to a test,” and how we measure success. I am confident our math teachers have some great ideas on how we can improve math scores and student success and will work toward an environment where they can easily share their ideas and feedback and receive the support needed.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I feel confident with the adoption of the new Math curriculum this year as well as students being in school with live instruction and the ceasing of quarantining healthy students, we will continue to improve. We simply need to keep students in school.

Education System Performance 8th Grade Science

Question: According to the Florida Department of Education, 8th grade science scores in Flagler County have declined over the past few years (62% of 8th graders were proficient at science in 2018, compared to 50% of 8th graders being proficient at science in 2022). What are your thoughts about this statistic and what plans or ideas do you have on improving upon this metric? 

Sally Hunt: 

Just as reading scores are an indicator of a student’s future success, proficiency in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science) is critical for the building blocks needed for continued education and workforce development. We already have great STEM programs within our schools; there may be an opportunity to engage our younger learners by them having more visibility earlier to these programs. Motivation and engagement are critical for learning.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

Again, it is important to keep students in school. Science is best taught with hands-on activities, and with students out of school and/or learning via zoom classes, hands-on activities were next to impossible to do. Science labs could not be set up and completed which is an entracle part of Science instruction best practices..

I am confident with students in school with face to face instruction, this indicator like all others will improve.

Education System Performance H.S. Graduation Rates

Question: According to the Florida Department of Education, Flagler County’s high school graduation rate has steadily increased since 2010 and remains over 90%. What plans or ideas do you have on making sure Flagler Schools high school graduation rate remains high?  

Sally Hunt: 

I attended a Bunnell community roundtable to discuss the success of Bunnell students. There was a great conversation among community leaders. The one thing I added was our need to better engage students at all grade levels. Our students need to know what prize they’re working toward. When I lived in Northwest Arkansas, home to Walmart home office, Tyson home office, and JB Hunt home office, students were very aware about the possibilities for their future – business owner, teacher, executive, performer. To keep our graduation rates strong, and strive for a 100% graduation rate, our schools and community groups can work to ensure we are reaching every student with the possibilities that exist for them. This motivation will help with focus – cause and effect. Students need to understand the relationship between their academic success and development with how that impacts their future goals. They need help with goal planning – what is possible for them to achieve – and how school and community programs can help them get there.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

We need to continue with the Road to Success and Project 100. Effectively using mentors has been a huge win for Flagler Schools and as long as we keep schools open and allow our mentors on campus, I feel confident H.S. Graduation Rates will remain at these high levels.

Flagler Schools Business Friendly?

Question:  Do you believe Flagler Schools is viewed as being “business friendly?”

Sally Hunt: 

For Flagler Schools to be as “business friendly” as possible, we need our community and community leaders to be school-friendly. We have a county commissioner who talks a lot about Flagler County being business-friendly, but business leaders and business owners know they need a community filled with talented professionals to hire and/or one with great schools and a great culture to attract and retain the talent that will help make them profitable.

A community is similar to an ecosystem. Everything is connected – the building developers, Chamber of Commerce, health care system, and schools. We cannot continue to be fragmented and siloed.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I believe the Flagler School District and the Superintendent and her cabinet could improve in their public relations with the community at large. Communication from the district office is not sufficient and is an area of growth targeted in our Strategic Plan. District personnel need to be out and about in the schools and community and forming partnerships with businesses and other local governments. They need to be viewed as more approachable, collaborative, and transparent. .This is something I speak with the superintendent regularly.

Position on Construction, Growth (2 Focus Areas)

Question #1: Please share your perspectives on the rate of growth and development-related topics in Flagler County?

Sally Hunt: 

As a resident in Flagler County, I want to learn more about the vision for our community. I live in Palm Coast and continue to see new fast food restaurants, storage facilities, and housing being built. I am 100% for smart growth; to me that means working toward a community with a great culture and opportunity for everyone. We do already have a lot going here; however, as a parent, I see our community center offerings are often waitlisted because there is a greater demand for participation than spots available. If they aren’t already, I would love for our community leaders to visit other areas, communities that are more successfully balancing services and amenities for retirees, working professionals, and families.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

As a resident of Flagler County since 1989, I have seen bigger booms in growth than what we are currently experiencing.

I do not have a problem with the current rate of growth and development. However, it is imperative that our governmental bodies keep abreast and plan to put things in place that are needed as we go, being careful to not let the growth get ahead of our ability to service our citizens. Data and trends can change quickly and need to be monitored in a proactive manner.

Question #2: The Flagler County School Board and Board of County Commissioners recently increased impact fees collected from builders and developers. These fees are usually paid at the time a building permit is issued (when construction begins on a home). Do you believe impact fees should continue to be paid in this manner or do you believe the builder/developer should pay these fees earlier in the development process (regardless of when the planned house is built)?

