In November, Alachua County voters will decide on “Alachua County Question #1.” If approved, the measure would continue the current one mill ad valorem tax for four more years. The tax will result in an additional $11-13 million for our schools each year to fund “school nurses, elementary music and art programs, K-12 school library programs, K-12 guidance programs, middle and high school band and chorus programs, academic/ career technical magnet programs and to update classroom technology.”
The Alachua County Labor Coalition has invited Jackie Johnson from the School Board to explain why we should support this initiative. But we also want to hear from critics and people who have concerns about the One Mill, and have invited Nkwanda Jah from the Cultural Arts Coalition to speak as well. This forum will allow attendees to hear multiple perspectives and will also provide an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.
Join us on Tuesday, Oct. 25th at the Alachua County Health Department (224 SE 24th St.). Pizza and drinks will be available starting at 6pm, and the forum will get underway promptly at 6:30pm. Please be sure to invite your friends.
Jackie Johnson currently serves as Director of Communications and Community Initiatives for Alachua County Public Schools. She has been communicating about public education for nearly 25 years, both as a school system employee and as a television reporter. She is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and worked as an education reporter, anchor and assignment editor at WCJB-TV 20 before moving on to UF’s Health Science Center. Since 1992, she’s managed communications and public relations for both Alachua County Public Schools and the Orange County Public Schools in Orlando. She has won several awards for her work, including her coordination of successful ballot initiatives on behalf of both districts.
In the community, Jackie is a member of the board of directors for both the United Way of North Central Florida and the Education Foundation of Alachua County Public Schools. She also served five years as public relations chair for the Rotary Club of Gainesville and two terms as the president of the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association.
Jackie’s husband Mark is Director of Development and Public Relations for the Arc of Alachua County, a non-profit organization which serves adults with intellectual disabilities. Her daughter is a GHS graduate and is currently in nursing school, and her five year old grandson just started kindergarten at Norton Elementary School.
Nkwanda Jah has served as Executive Director for 38 years and is one of the Founders of the Cultural Arts Coalition (CAC). She serves on several boards including Resilience Charter School, Lake Forest Elem school SAC, past SAC member at Williams and Duval Elem schools, Past Chair and member of Head Start Council. CAC presently has 10 Science Clubs in East Gainesville for K thru 5th grade. Nkwanda is a Board member of Three Rivers Legal Services. She is also a mother/grandmother and great grandmother.