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Duval County School Board Member Withdraws From Reelection Race

Duval County Public Schools
School Board Member Scott Shine.

Duval County School Board Member Scott Shine has withdrawn his candidacy for reelection. He has represented the Beaches area - known as District 2 - since 2014. The district now has no filed candidates.

Shine attended Monday’s School Board meeting in which the body voted on six semi-finalists to interview for the district's next superintendent.

At the beginning of the meeting, School Board member Becki Couch told Shine she keeps hearing in the news Shine has been commenting on the board’s process in finding a new superintendent, “how we’re 'moving too fast' and we 'should wait,' and you’ve never said them at the table,” Couch said to Shine.

Shine had sent an open letter in March about his desire to slow the process to media and board members.

Related: Board Member Wants Duval To Wait Until After 2018 Election To Hire Superintendent

Shine on Monday reiterated what he said in the letter: He believes the board should hold off on selecting a new leader until new members are elected this fall. Fellow board members Paula Wright and Becki Couch are barred by term limits from seeking reelection. The board consists of seven members.

After Shine’s comments, board member Lori Hershey told Shine his past behavior is concerning.

“You continually go ahead of the board on issues,” she said. “Some of your behavior has cost the board a lot of money.”

As the Florida Times-Union reported, the district settled a lawsuit with Duval teacher Chris Guerrieri, who is also an education blogger. Guerrieri claimed Shine harassed him and that the board was trying to silence him.

Shine on Monday asked Board Chair Paula Wright to stop Hershey from speaking, saying it was off topic and personal. Wright did not. When Shine tried to respond, Wright informed him he didn't have the floor.

Wright said she appreciated Couch's bringing up the issue.

“This isn’t about any board member not having a right to address concerns, but the manner,” Wright said.

Wright said if Shine had issues with the process he should have brought them up to his colleagues during a workshop.

The board eventually discussed narrowing down superintendent applicants to six semi-finalists.

Shine tried to add three people to the mix who hadn’t applied for the job: Mason Davis and Kelly Coker-Daniel, who work as Duval’s academic officer and accountability superintendent, respectively; as well as Addison Davis, Clay County Schools Superintendent.

Other board members did not accept those candidates as possibilities.

After the board voted for semi-finalists, Couch returned the conversation to Shine’s desire to wait on hiring a new leader, saying her constituents hadn't expressed they want the board to wait until after the election to pick a new superintendent, and their desire should be respected.

Shine left during her comments.

Outside the meeting room, he said, “We were going back to into the personal attacks. I don’t think that’s really productive, and that’s not why we’re here. In fact, under the rules we’re supposed to keep it to the business on the floor. I’ll sit through one, but I won’t sit through two.”

Shine didn’t return for the second half of the meeting regarding balancing the budget.

The Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office confirmed Shine withdrew from the race Monday during the early afternoon, which was after he left the board meeting.

WJCT has reached out the Shine for comment.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.


Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.