Sally Hunt: 

Planning for and building a new school(s) has a long lead time, I will support any plan that ensures the district has the funds available when they are needed. This is not my area of expertise so I will rely on subject matter experts from both the educational and land development communities to inform me on that timeline.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

Currently, a builder’s impact fees are mitigated with the builder in a manner agreed upon by the builder and district and paid over a two-year time period. It is typical for the fees to be paid in three installments at 40%, 30%, and 30%. There is a continuing debate between stakeholders as to how these fees should be paid. I believe instead of mitigating the fee schedule, there should be a set schedule of fees with a portion paid up front and the last payment when the housing is closer to being complete. School districts are required to reserve seats for builders and are required to insure there are seats available per state statute. As capacity is reached, the district must plan for new schools. It takes several years to build a school and the school board must secure bonding which requires the mitigated impact fees for a down payment. I do not believe the school district should collect all the impact fees upfront. School concurrency is law and is in the Florida Statutes to ensure that local governments plan the impact of growth on public schools.

There is ongoing discussion about trying a more balanced approach to collecting fees so as to not stunt growth, be unfair to builders, or affect the level of service of our schools. With the volatile real estate market, if a large portion of fees are paid up front and then the market turns south, the builders pull back from their plans which may delay them for many years, yet they have prepaid their impact fees. There have been projects that were not completed for ten years.

Currently, the County Commissioners and members of the ILA are trying to come up with a creative way for the fee payment that better serves both the school district and the builders. As of today, 7/21, they are closer to coming to an agreement with proposed adjustments to change the three installment percentages and the length of time to submit payment. The current agreement has a two year time frame for the last installment where the new proposal stretches that to four years. The next meeting is scheduled next week on 7/28. I plan to attend.

I have faith that the governmental bodies involved in the ILA will be able to collaborate and come to terms that best meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Position on School Capacity

Question: What is your assessment of the school capacity for Flagler County Schools?

Sally Hunt: 

We continue to be in a situation where we are rezoning and shuffling students from school to school and utilizing temporary trailers to deal with capacity issues. This may be an area where we are seeing the consequence of community leaders working in silos. I would like to see greater partnerships between the school district, BOCC, city council/commission, and chambers of commerce. We need stronger relationships and collaboration to plan better as one community.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

According to the school board’s most recent consultant, the county has increased in residents during the Pandemic and is continuing to grow. Using the most recent data, if the growth trend continues at the current pace, the district will need to build at least one school within the next 5 years. However, the real estate market is always changing and trends can quickly change especially with interest rates rising and high inflation rates. However, for planning purposes, the district must use the data available to make predictions. I’m not sure we will need to build the extension, a middle school, and another high school. The growth trend will need to continue and the school district must be competitive to have families choose our public schools over private schooling or homeschooling.

I do believe there is an immediate need for the addition at Matanzas High School. We changed some of the zoning for FPC and MHS as FPC is at capacity. We need to increase the capacity at MHS, so they can help ease the overcrowding at FPC. Currently FPC houses around a thousand more students than FPC. The district made some zoning changes this year and moved 6th graders back to the middle schools. The five elementary schools feed into two middle schools which feed into two high schools. We are hoping to balance the students between those secondary schools.

There are plans for further rezoning in the future after this initial shift to balance student capacity numbers between buildings to make the best use of our collective student space before looking to build an additional school site.

Student Enrollment

Question: Do you believe the number of students enrolled in Flagler Schools will go up, stay the same or go down in the next five years. Please share your thoughts on why you feel this way.

Sally Hunt: 

Enrollment will go up. With a more supportive and effective school board, we will improve many of the factors causing parents to not enroll their children in Flagler Schools – bullying, overall mental health and safety concerns, ideological disagreements, etc. By re-focusing on an effective education and safe learning environment, with clear objectives, communication, policies, we will be best-in-class learning institution. Right now, I do believe the school board is not functioning well. To site one example, student dress code. The decision was made too late for many parents who need time to budget for and purchase school clothes. They were at a stand-still until mid-July, not knowing what in their children’s closets would be acceptable or not and what would need to be purchased. When the policy was finalized, it was incredibly confusing and didn’t need to be. There should be a plan to have infographics and visual aids designed to avoid confusion and frustration among parents. It’s all these things that are causing many parents to choose a school option other than Flagler Schools. I also believe as our schools improve, we will attract the working professionals we need to support our healthcare system and other amenity and service needs.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

This is a great question and the answer has to be based on the best prediction one can make considering all variables.

If the market continues in the direction the consulting firm/school district has predicted, then yes, we will grow. But, that is a big if considering the state of our current economy with interest rates rising and the inflation rate close to double-digits.

