Pearson wins school board seat by overwhelming margin

Pearson wins school board seat by overwhelming margin
Karena Parliament with District 3 School Board Member-elect Cindy Howell Pearson

A familiar volunteer who has worked tirelessly for San Marco’s public schools bested three educators to win Duval County’s District 3 School Board seat Aug. 18.

Cindy Howell Pearson of San Marco collected 10,933 of the 19,588 votes cast in the primary contest to win the seat outright with 55.56% of the vote.  She will replace Ashley Smith-Juarez, who was unable to run again due to term limits.

“I am humbled and thankful to have garnered the support of such a broad, diverse coalition of people and organizations that care passionately about the future of education in Duval County,” said Pearson after her victory. “Running in a field of four uniquely qualified candidates made for a tough race. I am thrilled to have won and look forward to getting to work for the Duval County students, families and staff.”

The four-man race for District 3’s seat included Christopher P. Guerrieri, who finished at 15.64% with 3,148 votes, James C. Jacobs, who finished at 18.49% with 3,721 votes, and Robert “Bob” Abene, who earned 10.31% or 2,075 votes.

Pearson will begin her four-year term in November 2020. She will represent San Marco, St. Nicholas, San Jose, and portions of Southside.

Throughout the years Pearson has been active as a volunteer parent and fundraiser in San Marco’s public schools, having worked hard as a member of the Friends of Hendricks Avenue Elementary and its PTA, as well as being a founding member of both the Friends of Landon and the Friends of Wolfson, a fundraising-volunteer group to support Julia Landon College Preparatory School and Samuel W. Wolfson High School for Advanced Studies and Leadership.

A native of Duval County, Pearson graduated from Samuel Wolfson High School in 1988. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University in English and a Master of Science degree in Recreational Studies from the University of Florida.

In April, Pearson was named Duval County Volunteer of the Year by the Florida Department of Education. A mother of three, she has averaged more than 15 hours per week volunteering at Wolfson High School, helping to make its transition from a C- rated neighborhood school to an A-rated dedicated magnet school that only offers IB, AP and honors courses. Over the years she has focused her volunteer efforts into fundraising, campus improvement, community outreach, and student leadership development. She also has helped raise $16,000 for Wolfson by organizing academic fundraisers for the Friends of Wolfson. 

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