Thrower files paperwork to run for reelection on school board

She cited her desire to get Marion County Public School (MCPS) students back on track after the COVID-19 pandemic as her main motivation for running for re-election.


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Posted February 4, 2022 | By Matthew Cretul
matthew@ocalagazette.com

Nancy Thrower has filed paperwork to run for re-election for the District 4 seat on the Marion County School Board.

She cited her desire to get Marion County Public School (MCPS) students back on track after the COVID-19 pandemic as her main motivation for running for re-election.

“So I’m really looking forward to being able to shift our focus back, and more completely, to our core business which is really creating opportunities for each and every student, and doing that in a fiscally responsible way,” she said.

She knows COVID was hard on everyone involved, from the MCPS staff and employees to parents, family members and students.  As a board member trying to navigate the pandemic, Thrower said collaboration was key in such a rapidly changing environment.

“We’re educators, we’re not doctors.  And even the doctors seem to need a lot more information, because this was so new, on how to best navigate and how to best advise schools on what to do,” she said. “So it was just a constantly evolving process and changing recommendations. We were talking with representatives from our local health department almost every day, and so that really absorbed a tremendous amount of our focus and, of course, impacted our whole community.”

Thrower was first elected to the District 4 seat in 2018, and if currently proposed legislation passes in Florida’s legislature this session, her second term would also be her last.  She said she doesn’t see that as a negative and believes there is value in setting term limits.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing at all. The last thing we want is entrenchment from any public servants, politicians, whatever you want to call them,” she said.  “We want fresh ideas, we want to keep the cycle going. I think that there’s the possibility that things can get stale,” she said.

Looking ahead, Thrower is anxious to add trade and vocational schools to the list of options students have after finishing high school. She said traditional thinking that college is the only route needs to be updated, and she is excited because she feels like both Marion County, as well as state leaders in Tallahassee, agree.

“Our community is so committed to career and technical education,” she said. “I know our legislature feels the same way.  We’ve got some good support coming down from them for innovative programs.”

She believes keeping students engaged and focused will only enhance their educational experience.

“Let’s face it, if a student comes to school every day and feels like what they’re learning is relevant, and it’s something that they’re passionate about,  something that really sparks their interest, they’re going to do better in school.  You’re going to have fewer behavior problems, you’re gonna have fewer attendance issues,” she said.

Thrower is the first candidate to file for the Marion County School Board District 4 seat.  The general election will be held on Nov. 8, 2022.