A variable the school district does not like to talk about is the variable of increasing school choice for parents in the state of Florida. The private schools in Flagler County are full with waiting lists of parents wanting to remove their children from the public school system. One can conclude the market is prime for new private schools to emerge.

This past legislative year, vouchers have become easier and more attainable for parents, and the current leadership in Tallahassee plan to continue to improve vouchers with the ideology that student funding monies should follow the student. In addition to private schools in the county being at maximum capacity, parents choosing homeschooling has greatly increased. Take a look at the numbers:

2017-2018: 176

2018-2019: 266

2019-2020: 381

2020-2021: 644

2021-2022: 1152

That is a huge trend upwards, so we can expect that number to continue to increase this coming school year since the state is offering more vouchers than last year.

Candidate Demeanor, Creating Consensus (2 Focus Areas)

Question #1: How would you describe your leadership/management style?

Sally Hunt: 

My personality has helped me working with all different types of people at all levels of an organization. I am kind, assertive when needed, a collaborator and connector, someone who follows rules and understands limitations but thinks creatively to build out both short and long-term solutions. An example of this was my work with Apple. I was a part of the Walmart Merchandising leadership team bringing the Apple “store-within-a-store” to multiple Walmart Supercenters across the country. This was a challenging and complex relationship and contract due to two very large and very different brands and cultures coming together. I was able to accomplish my goals due to my propensity to focus on the task at hand, recognize and work through challenges, and maintain a respectful exchange of thoughts and ideas along the way.

I also focus on POEs (prevention of errors) versus COEs (correction of errors). I work hard to think about the big picture, the small details, and possible curveballs along the way. My programs have been regarded as “world class” by Walmart CEO, Mike Duke, as well as received high accolades from Rosalind Brewer, former Executive Vice President for Walmart and current CEO of Walgreens.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I listen to and research both sides of an issue much like one would to prepare for a debate team. I can collaborate with others and settle for a balanced decision in a give and take scenario. I do not have to have things my way and respect the vote of the board. However, with that said, if there is a decision that needs to be made and the proposal goes against current law, the Constitution, or the typical moral code our country was founded upon, I will not compromise. There are standards of right versus wrong and convictions with which our country was founded, and I will draw a line in the sand and not compromise on those things.

Question #2: How would you handle disrespectful or disruptive behavior at School Board meetings?

Sally Hunt: 

I believe in mutual respect and rules. Anyone who continues with inappropriate behavior after receiving a warning should be removed from the meeting. Civility is needed to accomplish our goals.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

During my short tenure on the board, there have been instances of disrespectful or disruptive behavior at School Board meetings. Unfortunately, there were times when I believe things were mishandled by the board Chair and the School Board Attorney. For instance, during one meeting the attorney called for the boardroom to be cleared. First, the Chair had not kept control of the meeting, being too lenient with the rules and not holding the line for the audience to follow the rules. Many audience members had broken the rules with too many warnings. Then, one person mumbled under their breath something to a speaker as they walked away from the microphone, and the attorney chose at that moment in time to clear the entire room. There was absolutely no need to clear the entire room. All that did was escalate the situation causing those in the boardroom that were following the rules to become angry. What should have happened at that juncture was to ask the person that mumbled under their breath to leave the boardroom and if they refused, request the deputies to assist in their removal.

Basically, the disruptor should be warned with the Chair restating the rules and expected behavior. If the disruptor continues, then they should be asked to leave quietly by personnel approaching them at their seat, not from the daiz. If they refuse to leave, the deputies can assist them. Except in the case of fear for the public’s safety, the whole boardroom should not be completely cleared of citizens to adherence citizen rights and Sunshine Laws.

Position on Public Safety

Question: What are your perspectives on law enforcement and School Resource Officer efforts in Flagler County via the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office?

Sally Hunt: 

Students, teachers, and staff must be able to walk through our schools’ doors without worrying about their safety and mental health. The feedback I’ve received is that parents and school staff overwhelmingly support Sheriff Staly’s team of School Resource Officers. The two concerns I have heard is a need to more clearly define their role and areas of responsibility as well as the cost involved with the service they provide. As to the former, I think there is a need to improve upon specific language and communication in general across the school district. As to the latter, we need to continue and/or adopt the necessary safety programs and resources that are the most effective for each campus. With the countless tragedies across our country, I am committed to safeguarding our schools by working toward a “zero-chance to fail” strategy.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

We just approved the new year SRO Contract with the Sheriff’s Office. The contract is just under a million dollars for 12 officers. This is a no-brainer decision as it is necessary to have SRO’s on our campuses to improve the safety of our students and staff.

In addition to SRO’s, I asked for the board to workshop the idea of adding Guardians on our campuses through the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, a program created by the state in 2019. This program in the past was declined by the school board when the state paid for the guardians training. With the recent events of increased events of active shooters at schools, I believe it is time to revisit this program with our sheriff’s input. The board will be hearing information and workshoping the possibility of this program during the August workshop meeting..

