The League of Women Voters of Citrus County decided that due to COVID-19 we would cancel our candidate forum for the Aug. 18, 2020 Primary.

In lieu of the forum we asked each candidate the following question:

In 300 words or less, tell us how your education, professional experiences, values, and personal attributes qualify you for the office to which you aspire.

The following are their answers:

Citrus County School Board, District 2

Ginger Bryant

I, Ginger Bryant, as an elected school board member, appreciate the trust, confidence and support the citizens of Citrus County have given me in past elections. Our students receive accolades of accomplishment at state and national levels. This year our Superintendent and our Support Person were selected as the best in Florida. This is a time in our community when we need experienced leaders who can navigate through the ever-changing needs of our students and schools.

As a child advocate, I have spent my adult life devoted to educational excellence for Citrus County students by serving as a teacher and School Board member. I graduated from Central Florida Junior College and the University of Florida. My husband, Nick Bryant, is a former Teacher, Coach, Realtor and Citrus County Commissioner. I am the mother of three Citrus County graduates. I also have six great-grandchildren in the Citrus County School System.

As an active school board member, I participate in diverse school and community activities such as Advisory Councils, Tropicana Speech contests, Science Fair judging, African American Read-In, regular school visits and Kiwanis.

My duties as a school board member range from a local focus to the state level where I serve on the governing board of the Florida School Board Association and represent our board on the Florida Insurance Trust saving thousands of dollars for our schools.

This pandemic has shown us that we must continue to focus on the mental health and safety of our students and staff. We have added more School Guardians and SRO’s along with systems such as ALICE training to provide additional levels of safety.

My knowledge and experience have helped us to make Citrus County Schools one of the best in Florida.

A vote for Ginger Bryant is a vote for our children.

Danielle Damato Doty

I appreciate this opportunity to share my qualifications for the School Board. I grew up in Citrus County and graduated from Lecanto High School in 1994. I am a University of Florida graduate, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations.

My professional career began over 20 years ago, directing a social services collaborative network through the Citrus County School District and Sheriff's Office, where I learned the complexities of nonprofit and government relations. While working with leaders and people from all sectors of the community, I honed my skills in facilitation, communication, and engagement. What was the Shared Services Network is now known as the Community Alliance and I am proud that it continues to connect organizations.

In 2007, I accepted a position with Kids Central, Inc., the lead agency for child welfare services in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties. While I served as Director of Community Development and Public Information Officer for the large private sector agency, I was on the management team responsible for a $45 million budget. That experience will be extremely beneficial as a School Board member with oversight of the district budget and policies.

More recently, I served as the Manager of Community Relations for the College of Central Florida in Citrus, Levy and Marion Counties. This provided me with an understanding of how the college works with high schools and the importance of career education for all students.

Three out of five current School Board members are retired teachers. I believe it is vital that the board be more representative of our community and reflect a variety of professional experiences. My education and work in the nonprofit, public and private sectors will enable me to build relationships, advocate for students and bring a fresh perspective to the School Board.

Mark Dale Garlock 

In this pandemic world that we all live in now, a paradigm shift in education has taken place. The delivery of learning will still predominantly be face-to-face however, certain aspects are going to be changed. Chairs in rooms will be six feet apart. Lunchrooms will be altered. Rotation of classes will be altered so that halls are not crowded. Teachers will have masks on while in close proximity to students. This might be the new normal until a vaccine is formulated and we are past this virus.

I have taught now for ten weeks in a distance learning format that had us teaching using varied means for individual students' needs. This has allowed us as teachers to use our creative skills to motivate our students to continue the learning journey like never before.

I have spent 42 years in business and education, but my true passion is for our students. It is heartbreaking when I have students confide to me that they don't want to go to the next class because they have a substitute and they don't learn anything. In this technological world this can be solved very easily. I have a plan to help solve this scenario, and in the process help our teachers, administration and most importantly the students. This will assist teacher retention and recruitment. This should also improve our overall district school grade and get us back to the A district that we should be.

As a fiscal conservative I believe I will see things with fresh eyes and build consensus for some commonsense solutions on a case by case basis.

I believe my business background coupled with 17 years of elementary teaching and 7 years at the high school level, I have the skill set to make an excellent School Board member.