Meet Bay County school board, district 4, candidate: Winston Chester

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Winston Chester is running for the district four seat on the Bay County school board against Tom Hedges.

Who is Winston Chester?

Chester grew up in Quincy. He attended the University of Florida on a football scholarship.

He went on to teach for three years at Rutherford High School and then teach and coach sports for 41 years at Mosley High School.

Why did you decide to run for the District Four seat on the school board?

“Mia, my whole life has been in education,” Chester said. “Eduation has always been so important so I was able to fulfill that as a teacher and a coach and I just want to continue doing that from a different level, from a school board level.”

What are your top three priorities for next year if you are elected?

  1. “We’ve got to get the kids back in school.” Make sure the CDC guidelines to keep kids safe, meaning spread them out or conduct more things outside in the fall and spring.
  2. Make sure the money is evenly distributed throughout the education system. When unattached state money comes in, we have to make sure that a percentage goes to future endeavors, especially insurance. “We don’t want any favorites over here or favorites over there. We want to give that money and get our facilities top notch, our classrooms safe and it all set up so the kids can learn.”
  3. Increase the morale in the school system. Small gestures like a teacher fish fries, for example, to show teacher appreciation and keep staff motivated. “Make sure our tax payers get the dollars worth of service for the dollars worth of taxes they pay.”

Bonus: career and technical learning. “Every kid does not need to go to school for four years. A lot of our kids can get really good paying jobs and move it up there after a year or two of training at these technical schools.”

What are your thoughts on virtual schools?

They can be helpful, especially now we are seeing how a lot of people are working from home, the setup is similar, he said.

What are your thoughts on Gov. DeSantis’ announcement on increased teacher pay?

“We cannot leave our experienced teacher out.” We need to make sure that money is spread out across the new and old teachers. This will also increase morale.

How do you plan to deal with the lingering effects of Hurricane Michael and COVID-19 regarding student or teacher homelessness, mental illness and the affects on school enrollment?

Work with mental illness organizations and allocated more money to address this very real issue, he said.

Meet the other candidates running for office this year.

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