Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

School Board — District 1: Gina Messenger

Messenger will face Edward Viltz during the General Election.

  • By
  • | 5:45 a.m. October 21, 2016
Gina Messenger will face Edward Viltz during the General Election.
Gina Messenger will face Edward Viltz during the General Election.
  • East County
  • News
  • Share

Age: 29

Hometown: Bradenton

Occupation: Former public school teacher, current stay-at-home mom

About: Gina Messenger’s grandmother was an educator for many years in Manatee County, and she helped Messenger’s parents instill within her a love of learning. After receiving her degree in education from the University of Central Florida, Messenger embarked on the challenge that is teaching in Title I, low-income, public schools. Throughout her years of teaching, mentoring and leading, Messenger discovered how important education is, especially for low-income children. Through education, families can grow out of poverty. 

Several schools are at or over capacity. How can you as a board member have an impact?

First, since we have school choice, we need to implement better magnet programs at underutilized schools. With better programs in place, parents may choose to send their children there, which could help with overcrowding. The second issue we need to focus on is building or adding onto existing schools. With all of the growth scheduled to happen, Parrish desperately needs a high school.

Do you think elementary schools need school resource officers?

Growing up here in Manatee County, my schools always had resource officers that taught DARE. As I a teacher, the schools I have taught in always had resource officers. I think having a resource officer can be a vital tool is used properly, meaning, we should use them to help teach our students prevention programs.

Manatee County Schools got a mixed bag for grades this year. How do you think county schools are performing academically?

I think there is room for improvement. We did see an improvement in our third-grade reading scores, but we are still far below the state’s average. One of the reasons I have chosen to run in this race is because I was a public school teacher, and I know firsthand what it takes to have successful classes and schools. We need an educator who can discern what is best for our schools so that we may improve.


Latest News