This year Monroe County School Board seats are in contention in districts 1, 4, and 5. The District 1 seat is up for grabs; incumbent Robin Smith-Martin is not running again. Key West attorney Bobby Highsmith, entrepreneur Warren Leamard and district Audit and Finance Committee Chairman Stuart Kessler are vying for that post.
In the District 4 race, incumbent John Dick is trying to beat back a challenge from career educator Catherine Bosworth.
And in District 5, board Chairman Ron Martin is facing opposition from former British intelligence officer and hypnotherapist Richard Bradley, and another career educator, Dennis Caltagirone.
With student performance scores on the wane, and at least two schools needing to be replaced in the coming years, each candidate was asked to answer two questions:
1) If elected, what will you do to arrest the school district's slide from eighth to 23rd in the state, as far as student performance, and the issue of C and D school ratings in Key West?
2) Both Plantation Key School and Gerald Adams School in Key West will need to be replaced in the next few years. How would you finance construction of one or more of these schools, and what, if any, lessons would you draw from the construction of Horace O'Bryant School?
Not every candidate responded to emails or phone calls for comments.