This program is currently used by the majority of school districts across the state. Their is a lot of misinformation about what this program is that will be addressed during the meeting.

Half Cent Sales Tax Ballot Referendum

Question: Do you support or oppose the continuation of the half-cent sales tax for schools, which is on the November 2022 General Election ballot? Please share your perspectives on why you feel this way.

Sally Hunt: 

I’m personally very frugal and watch every dollar of my household budget as well as operate my business with a very low overhead. I believe in funding what’s needed while continuously working to be more efficient.

I’ve learned these funds will go toward programs like expanding technology in our schools which has both a student benefit and helps our community recruit top talent. Modern technology not only prepares our students for life after graduation but the lack of it would lead to a reputation that our community is “behind the times.”

I encourage everyone to think about the big picture. Retirees want Flagler County to provide them with a great quality of life, but to have that, we need to be a place where working professionals and their families can thrive too. The job market is wide open across the country for top talent. Spending money on our schools is what gets the cardiologist, the veterinarian, the restaurateur we want and need to move here and stay here. When we all take care of one another, we all win.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

The school district has had this Half-Cent Sales Tax funding for 20 years. The citizens of this county have twice voted for this tax which lasts 10-years. The county has the other half of the Half-Cent Sales Tax.

With last minute notice at the end of last school year of a shortfall in funding due to the state not properly preparing districts for payment of vouchers, the district had to use $3,500,000 from the reserve account to balance the budget. This was a huge statewide issue for all school districts. Additionally, the budget for this school year, after trimming budgets, is several million dollars short. In total, the Reserve Fund will drop from $9 million (9%) to $5 million (5%). The annual Half-Cent Sales Tax brings in roughly $8 million to pay for much needed technology equipment, programs, personnel, buses, and safety of our schools.. The general fund can not make up that deficit and the reserve fund has decreased by about 50%, therefore services and most likely personnel would have to be cut. 80% of the School District’s budget covers employee salaries and benefits.

School Construction

Question: Do you believe Flagler County needs to build new schools and/or expand our existing school sites? Please share why you feel this way.

Sally Hunt:

Based on my current knowledge and feedback from parents, it sounds like many in the community would like new schools in other areas of our county versus expanding existing school sites. It’s challenging for many families and students to manage long commute times for both the school week and parent involvement. This is one of many decisions where it’s critical to have input from both subject matter experts and stakeholders.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I believe we currently need to add seats at MHS to alleviate the imbalance of our two high school populations and the overcrowding at FPC. Time will tell how many if any new schools will need to be built. My reasoning has been addressed in my answers to previous questions addressing less predictable variables like the economy and school choice.

Closing Thoughts

Please share any additional positions on issues, thoughts about your campaign and any other comments you believe the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee should consider:

Sally Hunt:

I see the school board seat as a job and I am well-qualified. Of the candidates running, I believe I have the most relevant and well-rounded experience – Master’s in Education as well as two Bachelor’s degrees; multiple years teaching in public schools, both general education and ESE; multiple years supporting and leading in employee training, development, engagement, communication, and recruiting for Fortune 500 companies, including Fortune 1 Walmart; a small business owner; and a parent to a spirited 5th grade student. I am also proudly endorsed by FESPA, the educational staff professionals union of Flagler County Schools.

Voters’ other choice is the District 1 incumbent. During her two-year term, she has, by her own admission, filed a frivolous criminal charge with Sheriff Staly against the very people in the school district she was in place to support. Her actions and rhetoric led to hate groups coming to our government building in Bunnell to harass and intimidate students and parents at school board meetings and events. She has also admitted she will continue to prioritize hot button political issues. Any business or community leader knows these actions, and the national news coverage they have garnered, are a deterrent to the positive growth and vision we have for Flagler County – a great culture, abundant services and amenities, and top healthcare.

I want to help our students, school staff, administration, and board heal and move on from what everyone has endured the past two years from both the pandemic and the incumbent’s actions. I am confident I am the right person for this important role. I hope to earn Flagler County’s vote on or before August 23. Additional information is available at and on Facebook @schoolboardsally. Thank you.

Jill Woolbright (incumbent):

I am proudly endorsed by:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Speaker Designate, Rep Paul Renner

Congressman Byron Donalds
The 1776 Project PAC
Moms for Liberty

The FCREC Board of Directors The Florida Pachyderms
The Flagler Republican Assembly

I have received 15 letters of support from local governmental and community leaders.

Thank you for this opportunity to address the real issues of the school district business. This was a very comprehensive questionnaire and well thought out to make things more transparent to the public on where candidates stand on important issues regarding the business of educating our students.

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