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First Coast Connect

A troubled beginning at Duval Schools

A bronze statue of children outside of Duval County Public Schools administration building.
Claire Heddles
Jacksonville Today
A bronze statue of children sits outside the Duval County Public Schools administration building.

From looming school closures to low test scores, Duval County Public Schools’ new superintendent, Christopher Bernier, has his hands full as he takes over the troubled district. Jacksonville Today education reporter Megan Mallicoat looks at how the district is faring as it prepares for the 2024-2025 school year.

Then, is the future of four wheels all electric? A local EV advocate joins us to talk about what effect the EPA’s final ruling on car emissions — and the uncertain political climate — will have on the growing battery-powered electric vehicle industry.


  • Bill Bortzfield, owner/producer of EV Rider.

And, strength in numbers. We talk with the founders of Jax Podcasters United, a local community of podcast creatives that have joined together to network, collaborate and help grow their podcast businesses.


  • Badr Milligan, co-founder of Jax Podcasters United.
  • Blythe Brumleve, co-founder of Jax Podcasters United.
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Jamie Valet has covered local news and entertainment in Northeast Florida/Southeast Georgia for over 25 years. One of her favorite roles was co-producing and booking guests for a live local talk show, "The Chat," which aired live weekdays on First Coast News. Jamie has a decade of experience working in corporate communications, most recently for IKEA U.S., where she was responsible for media relations, marketing, and external and internal communications in the Jacksonville market. She also has experience in the nonprofit sector, where she coordinated area events and managed multiple social media platforms. <br/><br/>